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Dance school owner escapes jail after conning students out of £12,000

PUBLISHED: 10:09 17 June 2016 | UPDATED: 10:09 17 June 2016

Croydon Crown Court

Croydon Crown Court

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Alan Justice offered dance qualifications he was not authorised to provide

A Beckenham man who took more than £12,000 in college fees by offering dance teaching qualifications he was not allowed to provide has escaped jail.

Alan Justice, South Eden Park Road, was handed a 12 months suspended prison sentence and ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work.

Justice was under investigation from the Trading Standards after a complaint came from a parent of an aspiring dancer.

The parent told Trading Standards that they had paid Justice for places on the HJA Performing Arts College diploma course, believing it provided the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing teaching qualifications.

But it was revealed that the college was not able to offer these qualifications, as well a host of other qualifications the college’s website claimed it could provide.

Mother of one of the students, Mrs Christodoulides, said: “It’s not only about the money but a waste of two years of my daughters training with absolutely nothing to show for it.

“My daughter had danced with Mr Justice since the age of 13 and took many recognised exams. I had no reason to believe his college was not accredited as he claimed it was.”

Kate Lymer, executive councillor for public protection and safety, said: “The world of dance and performance is difficult enough to pursue without unscrupulous people taking advantage of parents and young hopefuls.

“We will not tolerate fraudulent business in the borough and worked with parents, students and national dance organisations to secure justice in this case.”

Justice was found guilty of 3 separate offences of fraud and six offences of engaging in an unfair commercial practice.

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