Former dance teacher convicted of new child sex offences

|News, Sexual offences

A former dance teacher has been convicted of new child sexual offences after being jailed two years ago for sexually assaulting his pupils.

Neil Harris, 74, who is serving a five-year prison sentence for indecent assault on four pupils in the 1970s and 80s, was found guilty of 25 counts of indecent assaults today (18 March 2020) at Birmingham Crown Court.

Harris, from Tamworth, was charged with the further offences after more victims came forward following his conviction in 2017.

The court heard that Harris abused the 11 victims, who were children at the time, over a period of 24 years. He would - under the pretext of checking or arranging the leotards or costumes of girls and a boy - sexually assault them through inappropriate touching, fondling and caressing.

The 11 victims, 10 female and one male, all testified in court and gave accounts of the abuse and suffering they experienced. Harris was found guilty of the additional counts of indecent assault and will be sentenced at a later date.

Julia McSorley, of the CPS, said: "Harris used his position as a dance and gymnastics teacher to abuse young children who were entrusted into his care. In the selfish pursuit of his own sexual gratification, Harris burdened each of his child victims with the significant and lasting effects of his offending.

"The impact of his crime on his victims has been enormous and affected their childhood, and also the adult years, of many of his victims. I want to thank the victims for their bravery in coming forward and giving evidence."

Notes to editors

  • Julia McSorley is a Senior Crown Prosecutor with CPS West Midlands
  • Neil Harris (D.o.B. 13/07/45) was convicted of 25 counts of Indecent assault relating to 11 victims at Birmingham Crown Court.

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