July 2016

Paedophile piano teacher found dead

Paedophile piano teacher found dead

A piano teacher was found dead just 24 hours before he was due to be sentenced for sexually assaulting two schoolgirls he was tutoring.

Stephen Hallam, 62, was discovered hanging in Runcorn and pronounced dead after he had been reported missing .

The piano, music and singing teacher was found hanging in bushes in Preston Brook on Thursday morning.

Hallam, from Prestwich, Greater Manchester, pleaded guilty at Bolton Crown Court in May to four counts of sexual assault of a child aged under 13. The charges relate to two girls.

Hallam was due to be sentenced last Friday, but was found dead in Runcorn a day earlier.

His death isn’t being treated as suspicious and a file is being prepared for a coroner ahead of an inquest hearing.

Hallam’s guilty pleas, which he entered on the first day a trial was due to start on May 9, stand as formal convictions.

Three of the charges relate to a period between July 2010 and July 2012, with the other covering a period between March 2011 and December 2011.

Two of the offences related to kissing one of his young victims on the lips and the third charge related to him touching her chest.

The fourth charge related to an incident when he kissed the second schoolgirl on the lips.

Hallam advertised himself online as a piano, singing and music theory teacher.

In one advert he said he also offered coaching for performing arts students ahead of auditions or shows and for music students studying for GCSE exams or college entry requirements.

The alarm was first raised after both girls contacted Childline, a 24-hour counselling service provided by the NSPCC, and confided in them before police were called.

Hallam was reported as missing to Greater Manchester Police after a concern for his welfare was received.

A spokesman for Cheshire Police said the body of a man reported as missing was found at 5.23am on Thursday.