Claire Thompson, 25 years of age, pleaded guilty to a total of 14 offences of fraud by false representation and two further counts of using a false instrument between the 1st of January 2010 and 1st of November 2011. The music teacher cheat five different families into believing that their children were sitting for piano examinations. For her offence, she has been given a two year probation order. The judge also warned her that should there be a breach, she would be re-sentenced.
A police investigation first took place after there were a number of complains from parents on how the music exams their children had sat for “were not legitimate”. They also informed the police that even though Claire had been teaching their children to play the piano as well as other instruments over the then previous two years, the exams apparently registered with the London College of Music (LCM) were fake. A prosecution lawyer recalled how police investigations revealed the LCM “did not have any record of them entering the exams or of the defendant being one of their affiliates” and that there were other families who had also been duped by her. “Lessons were provided, exams paid for and certificates produced, but in the investigation the exams and certificates were found to be bogus,” stated the lawyer.
Claire, of Old Hillsborough Road, Lisburn, County Antrim in Northern Ireland, was then questioned about the allegations. However, she tried to put the blame onto a supposedly new course co-ordinator. She went on to claim that she was unable to provide any form of contact details for the woman. The lawyer mentioned that by pleading guilty to the sixteen offences, Claire has accepted the claims she made were lies and that those certificates the she had provided had been doctored. According to the lawyer, Claire deceived a total of seven children from five separate families.
The defence lawyer indicated that his client had instructed him to “extend her regret, embarrassment, shame and apologies to all of the families for the distressed caused”. District Judge Rosemary Watters informed the single mother that she had “never dealt” with a fraud like hers before. Nonetheless, it was still serious given the “breach of trust” and that it “involved children and their families who were distressed”. For the full story, you can read it here.
At Awesome Piano, we can guarantee that the exams we send you for are authentic. In Singapore, ABRSM and Trinity are the recognised institutes. Our piano lessons are also given by teachers who have been through that system.