Convicted paedophile Robert Best, a Christian Brother, has pleaded guilty to more cases of child sexual abuse dating back nearly 50 years.

Best, 75, appeared via video link in the Melbourne Magistrates Court from Ararat Prison were he is serving a sentence for child abuse.

He has now admitted to abusing 15 boys between January 1968 and October 1988, at Box Hill, Geelong and Ballarat.

Dressed in a green prison jumper, Best sat still, blinking slowly before he pleaded guilty to 22 offences including indecent assault and false imprisonment.

Lawyers informed the court 17 other charges against him had been dropped as the matter had been resolved in a guilty plea.

Best is currently serving a prison sentence of 14 years and nine months for sexual crimes against 11 boys aged between eight and 11 years at Ballarat, Box Hill and Geelong over the same period.

The Catholic Church spent nearly $1 million defending Best in that trial.

In a statement, the Christian Brothers Oceania Province issued an unreserved apology to Best’s victims.

“These crimes to which he has pleaded guilty to represent a grievous betrayal of the trust,” the statement said.

“These actions have caused great pain and suffering, the effects of which continue today.

“It is of deep sorrow and enduring regret that such abuse ever occurred.” Best will face the County Court in February.