Pervert OAP Harry Hollinshead's reign of sex abuse on three young girls
A PAEDOPHILE who targeted and sexually abused young girls has been jailed for five-and-a-half years.
Pensioner Harry Hollinshead groomed his victims before sexually abusing them, Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard yesterday.
Prosecutor Rebecca Wade said the 76-year-old's three victims have been left psychologically damaged.
Miss Wade said Hollinshead sexually touched his first victim in 2002. And his second victim was just eight-years-old when Hollinshead took an indecent photograph of her and showed her the picture.
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The third victim was aged 11 when Hollinshead sent her messages asking her to send pictures of herself.
On one occasion the pensioner gave the schoolgirl his phone and told her to take photographs of herself.
Miss Wade said the behaviour escalated to physical abuse. She described how the pensioner would follow the girl behind a shed and ask her to touch his private parts. He also sexually touched her over her clothing.
Miss Wade said the most serious incident involved Hollinshead pushing the girl up against the shed and sexually assaulting her.
One of the victims reported the abuse last June.
Police seized Holinshead's laptop which was found to contain 1,534 indecent images of children. These included 1,078 at level one; 76 at level two; 137 at level three; 241 at level four and two at level five – the most serious.
Officers also found a number of extreme images and seven videos. And they found stories printed out relating to the sexual abuse of children.
Hollinshead, formerly of Meir, pleaded guilty to two charges of indecently assaulting a child under 13; three charges of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity; two offences of sexually assaulting a child under 13; taking indecent photographs of a child; five offences of making indecent photographs of a child; possessing indecent photographs of children and two charges of possessing extreme pornographic images.
Catherine O'Reilly, mitigating, said Hollinshead, who has no previous convictions, does not know why he committed the offences.
"He feels very sorry for the victims. He cannot explain why he has behaved in the manner he has," said Miss O'Reilly.
"He does wish to apologise to the victims and for any damage or hurt caused to them. He feels deeply ashamed."
Miss O'Reilly added the pensioner saved his victims the ordeal of having to give evidence at a trial.
Jailing Hollinshead, Judge Granville Styler said: "There is clear evidence of sophisticated grooming of children under the age of 13. And it was all for your own sexual gratification.
"Your offending has had a profound effect on the parents and the victims. I take the view you are a paedophile who poses a risk to young girls."
Hollinshead will be subject to a sexual offences prevention order until further notice. This will restrict him engaging in conversation with children under the age of 18 and using the internet and social networking sites.
And the pensioner will be on the sex offenders' register for life.
Detective Inspector Andy Maxfield, from Staffordshire Police's child exploitation team, said: "Hollinshead was a predator who targeted young girls. He engineered spending time alone with his victims to carry out the abuse."