FORMER head of Bredon School at Bushley, Colin Wheeler was sent to prison for nine months after being convicted of a sex offence against a male pupil in his care.

Wheeler, aged 43, of Pinvin, Pershore, fondled the naked teenager under the guise of measuring his body to assess his physical development, Hereford Crown Court was told.

Judge David McEvoy QC said that Wheeler had breached the trust placed in him by the victim which made a custodial sentence inevitable. He had used the boy for sexual gratification.

The judge ordered that Wheeler should register as a sex offender for 10 years.

The judge added: "You made the boy come to prove it in court, instead of admitting it to the court. You don't show any penitence at all, or contrition."

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the court Wheeler pretended to measure his body with a tape measure, twice touching his private parts.

Wheeler, the school's rugby coach, was cleared by a jury of three other indecent assaults and failed to reach verdicts on a further nine counts of indecent assault.

The judge ordered not guilty verdicts to be entered on all the counts on which the jury could not reach a verdict.

Wheeler denied all 13 charges against him during the nine-day trial and the judge earlier directed the jury to acquit him of a 14th count of indecent assault against a former pupil.

The charges involved eight male pupils who attended the boarding school where Wheeler was a master and later headmaster during the 1980s and 1990s. Wheeler claimed measurements of the boys would help track their development and focus their weight training.

When interviewed by police about the allegations, he denied grabbing any pupil in the genital area or any inappropriate behaviour.

Mark Evans QC, defending, said the Wheeler's teaching career was in utter ruins, adding: "He has devoted his whole career to this profession."