A teacher convicted of child sex offences at Nick Clegg's old school escaped justice by lying down in front of an oncoming train near his home in a leafy Home Counties village.

OAP Hugh Henry, 82, was due to be sentenced on Thursday for 13 counts of sexually abusing boys at Caldicott Prep School, in offences dating back half a century.

The elite school in Buckinghamshire was attended by deputy Prime Minister Clegg for five years from 1975 - about 12 years after Henry committed the crimes.

Henry, who was once caught in bed with a schoolboy, operated within a network of abusers at the school. His suicide was branded "cowardly" by relations of his victims.

"It is incredibly cowardly of him to do this when he was due to be sentenced. I feel he's got away with it," said a relative of one victim.

Caldicott Prep Centre has been at the centre of historical sex abuse scandal. Henry was convicted of sexually abusing children along with the school's former headmaster Roland Wright. They were part of a secret paedophile ring at the school.

Deputy PM Clegg said reports of the existence of a child sex ring at Caldicott were "disturbing".

He said: "These reports will disturb everyone - but most especially those, like myself who were pupils and were entirely unaware such abuse was taking place."