A FORMER county teacher who abused three male victims in the 80s and 90s has been sent to prison.

Paul Stevens, 60, of Dyffryn Ardudwy, North Wales was sentenced to 19 years in jail for non-recent child sexual offences.

These were committed while he was working as a housemaster at Abberley Hall School between 1982 and 1991.

He was convicted of ten charges of indecent assault on a child and five charges of indecency with a child.

Detective inspector Mark Walters from West Mercia Police said: "Paul Stevens abused his position of trust as a teacher in the worst way possible by preying on vulnerable children.

"I would like to praise the victims who came forward and gave evidence against him. It is down to their courage and bravery that he has now been sentenced to nineteen years in prison for his despicable crimes. My hope is that today’s sentence will provide the victims with some sense of closure.

"I also hope this case reassures anyone who has been a victim of sexual abuse, either non-recent or current, that West Mercia Police is committed to providing help and support to victims and bringing offenders to justice. We will thoroughly investigate, no matter when the abuse took place. There is help and support available, so please don't suffer in silence."

In July, Stevens had his sentencing adjourned after admitting to the abuse, which included masturbation, using a shampoo bottle to carry out a sex act, sexual touching and oral sex.

Some of the counts reflected multiple incidents.

One of the victims died in 2010.