A BROMPTON Regis man has been jailed for 12 years for sex offences committed when he was deputy head of a cathedral school.

Ian David Charles Atkinson, 59, who denied six charges of indecent assault and two of downloading indecent images of children, was convicted by Bradford Crown Court, Yorkshire, after a six-day trial.

The court was told that several of the offences took place at Rippon Cathedral School, where Atkinson was deputy head teacher, and the remainder in Hampshire, where he also taught.

The sex offences occurred in the 1990s and 2000s and the indecent images were discovered in 2015 when police seized Atkinson’s laptop following his arrest.

In addition to the jail term, Atkinson was put on the sex offenders’ register for life and made the subject of a life-long sexual harm prevention order.

The court heard that, since the offences, Atkinson had been living in the village of Brompton Regis.

Sentencing Atkinson, Judge David Hatton QC told him: “The boys trusted you. You gained their respect. You were in a position of authority.

“You cynically abused that trust with frequency and behind a facade of respectability.”

The judge added that Atkinson’s actions had brought disgrace to the teaching profession.

After the case, investigating officer Detective Constable Fiona Ayre said: “I praise the victims for having the courage to relive their ordeals in court and I hope that the outcome can help them to move forward

“I would assure any victim of such offences that they should not hesitate in coming forward to the police.”