A CHURCH missionary awarded an MBE for his charity work with underprivileged youngsters is behind bars for child sex crimes.

The Reverend Craig Burrows was told by a judge: "In public you do good . . . in private, I'm afraid the picture is a different one."

Judge Tony Briggs branded Burrows, now 50, as "controlling and domineering" when he abused three girls in North Yorkshire in the 1980s.

The barrister of the disgraced former Richmond School pupil told Teesside Crown Court: "He presents as a broken man . . . he is crushed."

Burrows protested his innocence during his trial last month, but was convicted of all seven charges.

He claimed his accusers were "put up to it" as part of a bitter dispute with his ex-wife over the sale of their home.

And he boasted of establishing five charities in the Philippines - where he lived for 25 years - and carrying out disaster relief work.

Now he is starting a five-year prison sentence, will be on the sex offenders' register for life and will be stripped of his MBE.

He has also been expelled from church and banned from visiting 11 countries in south east Asia.

Judge Briggs told him: "The sentence must reflect the damage you have done to to vulnerable children left distressed and frightened.

"You thought you could get away with anything . . . it is quite clear that you have that controlling element to your character."

Burrows, who lived in Suffolk following his return to the UK, denied staying with children in dormitories in the Philippines.

He told his trial jury he obtained funding from a Christian trust to set up a school there for“rubbish tip” children and had also been funded by the Zetland Christian Centre, now called the Influence Church, in Reeth Road, Richmond.

Nigel Soppitt, mitigating, said: "The effect of the conviction is that he has lost his vocation. He has been expelled from the church. He has lost his home.

"He has lost his pride, of course, and he will be stripped of his MBE in the fullness of time. He presents as a broken man."

During the trial, a number of impressive testimonials were heard.

Mr Soppitt added: "He has the support of people from around the world. He has done everything he possibly can over the last 30 years to effectively make amends."

The court heard how Burrows's victims have all suffered troubled lives, and find it difficult to trust people and form relationships.

Judge Briggs told him he had made "comprehensive attacks" on his accusers and other victims, claiming they had made it all up.

He added: "Many have spoken very well of you, and many have written impressive things about you. That's your public side.

"Unhappily, there is a darker side. You took advantage of these children. They were vulnerable in their different ways."