Ballet teacher admits abducting boy

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The Independent Online

A ballet teacher who had been accused of having sex with a 15-year-old boy today confessed to abducting the youngster.

Sarah Pirie, 27, admitted taking the child away from his legal guardians on May 22 last year, Preston Crown Court heard.

Pirie, whose current address is Marner, Luxembourg, had originally also been charged with five counts of sexual activity with the same boy between March and June of last year.

Pirie had pleaded not guilty to all charges and was due to undergo a three week trial starting today.

But after discussions between prosecution and defence barristers, only the single charge of child abduction was put to the defendant, to which she pleaded guilty.

The five charges of sexual activity with the youngster were not put to the defendant and she will not now face prosecution on those counts.

The court heard the prosecution's case depended on the "quality and credibility" of the youngster's evidence and it would be "inappropriate to maintain the allegations in respect of the other counts".

Michael Lavery, prosecuting, added: "In this case the crown came to the view that there is no realistic prospect of a conviction."

No more details were given in open court and the circumstances relating to the child abduction charge were not explained.

All the charges related to a time when Pirie, originally from Dundee, worked as a ballet teacher and choreographer in the north west of England.

Pirie, who has no previous convictions, was given bail until sentencing on January 7 on condition she does not approach the youngster again and co-operates with probation for the preparation of a pre-sentence report.

Judge Michael Byrne told the defendant: "You should understand this, because it is most important, the fact that I'm ordering a pre-sentence report in no way indicates the nature of the final sentence. All options will be available to me when I deal with this."