A Somerset man who raped a young girl and abused another child has been jailed after “snatching away" their childhoods.
Michael Sellings pleaded guilty to 12 offences, including three counts of raping a child under the age of 13 and one count of causing/inciting a girl under 13 to engage in sexual activity. He has been jailed for 12 years.
The eight remaining charges against the 63-year-old man related to more than 7,000 indecent images in his possession, including 1,751 category A images - those deemed to be of the most serious nature.
Handing down the sentence at Taunton Crown Court on Friday (July 15), a judge said Sellings, of Horsey Lane in Yeovil, had caused “absolute devastation” to his two victims.
He had previously entered a guilty plea to the offences which took place between November 2016 and June 2021.
A victim impact statement read to the court said the victims had endured “terrible nightmares, flashbacks and panic attacks”.
It went on to add: “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.”
Sellings was arrested following intelligence given to officers who then searched his home, seizing 11 different items which held photos of children.
Among the images in his possession were 28 of Sellings with two children under the age of 13.
Detective Constable Rich Glanville, of Avon and Somerset Police, 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."