A 63-year-old man has been jailed for 12 years after pleading guilty to 12 offences, including sexual offences against children.
Michael Sellings, of Horsey Lane in Yeovil, was handed the sentence at Taunton Crown Court on Friday (July 15) with the judge saying his offending had caused “absolute devastation” to his two victims. In addition to the custodial sentence, he was also given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.
Sellings pleaded guilty to 12 offences, which took place between November 2016 and June 2021, including:
- Three counts of raping a child under the age of 13
- One count of causing/inciting a girl under 13 to engage in sexual activity
- Three counts of making indecent photograph/pseudo-photographs of a child
- Three counts of taking an indecent photograph/pseudo-photograph of a child
- One count of possessing extreme pornographic images
- One count of possessing prohibited images of a child
Officers arrested Sellings following intelligence and, upon searching his home, seized 11 different items which held photos of children.
In total, the defendant had in his possession more than 7,000 images including 1,751 category A images (the most serious). Officers also uncovered 28 additional images which Sellings had taken himself of two children under the age of 13.
A victim impact statement read to the court said the victims had endured “terrible nightmares, flashbacks, and panic attacks” as they attempted to deal with all they’d been subjected to.
It said: “This will forever impact their lives. As the best outcome of this is knowing that the girls are now safe and away from him and that, in time, they will learn to cope. But this will never fix, it will never go away. He has snatched away their childhoods.”
Detective Constable Rich Glanville said: “The victims have shown remarkable courage following a very traumatic period of prolonged abuse by Michael Sellings, who had clearly groomed these young children so he could commit these horrific crimes.
“He is a dangerous sexual offender who has now been brought to justice.”