A ‘PREDATORY’ former teacher has been jailed for historic sex offences after he groomed a ‘vulnerable’ pupil with drugs and alcohol.

Anthony Preece, 75, from North Dorset, was sentenced to eight-and-a-half years in prison after being found guilty of nine counts of indecent assault and three counts of buggery involving the same boy between 1981 and 1982 in the Caerphilly area of Wales.

Cardiff Crown Court heard how the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, only summoned the courage in recent years to report the abuse following years of personal torment caused by Preece’s ‘devastating’ actions.

Preece, now of Half Acres, Sherborne, used alcohol and drugs to groom the victim, who was aged between 14 and 15, in a bid to ‘dazzle’ him and breach his trust.

'I will never forgive you for what you did to me and the devastating impact it has had on my life' - Victim's powerful words in court

Prosecutor, Andrew Davies, referred to the victim impact statement which spoke of the ‘long term psychological damage’ and ‘very dark time’ caused by Preece’s actions.

The victim said: “As a young naive boy, it was very difficult what you had done to me but looking back, I can see it has had a detrimental impact on most aspects of my life.”

He also shared his ‘shame’ about the sexual abuse and how it made ‘normal life very difficult for me and people closest to me’.

He added: “I will never forgive you for what you did to me and the devastating impact it has had on my life.”

At the height of the AIDS epidemic, the victim was 'terrified he may die of AIDS' and Preece transmitted the disease to him. The anxiety led him to miss 'a lot of opportunities to have a family' and build relationships with others.

Sentencing, Judge David Wynn Morgan, said he was 'moved by the eloquence' of the victim's words.

Preece pleaded not guilty to 12 charges, but was found guilty at the same court in July. The victim thanked the jury for seeing through Preece’s ‘lies and deceit’.

The court heard how the defendant was jailed for three years in 1992 for indecently assaulting another student.

Preece 'changed man' following previous prison sentence

Defending, Justin Gau, said Preece’s character was a ‘changed man’ after he was released from prison for a different sexual assault, and had settled down in a new area away from Wales.

Citing his time in jail, he said: “During his period of imprisonment took part in a sexual offence therapy course which has a transformative effect on him.

“He came out a changed man.

“He is a different man from the one who abused the victim over those years ago due to that programme.”

Mr Gau added the defendant was struggling with his physical and mental health. He added that people gave good character references despite knowing his history.

Preece presented himself as 'sanctimonious and hypocritical'

The judge said Preece’s abuse had a ‘profound’ impact on the victim and criticised how he took advantage of a 'vulnerable boy'.

He said: “Your victim was a vulnerable child perhaps lacking the full parental care a child is entitled to and you well knew that.

“You groomed him. You made the complainant feel special.

"You invited him into your home. You took him out in your car. You took him to meals.

“This action was malicious and predatory. It was carried out for the sole purpose of putting him in the position you could commit sexually assault him which you did through alcohol and drugs.”

Judge Morgan criticised Preece for denying his crimes, which caused the victim to recall his sexual abuse during the trial.

He said: “You portrayed him as a wicked liar. You portrayed yourself as charismatic but in fact you presented yourself to the jury as sanctimonious and hypocritical.”

Preece was sentenced to a total of eight-and-a-half years in prison and will serve two-thirds of the sentence in prison. He will register as a sex offender for life.