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Choir founder receives suspended sentence for sexual assault

The founder of not-for-profit singing group Pop Goes the Choir has received a suspended prison sentence for sexual assault.

Matthew Ash, 48, admitted sexual touching of a woman aged 16 or over without her consent at High Wycombe Magistrates’ Court on Friday, August 2.

The charge relates to an incident in Burnham in February 2015.

Ash, of Princes Close, Eton Wick, was given a six month prison sentence, suspended for two years, a restraining order, and was told to pay £500 compensation.

He was also told to pay £200 costs and was given a 10-year notification order.

The Advertiser understands Ash remains involved with the choir, which is based at Burnham Cricket Club and performs at events across the area.

When asked whether he would be stepping down on Tuesday, Ash, who expressed remorse for his actions, said: “I have offered, they told me not to, but I’m waiting to see.”

The choir, which brings ‘together local people who want to have fun and smile while they sing’, was formed by Ash in February 2010.

Due to its popularity the 120-strong group has had official invitations to sing at the 2012 London Paralympics and on The Long Walk in Windsor for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’ wedding.

They also sing at small fundraisers, corporate events, weddings and festivals.

When contacted through the Pop Goes the Choir website, the group’s committee confirmed that Ash is the chairman and founder of the choir, but refrained from commenting further.

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