A retired teacher who groomed and sexually abused young boys at a private school has been jailed for eight years.

Christopher Jarvis, 70, tempted youngsters at the now-defunct St Peter's Preparatory School in Seaford with chocolate before assaulting them in his room.

Describing his actions as a “gross breach of trust” Judge Guy Anthony told how his victims had struggled with “life-long problems”.

He said: "Sadly it shows that there were two sides to your character and sadly it's the darker side that brings you here today."

Jarvis, of Dukes Drive, Eastbourne, taught at the school - whose alumni include Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Falklands hero Colonel Herbert Jones - between 1962 and 1980.

Hove Crown Court heard he would invite pupils to his room and projector room where he handed out chocolate bars and pornographic magazines before sexually assaulting them.

Jarvis targeted ten boys aged ten to 14 up until 1976 before joining Bede's Prep School, in Eastbourne, in 1982.

He remained at the exclusive independent school until allegations about his conduct at St Peter's came to light in October 2012.

A spokeswoman for Bede's said: “We suspended him immediately and shortly after terminated his employment.”

She added there was no suggestion of wrongdoing at the school.

Hugo Binney, a student at St Peter's between 1968 and 1974, was in court for the sentencing.

The 53-year-old said his former teacher “deserved” the sentence for his “disgusting” crimes.

He added: “I take no great pleasure in seeing him sent down but he deserves it.

“I remember him as a very good teacher. He had a good sense of humour and very supportive.

“I spoke to him on Friday and he was resigned to the fact he was going to prison.

“I hope this provides some form of closure for the victims and I hope he thinks about what he has done.”

He added: “One thing this points out is that no matter how long ago crimes are committed, they will catch up with you. This should be a warning.”

Detective Constable Hannah Elmer, of Sussex Police, described the case as “complex” and “distressing”.

She added: “Each victim showed great courage in coming forward and re-living events which had occurred many years before.”

Judge Anthony handed him eight years for the 14 offences of indecent assault and gross indecency.

He is also banned from working with children on his release.

Three of his victims were in court on Friday but did not return for sentencing yesterday.

Speaking last week they said they were “pleased” justice had been done.