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A former music teacher at a private all-boys school in the western suburbs today admitted to several child sex offences against a teenage student in the mid-1980s but denies the more serious allegations levelled at him.

Lindsay Hutchinson, who was the music director at Christ Church Grammar School in Claremont and the organist at St George's Cathedral, is accused of repeatedly sexually abusing the boy at various locations between 1984 and 1985, including on a school music camp, at the accused's house, in country hotel rooms during music tours and during a sleepover at St George's deanery.

Mr Hutchinson, standing trial in the District Court, is charged with 15 counts of unlawful carnal knowledge, indecent assault and indecent dealing with the boy, who was aged 13 and 14 at the time.

Yesterday, the accused man, who is in his mid-60s, pleaded guilty to several charges, admitting he touched the boy's genitals and simulated sexual intercourse with him, but denies the more serious charges against him, including sexual penetration allegations.

Prosecutor David Davidson said the alleged victim claimed the sexual abuse happened frequently, including in the school's music department.

He said during the deanery sleepover, Mr Hutchinson dragged the boy, who was in a sleeping bag, by his feet - "like a sack of potatoes" - away from other sleeping boys into a separate room to abuse him. "(The alleged victim) recalls feeling powerless … that there was nothing he could do about it," he said.

The prosecutor said the abuse stopped after the boy quit music at the school. Mr Hutchinson left Christ Church in 1985.

Mr Davidson said other witnesses - former students of Mr Hutchinson's at Christ Church and other schools, would testify about inappropriate sexual touching and behaviour they experienced from their one-time teacher, including him taking photographs of them in see-through speedos, but those allegations do not form any charges.

The court was told Mr Hutchinson, who was charged over the Christ Church allegations in August 2011, was convicted in South Australia in 1997 of one count of indecent assault against a 14-year-old boy. Mr Davidson said Mr Hutchinson had a tendency and desire to sexually interfere with boys in a school environment.

Defence lawyer Mara Barone suggested the alleged victim's memory of events was imperfect and unreliable. She said the allegations were undoubtedly "awful and distressing" but asked the jury to assess the evidence calmly and intellectually.

"You cannot think just because he (Mr Hutchinson) has pleaded guilty to a few charges that he is guilty of them all," Ms Barone said.

The trial continues.

The West Australian

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