A housemaster abused his power to lure pupils into his bedroom before sexually assaulting them.

Allen Meredith, 72, of Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, subjected five boys to a series of "horrific" sexual abuse during the 1980s and 90s at two schools in Surrey and Bushey.

Meredith was employed as a housemaster at The Royal Alexandra and Albert School in Reigate in the 80s. There, he was in charge of dormitories, using his authority to get his victims into his room where he would abuse them.

Meredith later went on to work at the since closed Royal Caledonian School in Bushey, a residential home and school for Scottish orphans.

The school buildings are now home to the Purcell School.

The abuse Meredith carried out only came to light to police in 2016 after a brave victim came forward, and Detective Constable Jason Tinsey launched an investigation.

At St Albans Crown Court on Wednesday, Meredith was jailed for seven years after previously pleading guilty to four charges.

The charges were buggery of a male under the age of 14, indecent assault on boys aged under 14, indecency with or towards boys under the age of 14, and attempted indecent assault on a boy under the age of 14.

Following sentencing, DC Tinsey said: "Multiple children suffered years of abuse whilst in Meredith’s care. He took advantage of his position of trust and authority in the most horrific way imaginable, and stole the innocence of these young children.

"His victims have been incredibly brave coming forward to report what happened to them, and I hope that this result can provide them with some sense of closure, so that they can move forward after seeing their abuser bought to justice.

"I’d like to take this opportunity to stress that we take all reports of abuse seriously. We are here to bring offenders to justice, regardless of how much time has passed, and we will always support the victim throughout the investigative process."

Meredith has also been placed on the sex offenders register for life.