April 2021

Toddler rape vid paedophile says guilt “eating him alive”

Michael Hollywood

A paedophile caught with videos of toddlers being raped was spared jail after he said his guilt was “eating him alive”.

Michael Hollywood, 49, downloaded horrifying files, which showed “very young” children in nappies “distraught and crying”.

But he walked free from court after a judge accepted his “extreme remorse” and said his response since was “commendable”.

Police acting on intelligence raided Hollywood’s home, in Heathgate Avenue, Speke, and seized his phone on February 11 last year.

Liverpool Crown Court heard when cautioned, he replied: “I can’t tell you why I’ve done what I’ve done, one thing leads to another.”

Police found 72 Category A – the most serious category showing child rape – plus 27 Category B and 16 Category C indecent images of children on the device.

Zahra Baqri, prosecuting, said the 115 files were downloaded between February 7 and February 10 and included 104 videos.

Ms Baqri said 33 of the images came from Kik Messenger and the remaining 82 from cloud storage platform Mega.

Hollywood, formerly of Wallasey, was voluntarily interviewed on August 12, when he accepted the phone was his.

Ms Baqri said: “He told the police he had started talking with an adult woman on a dating app, that the conversation was sexual in nature, with him referring to the lady as ‘dirty’, and things seemed to move on from that.”

Hollywood said they started chatting on Kik Messenger, when he found himself in a group of other people, and someone posted a link to Mega.

He accepted he clicked the link and downloaded a file containing indecent images and that he didn’t attempt to delete them.

Ms Baqri said police put to him the images were downloaded over four days, so it wasn’t clicking a link just once, but he couldn’t provide an explanation.

Hollywood, of no previous convictions, admitted three counts of downloading and one of possessing indecent images of children.

Ms Baqri said: “The age and vulnerability of some of the children should be given significant weight.”

She said: “Some videos contain very young children.

“The report gives one example of a very young child being distressed.

“The report doesn’t detail how many files in total show the child victims to be distraught and crying.”

Recorder Ainsworth handed him 10 months in jail, suspended for two years, with a 60-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement, including a sex offender programme.

He told Hollywood to sign on the Sex Offenders Register and comply with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for 10 years.