Lancashire

Blackburn dancer jailed for sexually exploiting girls

Edwin Dillon
Image caption Dillon was ordered to sign the sex offenders register for life

A 23-year-old dance teacher who groomed and sexually exploited five girls has been jailed for 10 years.

Edwin Dillon, of Bute Road, Blackburn, Lancashire, was found guilty of engaging in sexual activity with the girls, who were aged between 13 and 15.

Preston Crown Court heard how he got one of the youngsters pregnant before she went on to miscarry.

He was ordered to sign the sex offenders register for life and prohibited from working with children.

He was also made the subject of a sexual offences prevention order for 10 years, banning unsupervised contact with children under 16.

During his trial it emerged Dillon manipulated the girls between August 2008 and October 2009.

He was arrested when one of the girls eventually came forward and told police of her ordeal.

Dillon was convicted in August after a nine-day trial.

'Inflated ego'

Sentencing, Judge Michael Byrne told him: "You took advantage of these young girls.

"You knew exactly what you were doing. You didn't think of those girls in terms of your victims, but that is exactly what they were.

"By virtue of their age and experience they were vulnerable.

"You encouraged their emotional and sexual attraction to you over a period of time when you knew they were under-age. You manipulated your victims and got your own way.

"My assessment of you is that you have a vastly inflated ego and sense of your own importance."

Det Insp Steve Dowson from Lancashire Police said after the hearing: "This has been a long and complex investigation and I am satisfied with the sentence.

"The victims have shown tremendous courage in coming forward and giving evidence at court.

"This type of predatory crime will not be tolerated and I would like to reassure local people that we will continue to target those suspected of sexually exploiting children.

"I urge anyone with information or concerns to contact us."

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