A DISGRACED former mayor dying of cancer has been convicted of a string of child sex offences committed in the late 1970s.

Timothy Price, who was Devizes mayor in 2000, sexually abused a Durrinton boy repeatedly between 1974 and 1979.

Price, 57, of Waiblingen Way, Devizes, of was found guilty of four counts of indecent assault and one of indecency with a child at Salisbury Crown Court today.

The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, broke a 34-year silence when he confronted his abuser by email in August 2013.

Price, who has terminal prostate cancer, must now wait four weeks to be sentenced while medical reports are prepared.

The victim said Price had abused him “over and over and over again” from the age of nine.

Prosecuting, Andrew Houston said Price first made the boy touch him, then moved on to touching him and coercing him to engage in oral sex.

The victim tried to alert family members, but said his ordeal was so “horrendous, embarrassing and humiliating” he could not bring himself to explain the full details.

More than 30 years later in August, 2013, he emailed Price after learning of his illness, copying in members of Price's family.

In the email - entitled “Your sexual abuse of an innocent child: Me” - the victim said the abuse had haunted him for years and that he needed closure before it was too late.

Extracts from the email include: “You made my life hell by asking me and making me do things an adult should never ask a child to do.

“The nightmares are always there and never go away.

“I remember never wanting to do this and you convincing me that I should.

“It fills me with absolute revulsion.”

Price replied just over an hour later with the subject “My crimes”, in which he wrote: “I suppose I always knew this day would come.

“Of course I bitterly regret my sexual abuse of you over many years and in no way should you feel it was anyone's fault but mine.

“Of course I apologise for my crimes. I hope that helps in some way.

“You were my only victim.

“I make no excuses for my predations.

“I took advantage of you for my own depraved sexual satisfaction.”

Despite the email, which prosecutor Andrew Houston described as “a full and frank confession,” Price denied all the charges.

Defending, Stephen Dent claimed the victim was only seeking compensation, and was getting his own back on Price for bullying him as a child.

He claimed his client's email was “complete fiction” designed to tell the victim “what he wanted to hear” to stop him going to the police.

The jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict on each count.