A former secondary school teacher has been jailed for sexually assaulting nine young boys more than 50 years ago.

Anthony Shenton, of Church Lane in Aldenham, taught design technology and games at the former Langleybury School in Hunton Bridge between the mid-60s to the early 90s.

The 82-year-old was accused of sexually assaulting nine boys aged between 11 and 15 at the time.

On August 20, he was found guilty at St Albans Crown Court of two indecent assaults on a child, one offence of buggery and one offence of indecency with a child in the 1970s and 1980s.

He previously pleaded guilty to 15 counts – 10 counts of indecent assault and five counts of gross indecency – relating to seven of his pupils between 1968 and 1984.

The abuse happened in several different locations, including Shenton’s Abbots Langley flat and an apartment in the school grounds.

Other acts of abuse took place during after school clubs, school canoeing and skiing trips.

It was said that the sexual acts interfered with academic achievements for some victims, while others contemplated suicide.

Detective Constable Liz McGrath, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Historic Child Abuse Investigation Unit (HCAIU), said: “Shenton used his position of trust to groom and sexually exploit young boys for his own gratification. Some of the victims said their teacher acknowledged that his actions were wrong at the time, but despite this he still continued his offending.

“Though Shenton has acknowledged his guilt for some of the offences it will never make up for his depraved actions, the impact of which the victims have had to carry their whole lives. They were left confused by the advances of their teacher, who took advantage of them when they were vulnerable.

“I can only imagine the courage it has taken the victims to step forward and give evidence about what happened to them all those years ago, but their bravery has meant Shenton has finally had to face up to what he has done.

“We take all reports of sexual abuse extremely seriously in Hertfordshire and will do all we can to achieve justice for victims of this devastating crime, however much time has passed.”

Shenton was given a 15-year prison sentence following a four-day trial.

Her Honour Judge Caroline Wiggin, who sentenced Shenton, told the former teacher that he was ‘calculating and predatory’.

The judge also commended the victims’ bravery and acknowledged the significant impact that Shenton’s offending has had on them all.

DC McGrath was also awarded a commendation for the excellent victim care the investigating officer provided throughout the investigation.