Peter Wright
Peter Wright was sentenced to 8 years in prison at Amersham Crown Court, at the age of 83Thames Valley Police

A former headteacher at a prep school attended by Nick Clegg has been sentenced to eight years' imprisonment for abusing pupils.

Peter Wright, aged 83, assaulted five pupils aged between eight and 13 between 1959 and 1970 at Caldicott Boys' Preparatory School.

The public school, in Farnham Royal, Buckinghamshire, was attended by the deputy prime minister who was joint head boy in 1980.

At Amersham Crown Court, Judge Johannah Cutts told Wright: "These offences were so serious that it is beyond question that only a custodial sentence can be justified.

"I have to sentence you for multiple offending against each of these victims.

"This was prolonged activity, the boys were groomed by a master at a school responsible for their care."

The hearing went ahead, despite the recent death of another former teacher at the same school who was due to be sentenced with Wright.

Hugh Henry, aged 82, was struck by a train in Buckinghamshire on Tuesday.

A British Transport Police spokeswoman said: "BTP officers were called to the line close to Amersham London Underground station.

Henry, from Amersham, had pleaded guilty to 11 counts of indecency with or towards a child, as well as two counts of gross indecency with a child.

Tom Perry, who was the first Caldicott complainant and a witness during the trial, said: "I think it sends a very strong message to those people who are abusers of children that you can get to the age of 83 and get eight years. I'm pleased with the sentence only for that reason."

In December, Clegg - who was not a victim of abuse - said he was appalled at the news Wright had been convicted of child sex offences.

He told the Times that he was "shocked and appalled by the gross betrayal and violation of childhood innocence shown to have taken place".

"These reports will disturb everyone, but most especially those, like myself, who were pupils at the school and were entirely unaware that such abuse was taking place.

"I can only imagine the devastating impact that such abuse must have had on the young boys who were affected. My heart goes out to them."