Image source, Met PoliceImage caption, Yat-Sen Chang was jailed for nine years

A former English National Ballet principal dancer who used his "fame and prestige" to sexually assault his students has been jailed.

Yat-Sen Chang, 50, attacked girls and women at the English National Ballet and Young Dancers Academy in London between December 2009 and March 2016.

Chang was previously convicted of 12 counts of sexual assault and one count of assault by penetration.

He was jailed for nine years at a hearing at Isleworth Crown Court.

Chang had joined the English National Ballet in 1993 and was a principal dancer at the company until 2011, performing in productions including The Nutcracker, Coppelia and Sleeping Beauty.

The Cuban-born star was accused of attacking four females, aged between 16 and 19 at the time, by inappropriately touching them during massages at the schools.

In victim impact statements read in court one woman revealed she had been left feeling "vulnerable and numb" by what happened to her, while another said Chang had ruined "most of my late teenage years".

"I still feel haunted, violated, shamed and humiliated," she added.

Image source, PA MediaImage caption, Chang has danced with companies in Cuba and France as well as with the English National Ballet

The trial heard the "internationally renowned" ballet dancer was "famous and revered" among his students, but he had "used his position" to target his victims.

"For his part, he trusted that his fame and his position would protect him from complaint, or from consequences of his actions," prosecutor Joel Smith said.

During sentencing, Judge Edward Connell told Chang he had first used his "fame and prestige in the ballet world to abuse young women", and then became "emboldened when the young women did not report your conduct".

"Your offending has had a profound impact on all your victims and you have demonstrated no remorse for your appalling behaviour," he said.

Chang had denied the charges, describing himself as "a hero in the ballet world" and saying he had "no idea" why the allegations were being made against him.

His barrister, Kathryn Hirst, said "he maintains that he is not guilty in these matters" but "accepts the jurors' verdicts".

The dancer, who had been living in the German port city of Kiel during the trial, was found not guilty of one count of assault by penetration.