08 August 2018
Award winning conductor jailed for historical abuse of boy chorister
Cullen has previously served a twelve month sentence for the abuse of two other boys
A Grammy-winning choral conductor, who served as choirmaster and organist at St Andrew’s Cathedral in Glasgow, has been jailed for the grooming and sexual abuse of a boy chorister.
Joseph Cullen was sentenced at Glasgow Sheriff Court to ten months in prison for the historic abuse of a nine year old he met when the boy joined the cathedral choir.
The offences took place between January 1981 and December 1984. Cullen has previously served a twelve month sentence for the abuse of two other boys he met while working at St Andrew’s Cathedral and St Aloysius’ Church in the city’s Garnethill.
Sentencing Cullen on charges of lewd and libidinous contact, Sheriff Martin Jones QC said that Cullen’s offences had not been “diluted by the passage of time” and told him that he had taken advantage of a position of trust in order to abuse the child.
The complainant described Cullen as a “surrogate father” and described being taken on trips and being otherwise involved in his life. It was only when the boy’s mother saw details of the other offences that he felt able to report the assaults to the police.
Cullen has also worked at Westminster Cathedral, with the Huddersfield Choral Society and with the London Symphony Chorus. He assisted Sir Colin Davis on tour with the LSO chorus. He has also worked with a Vatican body set up to improve the quality of liturgical music in Britain.
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