A FORMER teacher admitted sexually abusing three young boys as more potential victims came forward.

Paul Stevens, former housemaster at Abberley Hall School, near Worcester, changed many of his pleas to guilty just a day after his trial began at Worcester Crown Court.

The jury had already watched video interviews from the first victim, now an adult, about the abuse he suffered in the early 1980s.

He was due to give evidence directly before the defendant’s change of heart. Following discussions between barristers, Stevens was brought back to court to face the 29 counts which ran between January 1, 1983 and March 22, 1991.

He admitted five counts of indecency with a child and 10 indecent assaults against boys. The abuse 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.

After Stevens admitted the offences, judge Andrew Lockhart QC directed that the jury return unanimous guilty verdicts on those counts.

The jury was discharged from returning verdicts on the remaining 14 counts which will lie on file. The judge adjourned the case so victim personal statements and a pre-sentence report could be prepared which he said ‘will go to the issue of dangerousness.’

Judge Lockhart said: “It seems other men in the interim have come forward and have complained about conduct towards them.”

The judge said he did not want to sentence Stevens ‘piecemeal’ but for the ‘overall picture’, including for any further charges the Crown may bring.

Defence barrister Jason Aris,raised the question of bail but judge Lockhart said: “He’s going to receive a very significant custodial sentence and will start it today.”

Mr Aris asked that Stevens be given time to get his effects in order but was told by the judge: “No, I’m sorry. I consider the right of bail is not automatic after conviction. Secondly, I consider, from what I’ve heard, he’s likely to commit further offences while on bail.”

Stevens will appear again before judge Lockhart wherever he is sitting on July 5.

Following today's outcome, detective inspector Mark Walters from West Mercia Police said: "Paul Stevens held a position of trust as a teacher, a position he abused in the worst way possible by preying on vulnerable children.

"I would like to pay tribute to the victims who came forward and gave evidence against him. Thanks to their bravery, he has now been convicted of his appalling crimes and will face justice for his actions, and hopefully this will now give them some sense of closure.

"I hope this case reassures anyone who may have 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. Police will thoroughly investigate, no matter when the abuse took place. There is help and support out there, so please don't suffer in silence."

Anyone who is a victim of any sexual assault and feels they may need support can contact West Mercia's Victim Advice Line. It is a free, independent and confidential support service. People can call 0800 952 3000 or visit www.victimadviceline.org.uk and do not have to have reported the offence to the police.