A former boarding school choirmaster with a “dark paedophile inclination” has been jailed for abusing four boys.
Kenneth Francis assaulted the boys while working at Widford Lodge Boarding School in Chelmsford in the 1970s.
Chelmsford Crown Court heard Francis touched boys’ genitals and told one of them: “This is our secret.”
Francis, 72, of Akasaka in Tokyo, was jailed for 12 years after being found guilty of 15 counts of indecent assault and two counts of gross indecency.
The court heard the boys were under the age of 16.
The attacks happened at the school and at Francis’s then home in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, between 1972 and 1979, with Francis giving alcohol to some of his victims.
He had kissed pupils during one-to-one lessons before touching their genitals, the court heard.
One of Francis’s victims said during the trial that he had been abused beneath the school stage then given reward stars by the choirmaster, which he told police were “for my performance under the stage”.
In a victim impact statement read to the court, one man said he “resented” being at the school.
Sentencing him, Judge David Turner QC said: “Behind the facade of competency, respectability and uprightness you hid a dark paedophile inclination which was to blight the life of those boys and leave a profound legacy of psychological damage.”
Francis must also sign the sex offenders register for life and was made subject of a 12-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order, banning him from contact with any boy under 16.