A PIANO teacher who was jailed for seven years for sexually abusing young girls has had his sentence cut by nearly a third on appeal.

Michael Crombie, 73, was jailed in December last year at Snaresbrook Crown Court for inappropriately touching nine of his students between 1993 and 2001.

The former Wanstead High School teacher, who gave private music lessons at his home in Monkhams Avenue, Woodford Green, persuaded one girl to take off her clothes and submerge herself in his bath while he filmed her.

He was convicted on 26 counts of indecently assaulting girls under the age of 16, seven counts of making indecent images of a child, and one charge of possessing indecent images of a child.

An appeal to the High Court against his conviction was thrown out by judges yesterday but they reduced his sentence from seven years to five on health grounds.

He will be eligible to apply for parole in August next year.