Police say Gerald Martin's victims are still suffering and will remember his 'horrendous' actions for the rest of their lives.
Cleveland Police have reacted to the conviction of Gerald Martin saying that he was a man who thought himself 'above the law.'
Undertaker Martin is facing years in prison after he was convicted at Teesside Crown Court of sexually abusing five boys over more than 20 years.
The 66-year-old, of Valley Close, Hartlepool, was convicted of seven charges of indecent assault, three charges of committing a serious sexual offence, three charges of attempting to commit the same serious sexual offence, and one charge of false imprisonment.
Following the guilty verdict, Detective Sergeant Matt Hollingsworth said: “I am pleased with the result and hope it demonstrates to other victims of sexual abuse that if you do come forward you will be taken seriously, you will be believed and there are lots of professional support organisations that we can put you in touch with which can give you any help you may need.
“This investigation has been a long and complex enquiry carried out by Cleveland Police detectives under Operation Krafft, which began when a victim came forward to police and told us how he had suffered as a child at the hands of Gerald Martin in Hartlepool.
“Through this information, police painstakingly followed the evidence, traced the victims and provided support to them and their families which has led to the successful convictions today.
“Gerald Martin was a prominent figure in Hartlepool and clearly thought he was above the law.
"I hope these convictions serve as a warning to others who may have committed similar despicable acts that they will never be safe from prosecution.
“These victims have not only suffered horrendously at the hands of Gerald Martin at the time of their abuse, but they are still suffering and will no doubt go on to remember those events for a long time to come and maybe for the rest of their lives, and to some of them this has come at a great personal cost.
“The victims and their families’ have shown great courage throughout this investigation.
"I hope the verdict goes a little way to helping them in their recovery.”