A former Child Youth and Family caregiver who sexually assaulted eight victims has been jailed for 22 years, with a minimum non-parole period of 10 years.

Frank Walmsley was sentenced in the High Court in Timaru.

He abused four of the eight victims while he ran a Child Youth and Family home in Oamaru between 1995 and 2000.

He abused the others when he worked as a life coach from 2005 until 2012.

One of the victims was just 10 years old.

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Crown prosecutor Andrew McRae and defence counsel Craig Ruane sought a minimum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Justice David Gendall said the children were at very vulnerable stages of their lives and susceptible to grooming.