Sentenced for rape: Belly dance teacher and famed whirling dervish made “loathsome” demands

El Hamed

El Hamed - Credit: Archant

An internationally renowned belly-dance teacher and famed ‘whirling dervish’ who humiliated and raped a pupil in his home and sexually assaulted two others has been jailed for 13 years.

Shafik Abd El Hamed, 29, invited the unsuspecting women to his flat in Warburton House, Warburton Road, South Hackney, for lessons and auditions before subjecting them to sexual acts.

One victim said she felt like “‘throwing herself out of a window” while another was forced to give up dancing which had been her favourite hobby. One woman, who thought the audition would be in a hall, was told to change in front of him so he could check how quickly she could remove her clothes backstage.

He then told her to perform a sex act on him. When she refused he became aggressive and forced her to lie down while he had sex with her.

Another terrified victim locked herself in the bathroom after he grabbed her breasts and asked her to touch his private parts and she refused.

He told his third victim to perform oral sex and when she refused he grabbed and assaulted her.

Judge Simon Freeland QC told El Hamed he had made “loathsome demands” of vulnerable women.

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“You are a demanding, controlling and manipulative character,” he said.

“There was not only breach of trust but gross intimidation to vulnerable victims.”

El Hamed was sentenced at the Old Bailey last Friday and given an indefinite sexual offences prevention order.

He maintains the sexual activity was consensual despite being found guilty by a jury last December of sexual assault, causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent and two counts of rape.

Det Con Jacqueline Burns, the investigating officer from the Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command, said: “Abd El Hamed ran a successful business and was respected in the belly dancing community, both as a performer and teacher.

“He used this to his advantage to rape and sexually assault three different women. I praise their courage in coming forward. It has been an incredibly stressful and traumatic time for them, and am pleased that Abd El Hamed has been convicted.”