POLICE are investigating a former Bicester church minister after it emerged he confessed to sexually abusing children in the UK.

Robert Dando, 46, has admitted abusing two boys in the United States and now says there are other victims in the UK.

Thames Valley Police confirmed it was investigating and appealed for information.

Between 1995 and 2006, Dando was a minister with the Orchard Baptist Fellowship – which meets at Cooper School, Bicester. He is also a former governor at Kings Meadow School, Bicester Last week, he pleaded guilty at a court in Fairfax, Virginia, to four counts of sexually molesting two young sons of family friends over several years.

Fairfax County prosecutors have also revealed Dando admitted when under questioning to touching young boys in the United Kingdom. A Thames Valley Police spokesman said: “Thames Valley Police are currently following a number of leads and inquiries relating to child protection issues involving Robert Dando that have occurred in the UK.”

Dando abused the US boys between 1995 and 1999, while visiting family friends. The abuse started when they were aged seven and eight.

He was arrested in July after one of the victims, now 21, contacted police.

He faces up to 80 years in prison when he is sentenced on January 28. Judge Robert Smith said the minimum term would be four years.

Rev Steve Barber, of the Orchard Baptist Fellowship, said: “We are deeply saddened that someone in a position of trust could harm vulnerable children in such a way.”

A former Oxfordshire parishioner of Dando said he was “a complex and troubled man” and she was shocked by the revelations.

She said: “It is very sad. I don’t understand how that could be the Robert I knew.

“He loved children and was always so good with them. He didn’t have any children of his own when I knew him but he told me he was looking forward to the patter of little feet.

“You can’t blame it on God. He gives us all a free choice. Robert knew it was wrong but he did it anyway.”

Dando, a former Banbury magistrate, who most recently lived in Surrey, resigned from Worcester Park Baptist Church after he was arrested in the United States in July.

He was also removed from membership of the Boys’ Brigade, where his wife, Janice, is a vice-president.

Anyone with information should call Det Con Mark Jenkins or Det Sgt Jon Capps on 01295 754630.