Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 13°C

Search

Bury St Edmunds: Murdered dance teacher had been accused of ‘brainwashing’ children

PUBLISHED: 09:35 30 August 2014 | UPDATED: 09:35 30 August 2014

Former Bury St Edmunds dance school principal Richard Scott Rogers

Former Bury St Edmunds dance school principal Richard Scott Rogers

Exclusive strictly copyright Andy Abbott

Fears children were effectively being brainwashed by Richard-Scott Rogers led Suffolk County Council to release a carefully worded statement on November 9, 1995.

How the EADT reported the story about Mr Scott-Roger's dance schoolHow the EADT reported the story about Mr Scott-Roger's dance school

Although it did not mention the specific nature of the 13 charges Mr Rogers was cleared of at Inner London Crown Court two years earlier there was no mistaking the warning.

In a subsequent rebuttal Mr Rogers admitted children had stayed at his home, but had done so with their parents’ consent.

He added parents had nothing to fear and challenged the council to conduct a full investigation.

Mr Rogers said: “If people read it (the council statement) it is an opinion. But it’s not a valid opinion”

The council was unhappy with the behaviour of children who went to the Academy of Dancing and Performing Arts which Mr Rogers had founded in Bury St Edmunds in 1983.

It said in 1993 it was concerned about the way pupils “moved their allegiance” from their parents to a “senior member” of the academy.

It also claimed the situation was “reminiscent of those cases in which parents sought to extricate a child from the influence of a religious, or supposedly religious, cult”.

After the statement was released the principal of the college Rachel Richards also disputed the claims and said Mr Richards only worked at the academy for two hours a week.

The council cryptically said at the conclusion of Mr Rogers’ court case “a number of findings and observations were made regarding the academy and the conduct of a senior member to which the local authority are not at liberty to refer”.

Classes were sometimes held in schools and sometimes elsewhere. More than 500 pupils attended the academy.

Among the schools involved were Great Cornard Middle, Thurston Upper and Mildenhall Upper. Children from RAF Lakenheath were also involved in classes.

Following the warning one mother told how she had come close to losing her daughter. She also ran a support group for 18 families who claimed their children had suffered serious problems since joining the academy.

Related articles

A man in his late 20s has been arrested on suspicion of drink-driving after he crashed his car in Ipswich.

A woman in her 30s was rushed to hospital after two men dressed in black hoodies threw a mystery liquid into her face during a “random” attack.

The family of Corrie McKeague will today be out on the streets of Bury St Edmunds talking to members of the public to mark the year anniversary of his disappearance.

As the deadline for Stars of Suffolk nominations approaches, organiser Mick Parker is looking ahead to the “emotional and wonderful” annual ceremony that brings together the county’s unsung heroes for one night of celebration.

An 18-year-old woman who went missing from her home in Essex has been found safe.

The BurySOUND music competition is looking for up and coming bands to sign up for next year’s event - as it celebrates its 20th anniversary.

Sunday’s inaugural Great East Run will see 3,000 runners tackling the half marathon course around Ipswich town centre, out to Freston and back.

Officials behind the Stars of Suffolk awards are urging people to make nominations for carer of the year.

A lorry driver has been released without charge following his arrest on suspicion of drink driving after his vehicle overturned on a roundabout just outside Ipswich.

Talented graphic design students at the University of Suffolk have put pen to paper to come up with a fresh logo for a key project on their doorstep – the Ipswich Vision.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24