A world-renowned classical music conductor, who admitted three child sex offences after trying to arrange sex acts with an underage boy, walked free from court today.

Jan Latham-Koenig, 70, was arrested as part of an undercover sting operation in January after he travelled to London Victoria station to see a ‘child’ he had met on a dating app. 

When he arrived, he discovered that the teenage boy he thought was waiting for him was instead an officer in the Met’s Specialist Crime Command.

The now-convicted paedophile pleaded guilty to sexual communication with a child, attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming, and intentionally arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence at earlier hearings.

He was handed a 14-month sentence suspended for two years today at Southwark Crown Court and Latham-Koenig was placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register.

Jan Latham-Koenig, pictured, sent explicit images to an undercover police officer who he believed was a teenage boy.

Jan Latham-Koenig, pictured, sent explicit images to an undercover police officer who he believed was a teenage boy.

In Queen Elizabeth II's 2020 birthday honours, the now-convicted paedophile Jan Latham-Koenig was awarded an OBE for services to music and UK/Russia cultural relations.

In Queen Elizabeth II’s 2020 birthday honours, the now-convicted paedophile Jan Latham-Koenig was awarded an OBE for services to music and UK/Russia cultural relations.

 The court heard the musician started conversing with the undercover police officer, posing as a child called Jacob, in December 2023 via a dating app called ROMEO.

Latham-Koenig had earlier admitted arranging or facilitating the commission of a sexual offence with a child, between 9 December 2023 and 11 January 2024.

He also admitted sexual communication with a minor.

ROMEO is a dating app used by members of the gay, bi, and trans community.

The app has an age restriction of 18+, meaning it was not clear at first how old Jacob was, it was said.

However, the hearing was told Jacob disclosed his age – 14 – weeks later, and the conversation continued.

Prosecutor Bill McGivern said: ‘Communication between the defendant and Jacob began on 9 December 2023 on a mobile phone application called ROMEO.

‘Almost immediately after the conversation started, the defendant sent Jacob a photograph of his penis.

‘The official age for users on Romeo is 18, meaning it was not then obvious that the defendant was talking to a child.

‘In a conversation on 21 December, the defendant asked Jacob how old he was – and Jacob said he was 14.

‘But rather than desist further communication, the defendant – aged 70 – said he was 49 and continued conversation.’

The court also heard that Latham-Koenig said his name was ‘John’.

Jan Latham-Koenig, 70, admitted three child sex offences including arranging or facilitating the commission of a sexual offence with a child.

Jan Latham-Koenig, 70, admitted three child sex offences including arranging or facilitating the commission of a sexual offence with a child.

Mr McGivern explained that throughout the communication, Latham-Koenig repeatedly asked Jacob if they could meet – and stressed that ‘discretion’ was important.

‘He asked if Jacob was in contact with other users on the site and asked if others knew about their conversations,’ the prosecutor said.

Eventually they started conversing on WhatsApp rather than on Romeo and Latham-Koenig shared explicit images. 

‘When he encouraged Jacob to move the conversation to WhatsApp, he asked if his mother checked his phone and asked him to delete their messages. They then arranged to speak over the phone.’

During this call, the pair discussed Jacob’s family, his school, his sexuality, and the sexual acts they would commit if they met.

‘The Crown submits that discussions about coming to terms with one’s sexuality with a 14-year-old is grooming,’ Mr McGivern said.

‘The defendant and Jacob also discussed Jacob’s past sexual experiences.

‘Jacob said he had ‘fondled’ – and the defendant agreed that they would do ‘stuff like that’.

‘The defendant then asked Jacob if he got excited talking about gay stuff on the phone. 

‘Jacob asked if he meant down there, he said yes, and when he said he did, the defendant said that was wonderful.’

Mr McGivern also revealed that Latham-Koenig had paid for ‘Jacob’s’ train ticket to London Victoria.

‘When the defendant asked Jacob again if he would like to meet, Jacob said he had no money,’ the prosecutor explained.

‘The defendant said he would buy him a ticket from Horsham to Victoria – and give him a return ticket when he saw him.

‘On the day they met, the defendant asked again what Jacob had said to his mother.’

While the details of his case were read out, Latham-Koenig, wearing a navy-blue suit, pale pink shirt, and navy-blue tie, stared at the ground and repeatedly tapped his left ear.

In mitigation, Latham-Koenig’s barrister Eleanor Laws KC said that her client had expressed ‘doubts’ about Jacob’s age.

She told the court: ‘On the day they would meet, there was a long conversation in which the defendant talked about backing out – expressing his doubts about his age.

‘It is also worth mentioning that messaging started between the two of them on an adult gay, bi, trans dating app. 

‘And it is the officer who starts the conversations between them each and every time.’

She also said Latham-Koenig had ‘expressed considerable remorse’ to several family members and close friends.

‘The fact that the defendant is still supported by his family and friends, who know what happened, should go far to assure the court that rehabilitation is possible and there is a low risk of reoffending,’ Ms Laws said.

Addressing Latham-Koenig as he handed down his sentence, Judge Alexander Milne KC said: ‘Mr Latham-Koenig, it seems to me in these circumstances I may suspend these sentences, and so I sentence you to 14 months in prison suspended for two years.

‘You must undertake rehabilitation requirements for up to 40 days. You will do 100 hours of unpaid work for the community. 

‘And I will impose a Sexual Harm Prevention Order which will apply for a period of 10 years.

‘You will also be required to pay £1,000 in contribution to the prosecution’s costs.

‘This sentence means you do not go to prison today, and, provided you comply with the terms and commit no further offences, you may never go to prison.’

In the past, Latham-Koenig worked with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and the BBC’s Symphony Orchestra.

In Queen Elizabeth II’s 2020 birthday honours, he was awarded an OBE for services to music and UK/Russia cultural relations.

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