A paedophile who worked as a music teacher in a Beddington church used his position to prey on young boys and lure them into sexual relationships with him.

Andrew Simon Wilson, 57, was jailed at Lewes Crown Court today (February 15) after being put on trial for 19 offences - 16 of them against three youngsters aged between nine and 14.

He was found guilty of the crimes which were committed in south London, West Sussex and Germany from the mid-1980s up until 2011.

Wilson, of Norwood Way, Walton-on-the-Naze in Essex, was convicted of:

- Two cases of indecent assault and two cases of gross indecency on a boy in Warnham, West Sussex, during the mid-1980s;

- Eight counts of indecent assault and two cases of gross indecency on another boy at locations in Warnham, also in the 1980s;

- One case of sexual assault and one case of meeting a child for sexual activity, which both related to another boy between 2008 and 2011, at locations in south London, as well as in Germany while on choir tours;

- And three cases of making a total of 1,366 indecent images of children.

The jury was told to return a verdict of not guilty by the judged in relation to a case of alleged indecent assault on another boy in Warnham during the mid-1980s.

The 57-year-old will be a registered sex offender for life and handed a sexual harm prevention order (SHPO), which will last until a further court order.

Wilson’s crimes in Warnham, West Sussex, occurred while he was a choirmaster at St Margaret’s Church in the village.

The others were committed in south London and Germany were when he was a choirmaster and teacher at St Mary’s Church in Beddington.

All of the indecent images he was caught with were believed to have been taken from the internet and found by police officers after they searched his home.

Wilson was jailed for 12 years at Lewes Crown Court on February 15, and his prosecution comes following an investigation by detectives from the Sussex Police Public Protection Command.

Detective Constable Gemma Nickols, of the Sussex Police Complex Abuse Unit, said: “Wilson has been a committed and highly capable musician over many years, well known in the world of all-male choirs and choral music. His criminal behaviour involved grooming certain boys in his choirs, singling them out for special treatment, flattering them with his notions of how special they were and then luring them into a sexual relationship with him.

"Our investigation started three years ago when one of his Warnham victims contacted us via the recently established Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) and we subsequently traced the other two victims.

"We arrested and first interviewed Wilson in September that year, but he denied any wrongdoing and has done so throughout the trial.

"This meant that all three victims had to give their evidence and were subject to cross-examination. We very much admire their courage and fortitude in coming forward, and in supporting the prosecution throughout."

Sussex Police have since stressed that there are no safeguarding issues in relation to the case, and that officers have had “full co-operation” from the Dioceses of Chichester and Southwark.