A DISGRACED award-winning ballroom dancer from Reading has been jailed for more than three years after trying to groom a policeman he thought was a teenage boy for sex.

Ray Fenton-Storey was convicted by a jury after less than three hours deliberation after they rejected his story that he wanted to warn the 14-year-old boy about sexual liaisons with older men. The 70-year-old told the jury that he himself was raped by three men when he was only 13 years old.

Fenton-Storey was jailed for three and a half years after being unanimously convicted on one count of arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence between September 30 and October 28, 2021 and one count of attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming on October 27, 2021.

During the jury's verdict, Fenton-Storey stood upright in the dock as he was convicted of arranging to meet a 14-year-old boy called "Seb" after grooming him on the dating app, Grindr.

However, the jury at Guildford Crown Court heard the "14-year-old" was actually an undercover policeman posing as a schoolboy.

The champion ballroom dancer, who was taught by dance icon the late Peggy Spencer, has tutored ballroom dancing since he was 17 years old and has an adjudicator's licence which enables him to judge world professional ballroom dancing.

Fenton-Storey qualified as a dance teacher as an associate with the International Dance Teachers Association in 1970 and with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing in 1975. He has 10 prize-winning dances to his name.

Miss Recorder Eleanor Laws told twice-married defendant that a custodial sentence was "almost inevitable", after he was convicted unanimously by a jury of child sex offences.

During the trial, father-of-four Fenton-Storey, claimed that he was raped by three men in a toilet cubicle at the age of 13 years and that he had arranged to meet "Seb" to warn him of the dangers of talking to older strangers online.

The dancer, who is now in a civil partnership, told the jury at Guildford Crown Court that he still has flash-backs about the rapists laughing when they took advantage of him.

The jury also heard of the dancer's troubled upbringing under a physically abusive military father.

From the witness stand, Fenton-Storey said: "Being in the military meant it was very strict and I had things to do. It was very regimented and could be very abusive at times."

The judge heard that Fenton-Storey chatted sexually to the "14-year-old boy" on Grindr between September 30 and October 28, 2021.

When questioned on the messaging, which began on October 1, Fenton-Storey said: "I couldn't understand why a 14-year-old was allowed on the site and what he was trying to do."

He added: "I don't meet people very often - one because I'm very fussy - and because I prefer the age group of 18 to 30 years. But not all of them prefer older gentlemen."

He added that he thought the teenager was "maybe not telling the truth", so he thought "let's see what will happen."

His defence counsel, Michael Epstein, asked the defendant if he intended to have sexual relations with the boy. Fenton-Storey replied: "Absolutely not.

"It was the usual messaging that goes back and forth between two normal guys. I had no intention of actually going through with any of that."

Prosecutor Gordon Ross also questioned the defendant and the court heard that Fenton-Storey had initiated the sexual conversation - saying he could give the "14-year-old" a "kiss, oral and anything else you want".

The court heard that Fenton-Storey asked the "boy" for "pics" and when he received one, which was the same as the boy's profile picture, he replied "very sexy."

On one occasion, the defendant told "Seb": "You know you are under age and I could get into a lot of trouble so I need your consent that this is what you want and that I didn't take advantage of you.

The ballroom dancer also asked "the boy" for "nudes."

The court heard that Fenton-Storey, from Shinfield, near Reading, Berks., had asked the boy "how big are you? I don't mind what size it is, just interested."

However, the defendant said that the question was concerning the boy's body, not his penis.

Mr Ross asked the defendant, who stood dressed in a smart grey-checkered suit during his trial, whether there was one single message to suggest that he was going to meet the boy to "warn" him.

The defendant accepted that there was not. Mr Ross suggested that it appeared that the defendant was going to meet "the boy" for sex.

Fenton-Storey replied: "It may appear that way but that was definitely not my intention."

He added: "That's your interpretation of it and I'm afraid that you've got it wrong."

During the trial, Miss Recorder Laws questioned what was the right interpretation of his messages.

The defendant replied: "It was leading and provoking questions to try to ascertain what this was all about."

The jury heard that Fenton-Storey drove 30 minutes to meet the "14-year-old boy" in Camberley, Surrey, on October 27, 2021. However, when he arrived at the location, police were waiting and arrested him.

During the trial, Mr Ross said: "You have been caught red-handed and you are trying to pull the wool over the jury's eyes.

The defendant said: "You are entitled to your opinion Sir but that is not the truth."

Miss Recorder Laws jailed Fenton-Storey for three and a half years for the two offences. There will be an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order against him as well as an indefinite notification requirement with the police and an indefinite deprivation of the mobile phone.

A victim surcharge of £190 was ordered and a collection order to be paid by June 8, 2026.