A FORMER music teacher looked unmoved as he was told he had been found guilty of 34 child abuse charges.

Michael Crombie, 73, of Monkhams Avenue, Woodford Green, was found guilty today at Snaresbrook Crown Court after a three-week trial.

He was convicted of 26 charges of indecently assaulting nine girls aged under 16, seven charges of making indecent images of a child and one charge of possessing indecent images of a child.

The former Wanstead High School music teacher was told by judge Inigo Bing that he was found guilty in the face of "compelling evidence" and he should expect a "lengthy" prison sentence.

During the trial the court heard that Crombie inappropriately touched nine music pupils on the chest and legs while he was tutoring them at his home.

The court heard that one victim, who was eight years old when she started seeing him for lessons, was filmed holding her breath in his bath.

The court was shown videos of that victim, who was abused over a period of six years, which were made by Crombie and showed the young girl in various stages of undress, at times completely naked in the bath.

The first indecent assault charge relates to the period between Novemebr 1992 and November 1993 and the final indecent assault charge relates to the ninth victim and the period between July 2002 and July 2003.

Crombie, who is married with an adult son and daughter, took early retirement from Wanstead High School in 1990.

He was a music teacher for 50 years and is still currently the director of the Woodford Green-based Cantori Vocal Ensemble.

During the trial jurors heard how Crombie had an underwater sexual fetish which he satisfied by filming one of his pupils submerged in his bath.

He claimed it was to help her improve her breathing technique.

The jury heard him on film boast that he was going to drown his pupil as he held her underwater and the video showed the pupil tied up by the wrists while submerged.

Det Insp Mick Thurley, of the child abuse investigation team based at Woodford Police Station, said police first became aware of Crombie in July 2000.

A 17-year-old came forward and reported him kissing her on the lips during a lesson but the complainant and her family decided not to take it any further.

Crombie was arrested in March 2007 after another claim but again after investigation no further action was taken.

In October last year another complaint was made to police and Crombie was arrested on January 12 and his home searched.

DI Thurley said two teams searched a huge basement at Crombie's home and most of the films found are classified as level five, the worst possible, because of the sadistic nature of the victim being tied.

DI Thurley said Crombie's computer was seized when he was arrested and his search history showed he had been looking up underwater sex websites, some of the internet searches were made the night before his arrest.

Crombie's wife Norah was also arrested in connection with the case but no charges were brought as there was no evidence linking her.

DI Thurley said there was no doubting the esteem the community held Crombie in.

He said during the police investigation a parent complained that restrictions put on Crombie's teaching was jeopardising her daughter's singing career.

DI Thurley said there could be a second investigation and trial as 15 other women have contacted police since the trial started.

Sentencing has been adjourned until December 21 and Crombie was denied bail.