'Utterly appalling' - Merseyside man jailed for 'depraved' child sex offences

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A man from Merseyside has been sentenced to more than twenty years in prison for 'depraved' child sex offences.

In 2020, Merseyside Police received a report that Michael Smith had committed multiple sexual offences against a child, which had spanned a several-year period.

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Smith, 64, from Halewood, was found guilty following a trial held in January at Liverpool Crown Court, and was today (Friday 1 March) sentenced to 22 years in prison with a further year on extended licence for 20 counts of sexual offences against a child. Smith was also handed a Restraining Order and placed on the Sex Offender Register for life. Detective Constable Becky Robinson said: “The predatory behaviour displayed by Smith is utterly appalling and he will now spend years in prison for his depraved actions. His victim has showed immense courage and bravery to report the deplorable offences that Smith committed. “Despite finding the courage to come forward, Smith continued to deny the offences, which meant his victim had to endure a trial and was forced to relive the horrific experiences. Thanks to the determination and bravery of his victim, the jury saw through Smith’s lies and he will now spend a considerable amount of time behind bars for his actions.”

Michael Smith, 64, from Halewood, was jailed today, Friday 1 March, after he was found guilty of the offences following a trial held in January at Liverpool Crown Court. Image: Merseyside PoliceMichael Smith, 64, from Halewood, was jailed today, Friday 1 March, after he was found guilty of the offences following a trial held in January at Liverpool Crown Court. Image: Merseyside Police
Michael Smith, 64, from Halewood, was jailed today, Friday 1 March, after he was found guilty of the offences following a trial held in January at Liverpool Crown Court. Image: Merseyside Police | Police handout

Detective Constable Robinson added: “Our specialist Unity Team is committed to investigating any reports of a sexual offence and supporting victims through the whole investigative process so that we can prevent any further crimes of this awful nature from happening. As you can imagine for victims of such an appalling crime, the impact on them is significant and long-lasting. I hope this sentence provides some comfort in knowing they did the right thing by reporting Smith’s heinous crime to us.

“If you have experienced any form of sexual abuse, or know of a child being abused, please come forward and let us know so we can investigate. We take all such reports extremely seriously and if you can find the courage to come forward and speak to us we have specially trained officers who will treat you with sensitivity and compassion.”

How to seek support

  • If you are a child or young person suffering sexual or physical abuse, the following organisations can also provide help and support: - NSPCC – call 0808 800 5000 or e-mail [email protected]. - Childline – call 0800 1111
  • You can report rape, sexual assault and other sexual offences anonymously here: https://www.merseyside.police.uk/ro/report/rsa/alpha-v1/advice/rape-sexual-assault-and-other-sexual-offences/how-to-report-rape-sexual-assault-other-sexual-offences/
  • There is a lot of support available from specialist officers within Merseyside Police and through the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Victim Care Merseyside service delivered jointly by two registered charities.
  • In Liverpool, Sefton and Wirral, support is provided by Rape and Sexual Abuse Support (RASA) Merseyside who are available on 0151 558 1801 and, in St Helens and Knowsley, by the Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre (RASASC) Cheshire and Merseyside who can be contacted on 01925 221 546 or 0330 363 0063.