Sussex

Former Royal Ballet dancer Stephen Beagley jailed for child sex offences

Stephen Beagley Image copyright Eddie Mitchell
Image caption Stephen Beagley committed the offences over a 13-year period

A former principal dancer with the Royal Ballet has been jailed for 10 years for sexually abusing three girls between the ages of nine and 13.

Stephen Beagley, 62, admitted five counts of sexual assault, two charges of indecent assault and one of causing a child to engage in sexual activity.

He denied another four charges of sexual assault which were ordered by Lewes Crown Court to lay on file.

Beagley committed the offences between 1997 and 2010.

He had been due to face trial but pleaded guilty at a hearing on 21 October.

Beagley, who was an internationally famous dance and ballet teacher, had recently been living in Wrotham Road, in Gravesend, Kent, but was living in Wadhurst, East Sussex, at the time of the offences.

During the 1970s and 1980s he was one of Britain's leading classical dancers, appearing in Swan Lake, the Nutcracker, and Frederick Ashton's Rhapsody, as well as playing the lead role in the West End musical, Cats.

At Lewes Crown Court, he admitted:

  • two counts of indecent assault against one girl between 1997 and 1998 when she was 10
  • four counts of sexual assault, and one count of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, against a girl aged between nine and 12 between 2006 and 2010
  • one count of sexual assault on a girl aged 12 between 2009 and 2010

Det Sgt John Steven, of the East Sussex Safeguarding Investigations Unit, said Beagley had been "a trusted and well known man in his local community in East Sussex, and around the world in performing and teaching ballet".

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