The son of child rapist William Lambert has apologised to his father's victims in the wake of his conviction last week.

Mr Lambert’s son, now 47 and a grandfather himself, has followed the horrific trial from afar and felt compelled to apologise to his father’s victims - who were also his friends when he grew up in Sutton.

The man, the former gravedigger's eldest son from his second marriage, was sickened by the reports from the trial which centred on the horrific sexual abuse of four teenage girls at St Dunstan’s Church in the mid-1980s.

He said: “I just feel I have to speak out and apologise to all the girls who were abused by my dad. I knew most of them and we grew up together - they were my friends.

“Imagine you found out 30 years later that lots of your childhood friends were abused by your father?

“I feel physically sick that he was doing what he was doing and if I had known at all I would’ve confronted him.

“My father is an evil, sick and twisted man and we had a horrific childhood full of violence and anger - I don’t really remember us having a proper Christmas.

“I was the eldest and used to get the majority of the beatings especially if I tried to protect my mum or brothers.

“I remember one time he threw me off a wall and beat the hell out of me - we were just kids but he used to punch us like we were men.

”I can still smell his stinking breath and can still see him, furious, standing over me with his fists clenched."

Lambert claimed throughout his life, to friends and family, that he was in the parachute regiment but his son poured cold water on that suggestion.

He said: “He used to have us believe he was a war hero. We were told he fought on the Suez Crisis in Egypt in the 1950s.

“But in actual fact he never really had a proper job and was always ponsing off the dole. He was such a good liar, we all fell for them.

“I have daughters myself and there is no way he will ever see them again. I honestly hope he dies in prison, hopefully alone."

Lambert will be sentenced at Croydon Crown Court on June 10.