The judge added: “These vulnerable young boys were entrusted to your care and what you did was a gross abuse of the trust placed in you as a teacher.”
The sentencing of Denis “Chrysostom” Alexander brings to an end a long-running search for justice for his victims.
He had firmly denied abuse allegations when I confronted him in Sydney more than eight years ago.
But our BBC Scotland documentary in 2013 sparked a chain of events which led eventually to the Scottish authorities launching a complicated, disputed extradition process.
Alexander fought his extradition every step of the way, dragging out the process for as long as he possibly could.
One of his victims, Hugh Kennedy, who waived his anonymity, had said all he ever wanted was to face his abuser in court.
He finally got his wish earlier his year, when Alexander pleaded guilty to abusing him and one other boy.
The BBC is aware of other former Fort Augustus pupils allegedly abused by Alexander who did not get their day in court.
Observers of this case are clear that had it not been for the fortitude and determination of Hugh Kennedy, bearing the brunt of the public campaign to bring Alexander to justice, it may never have happened.
Today, Hugh told me he felt “empty, all in,” and hopes to start rebuilding his life.
“He hasn’t really shown any genuine remorse for what he did to me and the others. He remains the arrogant man I remember him as.
“He could have saved me and the others years of turmoil if he’d only accepted his guilt at the first opportunity.”
Alexander was a symbol of the toxic culture at the prestigious Catholic boarding school where he and other monks preyed on children, wrecking lives and abusing their position of trust.
For some former pupils, simply surviving Fort Augustus has been hard enough.
Now there is proper justice for at least a few.
Lord Burns backdated the sentence to 23 January 2017, when Alexander was placed in custody. The judge told him he would be subject to deportation.
Advocate depute Jane Farquharson QC told the court offences committed by Alexander were “a snapshot of what is believed to be wider, systemic abuse of children” within the school and its preparatory school, Carlekemp, also run by the Benedictine Order.
The prosecutor said the school was a subject of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry during 2019 and the English Benedictine Congregation accepted physical and sexual abuse of children took place. A sincere apology was tendered.
The court heard that one of Alexander’s victims had told the headteacher, but the police did not become involved.
Alexander left the school during the 1970s and stopped being a practising Benedictine monk, but remained a priest and moved to Australia.
Ms Farquharson said: “He came to the attention of the police as a result of a BBC documentary screened in the summer of 2013 called Sins of Our Fathers that focused on life within both institutions.”
The Crown Office requested his extradition in August 2016 and a warrant was issued by an Australian court in January the following year. But Alexander did not consent to his return to Scotland to face justice.
After further legal proceedings, he did not continue to fight the move and came back to the UK in January 2020.
Ms Farquharson said: “Significant delays were occasioned in bringing the accused to Scotland as a result of his opposition to the extradition process.”
Defence solicitor advocate Shahid Latif said: “He is sorry and he can do no more than he has done and that is to have pled guilty.”
He said that Alexander had been in “a stressful working environment” at the time of the offending and worked long hours, seven days a week.
Alexander watched the sentencing proceedings via a video link to prison. He was placed on the sex offenders register indefinitely.