A WOMAN who was groomed by a violin teacher in Caversham as a teenager has come forward after hearing the news that he shot himself last week at his Los Angeles home.
Chris Ling, 58, was facing extradition to the UK to face 77 charges of sex abuse against students at Chetham's School of Music in Manchester. Police officers went to arrest him last Tuesday but found him dead. Los Angeles police are now investigating the death as a suicide.
But before he went to teach in Manchester, Mr Ling taught private students at his home in Prospect Street, Caversham during the Eighties. 
The woman, who does not wish to be named, began lessons with Mr Ling when she was 13 and he was 24, but she became increasingly uncomfortable with the way he touched her and talked to her. After two years she left and never went back. But last week when she saw his death reported on TV she contacted the police and made a statement.
She has now come forward to encourage other women in the Reading area who may have come under his spell to speak out.
She said: "At first I was very impressed with him. He was a very good teacher. He inspired me to practise a lot but then as the lessons went on he introduced a punishment regime. If I played a wrong note he would smack my bum. At first I was shocked but it made me practise really, really hard to ensure I didn't make mistakes. I just wanted to make sure I played perfectly.
"He would also stand behind me and put his bowing arm around mine but he would be standing too close.
"He complimented me on the music I liked and the first records I'd bought. He was trying to make me feel grown up. He was grooming me.
"He had dark hair and gorgeous dark eyes, and I was flattered that this cool guy in his twenties was interested in me. But I had mixed feelings about him. On the one hand I looked up to him because he was a good teacher, but I also felt uncomfortable about the way he made me feel. I found him a bit creepy."
After two years of private lessons he made an inappropriate comment about her underwear and she left and never went back.
She never heard from him again, until she saw reports of his death on the television last week and found that he was wanted on sex abuse charges against 11 victims, one of them only nine years old. 
Victims have claimed that he groped, violated and spanked them so hard that they cried. Other girls were encouraged to strip naked to play.
The Reading woman said the revelations made her feel guilty about not speaking up at the time.
She said: "I heard someone talking on the television about a violin teacher and I thought, 'That's Chris Ling'. Then I felt awful about all the girls that suffered. I rang the police and reported it. 
"I can't turn the clocks back in terms of trying to prevent him going on to abuse girls. But I believe that if, as I suspect, other girls were more than just groomed they may well need counselling. I just wanted people in this area to be aware."
Police can be contacted in confidence on 101.