Fraud victims given Olympic opportunity

Devastated young victims of a cruel Olympic fraud will now be given the chance to dance as the London 2012 torch passes through the county.

Dancers from Kilburn School of Dance who were conned into thinking they were to star in the Olympic closing ceremony will now perform in Kettering Market Place as the flame passes by.

Kettering Council offered the Wellingborough school a slot after hearing from the Telegraph how choreographer Stephen Moonesamy duped the children.

Principal Amanda Wilkins said: “None of them can understand why anybody would do something like that. The school really appreciates that the council and the Telegraph are helping us to move forward.”

A team of 25 dancers were rehearsing to perform in front of an audience of billions when their dream was revealed as a scam earlier this month.

Trained ballet dancer Moonesamy, 35, of Lowlands Close, Northampton, has been accused of four counts of fraud by false representation. A 31-year-old woman from East London was also arrested and released on police bail.

Mrs Wilkins has ditched the routine Moonesamy taught the dancers. More than a dozen of the school’s senior dancers will perform a new routine at Kettering’s Market Place.

Dance Factory in Kettering, which was also a victim of the hoax, was offered a place in the performance, but too many dancers were unavailable.

Kettering Council head of community services Valerie Hitchman said: “When we heard from the Telegraph the unfortunate news of these two dance schools we were keen to help.”

Steve Bellamy, the councillor responsible for community and culture, added: “The Olympic Games is a special event and by performing as the Olympic Torch travels through Kettering we hope to offer these talented young people a moment they will never forget.”

The torch will enter Kettering just after midday on July 2.