Man charged over sex offences after Ballet West school investigation

Ballet West
Ballet West was a boarding school based in Argyll and Bute

By Democrat reporter

A 38-year-old man has been charged in connection with sexual offences following an investigation at a prestigious dance school.

Ballet West, a boarding school located in Taynuilt, Argyll and Bute, closed last August following allegations of sexual misconduct.

The school was established in 1991 and trained dancers to undergraduate level.

Police Scotland said the man who had been arrested was expected to appear at Oban Sheriff Court at a later date.

Detective Chief Inspector Grant Macleod said: “Police Scotland treats all reports of sexual offending with the utmost seriousness and sensitivity.

“If you have, or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, then please be assured that we will listen, we will investigate all reports and that support is available.”

Ballet West had also offered courses for dance teachers and operated associate and outreach programmes for young dancers.

In 2018, it launched its own professional touring company, employing former students for performances across the world.

It was named Best British Ballet School for 2019/20 at the British Ballet Grand Prix, an an international ballet competition for elite level dancers.

Meanwhile, police in Dunoon are continuing their inquiries to trace 34 year-old Kathleen Symons, pictured left, from Tighnabruaich, who was last seen there on Tuesday, 16 March.

Inspector Simon Shanks from Dunoon Police Station said:  “Kathleen was reported missing on Saturday, 27 March.  She has never been missing before and her family are extremely concerned for her safety and well-being.

“Since she was reported missing, we have been carrying out extensive inquiries to trace her.

“We believe that she travelled to the Blackpool area around the 17 March, and we believe that she then travelled on to the Slough area on 26 March and is still staying there. We are liaising with our police colleagues there to trace her as soon as possible.”

“I would urge Kathleen to get in touch with police to let us know that she is safe and well.  I would also ask anyone who has seen her, or who has any information on her whereabouts to contact us through 101 quoting reference number 4253 of 27 March.”

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