A ‘MANIPULATIVE and controlling’ dance teacher who preyed on a 13-year-old girl has been given a three-year community order.
Stephen Plant, aged 22, who ran theatre and dance schools, met the girl in August 2009 and began showering her with gifts and sending her messages via email, text, MSN and Facebook.
They started to meet in secret and Plant repeatedly told the girl he loved her and that she should not tell anyone about their relationship.
Plant ran his own theatre and dance company in the Worksop area called Star X Dance and Drama, holding sessions at local schools. He also ran a local theatre school called SCN.
The girl told her parents about Plant’s advances after she felt their relationship was becoming increasingly inappropriate.
Det Con David Oldale, who led the investigation, said: “She knew it was wrong and this feeling grew stronger as Plant became more intense.
“It was not easy for her to tell her parents, but she knew she had to put a stop to what was going on.
“All the while, Plant was telling her to keep everything a secret and warned her his life would be ruined if anyone found out.
“As the adult in the relationship, he put an incredible amount of pressure on her to keep quiet about what he was doing.”
Plant was arrested at his home in Windsor Road, Carlton-in-Lindrick, in January. Police searched his house and took his computer away for forensic examination.
Officers searched the system’s hard drive and discovered a number of indecent images of children.
Plant was charged with 15 counts of making and possessing indecent images, as well as sexual activity with a girl between 13 and 15. He pleaded guilty at Nottingham Crown Court and will remain on the Sex Offenders’ Register indefinitely.