Abd El Hamed
Professional belly dancer Shafik Abd El Hamed raped a woman at his London home Met Police

Professional belly dancer Shafik Abd El Hamed has been jailed for 13 years for raping and sexually assaulting students during lessons.

The 30-year-old, from east London, was convicted at Snaresbrook Crown Court in December 2013 of two counts of rape, one count of causing a woman to engage in sexual activity and one count of sexual assault.

The court heard Abd El Hamed attacked the first, a 23-year-old woman, after she had attended a belly dance audition in May 2007 and was invited by the defendant to visit his studio for a second audition.

When she arrived she found the venue was actually his home.

He asked her to undress, saying he needed to check how quickly she could remove her clothes backstage before he raped her.

The second victim, aged 33, attended Abd El Hamed's address between March and July 2012 for private lessons and it was during these lessons that she alleged she was raped.

The defendant was subsequently convicted of causing her to engage in sexual activity without consent.

The third victim, aged 31, booked a dance lesson with Abd El Hamed in October 2011 ahead of a show she was taking part in. He then sexually assaulted her during that lesson.

In a police interview, Abd El Hamed denied the offences but claimed he'd had consensual sex with the second victim.

He was charged in July 2013.

Abd El Hamed was sentenced to 10 years for each of the rapes, to be served concurrently; 21 months for causing a woman to engage in sexual activity and 15 months for the sexual assault, to be served consecutively.

He was also placed on the sex offenders register for life and is now subject to a sexual offences prevention order without a time limit.

Detective constable Jacqueline Burns 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."