The victim of a perverted prep school teacher said the abuser robbed him of his innocence.

Richard Gaines, then 74, was jailed for five years and two months at Isleworth Crown Court last year after he admitted seven counts of gross indecency with a boy under-14.

The Swindon man abused six boys while working as a teacher at St Martin’s Preparatory School in Northwood, near Watford, between 1971 and 1977. He offered to teach boys sex education classes and look at pornographic magazines. He molested them, often in a cupboard.

Now, one of his victims has spoken for the first time of the horror of the abuse he faced.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said: “It remains incredibly difficult to talk about and the ordeal I’ve been through and the effect it had on me.

“For years I couldn’t bring myself to speak about what happened. Being sexualised by a man robbed me of my innocence.

"I felt angry and disgusted at what happened. I had issues trusting people and being able to make new friends or form relationships.”

The man initially reported the abuse he experienced to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, led by Prof Alexis Jay. The inquiry was set up in 2014 in the wake of revelations about Jimmy Saville’s widespread abuse of children.

The victim said: “It wasn’t until the Jay inquiry started that I could see a way of offloading what happened to me. I knew the inquiry would pass on details to the police.

“It was only after speaking to the police that the gravity of what Gaines had done started to sink in.” 

He urged other victims of sex abuse to report it. “I just hope that by speaking out others who have been abused feel that they don’t have to go through what happened to them alone.

“Issues like abuse are under the spotlight more than ever and people can be confident that others will listen to their concerns.”

The man is represented by legal firm Irwin Mitchell. The company says it is helping him to access specialist support.  

Tom Fletcher, a lawyer at the firm and a specialist in supporting survivors of abuse, said: “Once again this is another terrible case in which a person has abused their position of the trust in the worst possible way for their own gratification.

“While the crimes that Gaines carried out may have been many decades ago, the impact of his actions continue to impact upon our client today.”