A Baptist church minister was jailed for eight years for sexually abusing two boys in the United States.

Reverend Robert Dando, a senior minister at Worcester Park Baptist Church, was jailed at court in Fairfax, Virginia, on Friday.

He had previously admitted four counts of sexually molesting the two young sons of family friends over a period of several years.

He sexually abused the boys between 1995 and 1999, from the ages of seven and eight.

He will serve his prison term in the United States.

County officials previously told the Fairfax County Circuit Court one of the victims said Dando molested him by touching his genitals on 50 to 60 different occasions.

Dando, from Sherbrooke Way, resigned from Worcester Park Church after he was arrested in the US in July.

He was also removed from membership of the Boy's Brigade, in which his wife, Janice, was a vice-president.

A spokesman for Worcester Park Baptist Church said: "Robert Dando (Senior Minister at Worcester Park Baptist Church from 2007 until he resigned July 2010) has been sentenced by Fairfax County Circuit Court, Virginia to eight years in total for sexually molesting two boys on visits to the USA. He will serve his prison term in the USA.

"Prior to this Robert was the Minister at Orchard Baptist Church, Bicester (1995-2006) and Grangetown BC Cardiff (1990-94) and Associate Minister, Ararat Baptist Church (1988-90)."

"Any allegations made of this nature within a Baptist Union of Great Britain church would be reported to the police and social services immediately.

"We are remembering all of those affected by this situation in our prayers at this difficult time."

Thames Valley Police are investigating Dando in relation to his time in the UK.

A Thames Valley Police spokesman said: “We are currently following a number of leads and enquiries relating to child protection issues involving Robert Dando that have occurred in the UK.”

A former magistrate in the county, Dando was understood to have been a member of the Oxfordshire Family Panel, which deals with child care and access proceedings.