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Birmingham dance teacher convicted for further sexual abuse of pupils

A former Birmingham dance teacher has been convicted of further sexual offences against his former pupils after previously receiving a five year sentence in 2018.

Neil Harris, of Manta Road in Tamworth, taught at a dance school in Erdington for over 50 years from 1957 until 2017.

Harris was investigated after a woman came forward in 2015. The woman, who was taught by him from 1983 onwards, conducted a Google search and identified Harris as still being an active teacher of a dance studio. 

Because of her concerns following her own experiences, she spoke to police. She told them that on several occasions, Harris had sexually touched her when she was aged between nine and 13 years.

More people were identified by officers as an investigation was launched and allegations of further inappropriate touching and abuse followed. 

The 72-year-old was charged with 21 counts of indecent assault on seven children in March 2017.

Now aged 74, over two years into his five year sentence, he has been found guilty of further offences, after more victims came forward.

Neil Harris

After a three-week-long trial at Birmingham Crown Court, on Wednesday 18 March, Harris was found guilty of 19 counts of indecent assault on 10 girls and one boy between the 1960s - 1990s. Harris was previously jailed for separate offences relating to the 1970s − 1980s.

Leading the latest investigation into Harris , DC Nichola Thomas said: “I would like to commend the bravery of the individuals who have come forward and spoken to us about their experiences of Harris . 

“If they had not seen the media coverage of Harris ’ last trial, it’s possible these crimes would never have been uncovered.

“I would like to reassure anyone who has been through anything similar or feels someone of authority may have acted inappropriately towards them in the past, that we will investigate and prosecute those responsible.

“I would urge anyone who has ever thought about speaking to police about sexual abuse, to come forward. We are here to help you.

“If you want to speak to me about this case in particular, please don’t hesitate to contact us."

Survivors of sexual abuse can also speak to the NSPCC 24 hours a day on 0808 800 5000 and more information can be found on their website:… 

Counselling services and support for victims of sexual abuse can also be found here: 

Neil Harris will be sentenced on Tuesday 7 April and remains on the sex offenders register for life. He has also been put on a sexual harm prevention order, which restricts his contact with anyone under the age of 16.

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