Dance mum ‘ashamed’ at lewd child photos

A mother who took “confronting” naked images of her young daughters for the sexual gratification of their dance school teacher says she became “obsessed” with furthering their careers.


“I was so caught up in this world,” the tearful mother told Downing Centre District Court on Monday.

“I’m ashamed. I’m embarrassed. I regret the pain I have caused my family.”

The woman, who cannot be named, was charged with producing and disseminating child abuse material following an investigation into alleged sexual and indecent assaults on dance students by their teacher Grant Davies.

Davies ran a studio in Sydney’s inner west and trained performers for hit productions, including Billy Elliot.

From the moment her two daughters started dancing at his studio, the mother said they were constantly photographed and filmed performing.

“Then he (Davies) started saying, ‘I don’t want them to be concerned about their bodies’,” the mother told her sentence hearing.

Although she knew it was wrong, the mother said she became “obsessed and focused totally on the girls” and Davies’ dance studio.

Over the course of almost three years the mother admitted to taking numerous photos of her daughters, some of which depicted them naked and performing lewd acts.

She would dress the girls up in specific costumes and then direct them to pose in particular ways.

In one of a series of text message exchanges read out to the court, Davies is alleged to have asked the mother on November 8, 2011 “are the girls naked”, to which she responded “how about on the weekend they do you some more special G-shots?”

When he replied “why wait?”, the mother sent sexually explicit photos half an hour later of her daughter.

“Now that has made me excited. I’m so lucky,” Davies allegedly wrote.

Psychiatrist Antony Milch said the mother thought the images would be “the factor” in promoting her daughters’ dance careers after her own had faltered when she with anorexia as a 10-year-old.

Her own failure meant she had “somewhat of an obsession” with ensuring her daughters were successful, Dr Milch said.

Describing the images as “extremely confronting and distressing”, he said “it is difficult to understand how any mother could take such images and provide them to other parties to disseminate the material.”

Judge Peter Zahra revoked the mother’s bail after the hearing, foreshadowing a jail term.

The hearing will continue later this month. She has pleaded guilty to two counts of using a child under the age of 14 for the production of child abuse material and two counts of disseminating child abuse material.

Davies is facing more than 50 charges, including child sex and child pornography offences.