A retired headteacher found guilty of having sexual activity with an underage boy has appealed his conviction.

John Coatman, 75, of Leyburn Gardens, Croydon, was convicted of gross indecency with a 14-year-old boy last month at the Old Bailey.

The former headteacher of St Andrew’s Church of England High School was found guilty of abusing a teenager, who was a member of a Christian youth group Coatman worked with, on August 26.

Coatman, who was honoured by the Queen for his services to young people, been due to be sentenced today.

But the hearing was adjourned indefinitely after Coatman applied to the Court of the Appeal to overturn his conviction.

Prosecutor Corinne Branwell told the Old Bailey this morning: “It’s with regret that we are here in these circumstances. It’s in the view of the counsel that in the circumstances that we are not going ahead with the sentence.

“The expedited appeal has been sent and we are yet to hear from the Court of Appeal. I feel it’s best to adjourn the sentence indefinitely.”

Judge Richard Hone agreed to adjourn the case.

Coatman did not appear in court today.

His victim told a trial last month that Coatman had made him feel “safe” and “valued” and he came to see himself as a “willing partner” in the sexual activity, which took place in the 1970s.

But the victim contacted police after the breakdown of his marriage made him “understand the reality of what happened”.

Coatman retired in 1998 after 42 years as a teacher and was awarded an MBE in 2012.