A FORMER college music director is due to appear in court later this year accused of historical sex offences.

Malcolm Archer, 66, of High Street, Odiham, appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court last week to deny the one charge of indecent assault and one charge of committing an act of gross indecency.

The alleged offences involved a boy under the age of 16 and were reported to have been committed between 1978 and 1979 in the Chelmsford area.

Archer, previously director of chapel music at Winchester College, and formerly of Edgar Road, had been at the private school for ten years before leaving in November 2017.

He is due to face a trial on July 15, alongside Kenneth Francis, 71, of Akasaka in Tokyo.

Francis denied 13 counts of indecent assault and four counts of committing an act of gross indecency when he too appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court, Essex, last week.

The alleged offences involved four boys under the age of 16 and were reported to have been committed between 1972 and 1979.

Francis, a retired teacher, lived and worked in the Chelmsford area at the time.

A spokeswoman for Winchester College said: “The alleged offences are unconnected with the college and occurred many years before Mr Archer’s employment at Winchester.

“This notwithstanding, as soon as the school was made aware of the allegations, it treated them with the utmost seriousness, in full co-operation with the relevant authorities, and in accordance with the standards of a stringent safeguarding culture.

“Mr Archer was suspended from employment and later left the college.

“We shall of course continue to offer the authorities every assistance in their inquiries,” she added.