Novcember 2020

Predatory teaching assistant and dance teacher given huge sentence

A former teaching assistant and dance instructor has been jailed for having underage sex or sexual activity with five young girls, the majority of whom he taught.

Brett Bullock, 28, also raped one of the girls on numerous occasions, forcing her into sex whenever he felt like it.

Bullock, of St Anne’s Road in Newquay, had been on trial at Truro Crown Court this week and was yesterday convicted by a jury of four counts of rape, assault by penetration and two penetrative sexual activity with a child charges.

He returned to the court to be sentenced for those offences, as well as 15 penetrative sexual activity with a child charges, two counts of sexual activity with a child, inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and two charges of making indecent images of a child. The second group of offences related to offending towards four other girls, which Bullock had already admitted.

Regarding the offences for which Bullock was on trial for, the jury was told how he met the girl at his successful dance school in Newquay and regularly engaged in sexual activity with her when she was aged just 15, including on one occasion in the Mount Wise premises he taught from.

Then, when she turned 16 and the relationship became more serious the pair started having sex. Although it was consensual at first, Bullock soon began to force her into sexual activity regardless of whether she consented or not.

Prosecuting barrister Jason Beal went through the offences against each victim one by one. He told the court how he started messaging one girl he taught dance to when she was 14 and he was in his 20s.

After meeting the girl at a park Bullock continued to message her, asking her to send naked pictures, before having sex with her at the dance centre and later his home.

Another girl met the defendant at his dance school when he was 13. When she turned 14 the defendant picked her up from school saying he needed her to sign a form. He took her to his house and once inside pulled her onto the bed, kissed her and put his finger in her vagina.

On another occasion the defendant invited her to the side room at the dance studio under the pretence they were to watch a film, locked the door and again touched her inappropriately.

Bullock met the next girl when he was a teaching assistant in west Cornwall.

He added her as a friend on Facebook and contacted her when she was 15. After a period of messaging they met up regularly and would have sex at Bullock’s house and in his van.

The victim would stay there at weekends with Bullock telling her to tell his parents she was 18.

Bullock met another 15-year-old at a Volkswagen Jamboree in Stithians. Bullock was camping near her and became friendly with her and her family.

One night she was out drinking and returned to her tent tipsy. Bullock followed her into her tent and touched her vagina after pulling her dress up. Mr Beal said Bullock knew full well how old she was as he referred to her as “little girl” over the course of the weekend.

Bullock also supplemented his sexual abuse with manipulation towards some of the victims, on occasions threatening to kill himself if they cut off contact.

Sentencing Bullock, Judge Simon Carr described the offending featured in the trial as “the systematic and long term rape” of the girl.

He said: “It is clear that in 2013, 2014 and 2015 you were a talented and charismatic dance teacher who had considerable success taking young women through dance competitions nationally and internationally.

“You abused this position in the most appalling way. It was not just sexual but a wholesale breach of trust between teacher and pupil.

“The children were at the time 14 or 15 and on every occasion you groomed them, flattered them and complimented them with the single minded determination to have sex with them despite their age.

“It wasn’t just grooming by compliment. There were outbursts of anger and controlling behaviour and threats.”

Judge Carr noted Bullock’s “complex” psychotic and psychological health decline before jailing him for 16 years, of which he must serve two thirds.