A boarding school groundsman from Carlton-in-Lindrick has been jailed for 17 years for ruining the lives of two vulnerable boys who he abused more than 25 years ago.
Peter Weyman worked as a handyman at Chelfham Mill School, near Barnstaple, where he preyed on a 12-year-old pupil and groomed him with cigarettes, alcohol and gifts.
He became a father figure to the boy, but abused his trust by sexually assaulting him in his caravan, in fields and in woods.
Weyman had moved to Devon from South Yorkshire, where he had also abused a boy over more than two years.
He was jailed after both boys, now adults, wrote heart-rending impact statements detailing how the abuse had ruined their lives and caused depression, broken relationships and drink problems.
Weyman, 67, of Cleveland Close, admitted seven offences of indecency against the first victim and four against the second.
He was jailed for a total of 17 years by Judge Geoffrey Mercer QC at Exeter Crown Court. He was also put on the sex offenders’ register for life and made subject of a sexual harm prevention order which restricts any future contact with children.
He told him: “I have read the victim impact statements. I am moved by them, as anyone who heard them would be.
“You knew both boys to be vulnerable and in need of care and support and you sexually abused both of them.
“Your abuse of each has caused untold damage. Each of them says that you have quite simply ruined their lives.”
Joss Ticehurst, prosecuting, said the abuse of the first boy took place in the late 1980s in the Rotherham area and started with grooming from the age of about ten and progressed to abuse from the ages of 11 to 13.
Weyman moved to Devon after the first victim went into foster care. He lived in a caravan and worked at a farm next to Chelfham Mill School where boys were allowed to visit as reward for good behaviour.
He went on to work at the school itself and befriended the second boy who he abused from the ages of 12 to 14.
Mr Ticehurst said: ”He took advantage of the boy’s feelings of isolation and rejection. The victim saw him as a father figure.
“Taking the boy to Yorkshire demonstrated the level of influence he had come to have over his life.”
Neither victim came forward for more than 20 years.
In his victim impact statement the first victim said: “My life has been totally ruined and destroyed. I am a nervous wreck. I cannot sleep. When I think about him touching me, my flesh crawls.”
The second said: “I saw him as a father figure but he took advantage of me.
“I had to tell the police to get things sorted in my life. I don’t think he will ever know how much he has ruined my life. I will never be able to cope with what he has done.”
Katherine Goddard, defending, said Weyman was “truly sorry” for the damage he had done.
She said he had deliberately kept away from boys since 1994 and spent his time working in menial jobs in which he had no contact with children.