A former church elder who groomed and sexually abused two young children – before going on to download the most extreme type of indecent photos nearly 40 years later – has been jailed for four and a half years.

Alan Baker “put a stain on the development” of the two children whose lives he “blighted” during the 1970s and 80s, an Amersham Crown Court judge said as he was imprisoned today.

Now aged 78, Baker abused a position of trust as an elder at a church in Wooburn Green to “engineer” meetings with the two children, the court heard.

When his home in Altona Road, Loudwater, was searched by police in 2014 several indecent images of the most severe category were found.

Judge John Cole said Baker had edited several of the sickening videos, superimposing his own head onto the body of someone abusing children.

Several boxes and bags filled with boys’ underwear were also found at his home by officers, the court was told.

Baker pleaded guilty to four counts of indecent assault and one of possession of indecent images at an earlier court hearing. He was jailed for a total of four years for the indecent assaults and given a consecutive six month term for possessing the indecent images.

The court heard two of the counts referred to times when the defendant forced one of the boys – who at the time was aged eight or nine, while Baker was in his 40s – to perform sex acts on him. He offered the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, a box of liquorice to do this and threatened to beat him if he did not comply.

On another occasion he forced the same boy to perform a sex act on him while on a camping trip.

The court heard the boy harmed himself in a bid to force the memory of what happened out of his mind, smashing his head against a wall and knocking himself out.

Another boy was the victim of the other indecent assault, where Baker cuddled and kissed the youngster when he sat on his lap on a trip to a factory or workshop and said, “You know I love you, don’t you? You do love me, don’t you?”

The court heard Baker told police “children are beautiful” when he was interviewed last year.

Jailing Baker, Judge Cole said: “You have harboured a deeply worrying and lifelong sexual attraction towards children.

“Your victims spoke of the robbing of their childhood and the lifelong effect on their relationships your offending has had. It involved an extreme abuse of trust on extremely young children.”

He added: “I have borne in mind the moving, well expressed and appalling victim impact statements by both of these men, whose childhoods you blighted. You put a stain on their development, which has lived with them their entire lives. That is to your eternal shame.”

Baker has also been barred from having unsupervised contact with anyone under the age of 16 until further notice.