Failed Pop Singer and Artist Jailed for Sexually Abusing Teenager in Government Building

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Failed Pop Singer and Artist Jailed for Sexually Abusing Teenager in Government Building

Stephen Beck, a 73-year-old failed pop singer and well-known painter from Bromley, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for sexually abusing a teenage boy inside Anerley Town Hall. Beck, who once claimed to have been friends with David Bowie, was convicted of 15 historic sexual offences after a trial in April.

Conviction and Sentencing

Beck, who resides on Anerley Road, was found guilty of performing a sex act on a child in the town hall, where he hosted art classes for over a decade. The abuse began when the victim was just 13 or 14 years old. The jury ruled that Beck had groomed and abused the boy, who is now in his 30s.

During the trial at Croydon Crown Court, it was revealed that Beck had taken advantage of the boy for his own sexual gratification. Judge Deborah Charles praised the victim’s bravery for coming forward in 2018 to disclose the abuse.

“You took advantage of him for your own sexual gratification,” Judge Charles told Beck. “He was young, confused, impressionable and in need of someone he could trust and look up to. You groomed him.”

Background and Impact

Beck, known in Anerley for painting shop signs and restaurant menus, launched a bid for music stardom in 1975 under the name Steve Beck. However, his quest for fame fell flat, leading him to become a freelance artist and teacher. In 2009, he won a Jack Petchey Award for his leadership with children in Bromley.

The victim, who was groomed from the age of six or seven, described how Beck manipulated him through fake affection. The abuse, which began in the summer of 2000, coincided with the Queen Mother’s 100th birthday celebrations and continued “every two to three weeks for a period of years.”

In a statement, the victim said Beck “controlled me through emotional manipulation” and called him “a dark individual who has remained hidden within the community for many years.”

Judge Charles acknowledged the profound impact of the abuse on the victim, who has struggled with mental health issues and daily functioning. The victim expressed hope for finding freedom and closure following Beck’s conviction.

Legal Proceedings

Barrister Kate Chidgey, who defended Beck, requested leniency due to his age, health issues, and previous good character before the offences. Despite these arguments, Judge Charles sentenced Beck to a combined 12 years for the abuse.

“You will serve up to two-thirds of your sentence in custody,” Judge Charles stated. “You will serve the rest on licence.”

Lifetime Restrictions

Beck will remain on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life and is subject to a lifelong Sexual Harm Prevention Order, which bans unsupervised communication with children.

Praising the victim’s courage, Judge Charles concluded: “One hopes the sentence that has just been imposed enables [him] to obtain some form of closure.”

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