A dance teacher who appeared on Britain’s Got Talent (BGT) has today been jailed for grooming and sexually abusing an underage boy in Wales.
Christopher Gittins, 23, was sent to prison for two years and nine months after performing sex acts with the teen at nature reserves, Powis Castle at Welshpool and at a school. He will be put on the sex offenders register after the abuse, which lasted over two months in 2018, Mold Crown Court heard.
Prosecutor John Philpotts said Gittins, of Woodside, Welshpool, was arrested after the youngster’s mum went to police about her concerns, having found Facebook Messenger messages from the defendant to her son. Gittins, who had a girlfriend and appeared via video link, would message the boy ‘persistently’ when drunk, Mr Philpotts said.
The unnamed victim told the court the abuse had ‘permanently scarred me.’
His mother said in court to Gittins: ‘You groomed him and took advantage of him,’ adding that she felt ‘sick’ at the family’s nightmare but describing her son as a ‘survivor.’
Gittins appeared on BGT as part of a breakdancing Stormtrooper act. He was in the masked Boogie Storm performance troupe which came third on the show in 2016.
He was a jazz dance teacher in Welshpool when the incidents took place.
John Hedgecoe, defending, said there was ‘quite extraordinary’ delay in the case because a phone had to be examined.
Gittins had been arrested in January last year and appeared in court in March this year.
Mr Hedgecoe added: ‘He’s indicated remorse and accepted his responsibility.’
Judge Niclas Parry told Gittins – who admitted six counts of engaging in sexual activity with the child – that it was a ‘shocking’ case.
He continued: ‘What you did was to groom him into believing he was special.
‘You would call him your best friend, you would buy him gifts.
‘You clearly knew what you were intending was illegal.’
Judge Parry added that Gittins had used the boy as his ‘emotional crutch’ and sexually abused him repeatedly.
‘The impact upon your victim has been significant’, he said, branding the delay to proceedings ‘unacceptable.’
Gittins must register as a sex offender for life and a sexual harm prevention order was made.