John Delphin, previously known as John Gowers, and known by many in East Grinstead

Convicted peadophile opens up about ‘minute of madness’ when he sexually assaulted a schoolboy. 

A sex offender, who used to host a show on Meridian FM, has appeared on a BBC documentary speaking about “a minute of madness” when he sexually assaulted a nine-year-old pupil during a piano lesson.

John Delphin, previously known as John Gowers, was jailed for 20 months in 2013 after he was convicted of two counts of sexual assault against the schoolboy and possessing indecent images of children.

Aged 52 at the time he had denied groping the boy during a private piano lesson but was found guilty at the end of a trial at Woolwich Crown Court in December 2013 and admitted the offences to a probation officer after his trial. He had pleaded guilty to the offence of possessing indecent images of children.

Known by many in East Grinstead as Gowers, he was a popular jazz musician and music teacher who performed regularly in the town.

Delphin was handed a sexual offence prevention order (SOPO) which would last ten years – and banned from working with children indefinitely.

Part of this order meant that he was not allowed to meet any child, in a private place, under the age of 16 without written consent from that child’s parent or guardian.

Delphin breached the conditions of his SOPO on October 13 last year when he visited a school to read his self-published book to a class of four-year-olds. He had failed to tell the school about his previous convictions.

Delphin’s arrest for the breach was filmed by the BBC as part of their ongoing TV series called “The Met: Policing London”.

The programme was broadcasted on BBC One last Wednesday (June 14), and Delphin spoke about what his life has been like since his conviction.

He said: “I made a massive mistake in committing my offence. It was a sexual assault on a pupil.

“I placed my hand on the outside of a child’s trousers and that’s why I was convicted.

“I think I have given myself a harder time about it than anyone else could possibly. And I have grown beyond that, but as you can see I am not being allowed to escape it or to prove to anybody that I am not that person anymore.

“I had a blip. For goodness sake I taught for 18 years and didn’t set a foot wrong. It was a minute of madness in my life and I have thrown away a teaching career as a result of it and I have suffered enough.”

The clip then cut to Delphin being interviewed by police as he explained the plot of his book which he went to the school to speak about.

Delphin adds: “The visit that has caused a technical breach of my SOPO came because I had no idea being in the classroom with two teachers and a classroom assistant actually qualified as a private place. I’d like to say it was an innocent mistake.

“Of course it had occurred to me that it might not be very sensible in terms of safety. That’s not to say I had any notion to breach my SOPO by visiting the school at all.”

Speaking as part of the show Sergeant Simon Reason, who explained why Delphin was being refused bail, said: “He’s not stupid, he knows exactly what he was doing and he has a desire to be near young children.

“He put himself purposefully in that environment, he knows that he has children very close to him whatever it is he wants to do.

“I can’t see any other reason why [he] would do that [go to the school to give the talk], [he knew] the restrictions placed upon [him], [he] shouldn’t be there.

“[His] order tells [him] not to be with kids – there’s no excuse.”

The programme ends with text saying “[Delphin] was sentenced to four months in prison for breaking his sexual offences prevention order.”


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