A former priest who raped and sexually abused boys as young as seven has been jailed for 13 years.

Phillip Challis of Meadow Close Raynes Park was sentenced at Kingston Crown Court earlier today after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing in August.

In total the 52-year-old confessed to 17 charges of historical sexual assault, including two rapes on a child under 13, attempted rapes and sexual assaults.

The court heard police were first tipped off about Challis when the Child Abuse Investigation Team at Barnes received an allegation from a 17-year-old boy of abuse dating back to when the victim was eight.

Challis was arrested by detectives, taken into custody and subsequently charged.

Further inquiries revealed a second victim, now 29, who had first been assaulted aged seven.

Officers ascertained the offences had been committed between 1991 and 2009.

DS Tariq Farooqi, Child Abuse Investigation Team, said: “We are committed to investigating serious offences of this nature and ensuring dangerous offenders like Challis are brought to justice for their crimes.

I am pleased that the weight of evidence forced Challis to change his plea saving the victims from recounting their distressing experiences in court.

“It is entirely possible there may be further victims and I would ask anyone who wishes to report an offence to police to contact the Barnes Child Abuse Investigation Team on 020 8247 7843.”

To remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.