A Catholic monk has been convicted of a string of sexual assaults on schoolgirls dating back 40 years.

Liam Roberts, nicknamed "Disgusting Augustine", molested the girls in Rickmansworth during the 1960s and 1970s.

Yesterday, Roberts, who is now 80 and lives in Northamptonshire, was found guilty of 14 charges of indecent assault and two charges of indecency with a child.

The court heard the former monk told his victims: "This is what you do for a man of God."

He pleaded not guilty to all the charges, telling the jury the allegations against him were "satanic"

The court heard Roberts, who was known as Brother Augustine at the time, carried out the assaults while a lay brother in a Roman Catholic religious order in Bethnal Green, East London.

The court heard he had joined the Augustinian Order of the Assumption in 1959.

Roberts also had connections to Our Lady Help of Christians Church, in Rickmansworth, where he sexually assaulted two members of the congregation.

Richard Milne, prosecuting, said his young vitims had come into contact with him when he gave them religious instruction.

One Rickmansworth victim told the jury she met him at the church in the 1970s when she was just eight years old.

She told the jury he played a game which involved hiding a pencil rubber in her clothing before he searched for it.

The game took place in a lay-by in a country lane as the pair were on their way to visit a convent.

The jury heard evidence from four victims, who had all kept quiet about their ordeals for years.

One, a woman now aged 40, came forward after watching a TV programme about the Catholic church.

Another, who is aged 48, said the offences against her began when she was just nine years old.

She told Luton crown court she named him "Disgusting Augustine".

She said: "Why I didn't tell anyone was because I was too scared. It was so well indoctrinated in us that I never said anything.

"Disgusting Augustine - that was my name for him.

“He was a horrible, horrible man who made me perform disgusting acts on him and took away my childhood.”

The court heard the abuse involved kissing the girls, fondling them and getting them to perform sex acts on him.

Judge Jeffrey Burke adjourned sentencing until April 3 so medical and sex offender reports can be prepared.

Judge Burke warned Roberts he was facing a jail term.