A FORMER teacher has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after being found guilty of child abuse.

Peter Toner, 61, was found guilty at the High Court in Glasgow of sexually abusing five children between 1979 and 1983 when he was a house master at the former St Columba’s College in Largs, Ayrshire.

Officers from Ayrshire’s Divisional Rape Investigation Unit have been conducting enquiries after receiving a complaint in October 2016.

As a result of ongoing enquiries, officers identified other victims.

Detective constable Colin Jones said: “Peter Toner took advantage of his position of authority and committed these despicable crimes.

“It takes considerable courage for people to come forward and speak to the police about such crimes and I would like to pay tribute to the victims for their bravery.

“This sentence may give them some sense of justice, but it won’t undo the harm they have experienced which has been profound and long lasting.

“I would encourage anyone who has been a victim of any sexual predator to come forward as it is never too late to report sexual abuse to us, no matter when it happened and no matter what the circumstances, they can be assured that they will receive every support from Police Scotland.”

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