THE head of a Worcestershire school has issued a 'heartfelt apology' after one of its former teachers was jailed for a string of sexual abuse charges against young boys.

Paul Stevens, 60, was jailed for 19 years for non-recent child sexual abuse committed while he worked at Abberley Hall School.

Will Lockett, current headmaster of Abberley Hall School, praised the courage of Stevens' victims and said the school community offered its sincere sympathy.

Stevens was jailed on Monday after being convicted of ten charges of indecent assault on a child and five charges of indecency with a child while working as a housemaster, football coach and head of maths at the school.

The abuse included masturbation, using a shampoo bottle to carry out a sex act, sexual touching and oral sex.

Mr Lockett said: “I wrote to the current and Old Abberlian school community in May 2019 to inform them of the conviction of a former member of staff, Paul Stevens, for sexual offences against children, in particular three old boys of the school between 1982 and 1991.

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“In that letter, I indicated that Stevens would be sentenced on 5 July 2019. That hearing was postponed until yesterday and I am now writing with an update. His offences were most serious and we welcome the lengthy custodial sentence he has been given.

“The courage of the victims and their families in coming forward is deeply humbling, and it is thanks to them that justice has finally been done.

“On behalf of the whole school community, I would like to re-state our sincere sympathy to Stevens’ victims and to offer a heartfelt apology to all those who have suffered as a consequence of his actions.”

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."