A paedophile monk who sexually abused two boys at a Roman Catholic school and evaded capture for more than two decades has been jailed for five years.

Richard White, 66, pleaded guilty to five counts of indecent assault and two counts of gross indecency with pupils at a public school in Somerset who were under his charge in the late 1980s.

It has since been revealed that White, a Benedictine monk and geography teacher at Downside School, one of England's leading Roman Catholic schools, paid one of the boys 50p every time he sexually abused him.

Taunton crown court heard that White, of Fordingbridge, Hampshire, had been previously warned about his behaviour after he molested a 12-year-old, but instead of reporting him to the police, the abbot of the monastery attached to the school simply switched his teaching duties to older pupils.

He went on to indecently assault a second boy aged between 12 and 13 over the course of several months in 1988 and 89.

The court heard how White lured the boy into the monastery library, usually off-limits to students, as the boy had an interest in old books and maps.

It was here that White sexually touched the victim and forced him to participate in sex acts, paying him 50p pence each time.

White was discovered only after fellow pupils at the school in Stratton-on-the-Fosse near Bath in Somerset noticed he had extra pocket money to spend and he admitted how he had acquired it.

Again the police were not called when school authorities were told. White was instead dismissed and moved to monastic communities across the country in an effort to keep him away from children.

"Since then, Richard White has been through therapy, a risk assessment and has lived under restrictions. It is some consolation that he did not abuse any child during this period of restriction," Father Aidan Bellenger, abbot of Downside since 2006, told the Times.

The judge said he acknowledged there was no evidence to show White had committed any further offences beyond 1989.