UK

World-renowned music conductor pleads guilty to child sex offences

Jan Latham-Koenig admitted arranging sex acts, at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Jan Latham-Koenig was made an OBE in 2020
Jan Latham-Koenig court case Jan Latham-Koenig was made an OBE in 2020 (Yui Mok/PA)

A world-renowned classical music conductor has pleaded guilty to two child sex offences, including messaging someone he believed to be a 14-year-old boy.

Appearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Friday, Jan Latham-Koenig, 70, admitted arranging sex acts with someone he thought was a teenager, but was in fact an undercover police officer.

The defendant was charged with intentionally arranging or facilitating an act of sexual activity with a child between December 9 last year and January 11.

He was also charged with attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child for the purpose of sexual gratification between the same dates.

Mr Latham-Koenig gave no indication to a third charge of attempting to meet a person under the age of 16 and engage in sexual activity during or after the meeting.

Prosecuting, Jason Seetal told the court the defendant initially started chatting with an undercover officer posing as a child through a dating app, before progressing to WhatsApp.

The court heard the officer was working as part of an investigation by detectives from the Metropolitan Police’s Specialist Crime Command.

Mr Seetal said a meeting between Mr Latham-Koenig and the child was due to take place at a Cafe Nero in Victoria train station.

The defendant was arrested at the station last month.

Mr Latham-Koenig, of Pelham Crescent, South Kensington, spoke to confirm his name and address in court.

He was made an OBE in 2020 for services to music and UK-Russian cultural relations.

He has conducted the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and all the BBC ensembles.

District Judge John Law granted the defendant conditional bail and set a plea and trial preparation hearing in relation to the third charge at Southwark Crown Court on March 22.