A PAEDOPHILE who raped a child has been jailed for 12 years.

Michael Sellings, 63, who had admitted 12 offences at a previous hearing, including sexual crimes against children, was sentenced at Taunton Crown Court on Friday (July 15).

Sellings, of Horsey Lane, Yeovil, who was also made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, was told by the judge that he had caused "absolute devastation" to his two victims.

The offences, which took place between November 2016 and June 2021, included:

  • 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, on 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 of the most serious category A images.

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 everything they had 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.”

Details of organisations which can offer help and support victims of rape and sexual abuse can be found on the This is not an Excuse website at www.thisisnotanexcuse.org