Abuse victim speaks out against sentence

Michael Hollis. Photo: Cambridgeshire police
Michael Hollis. Photo: Cambridgeshire police
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A sexual abuse victim has hit out at the sentence given to the man who ruined her childhood.

Michael Hollis (53) of Cathwaite, Paston, Peterborough, who started abusing the girl when she was just four years old, was jailed for six and a half years.

However, the victim feels the sentence should have been a minimum of eight years.

She is also urging other sufferers of historic sexual crimes to come forward as she believes her case proves they will be believed.

Discussing the verdict, the victim, who began being abused over 30 years ago, described her frustration that Hollis could be out of prison in around three years’ time.

“I can’t get over the sentence. The judge had just told him I’ve had a 30 year sentence. That’s why I feel a little bit bitter towards it,” she said.

“He only gets three years of his own hell. I would have been happy with eight to 10 years and he would come out in four.

“I just keep thinking now you’re in that prison for the next three Christmases and I hope you have a horrible time.”

The victim also described the emotional turmoil she has suffered from the abuse.

“It was a relief to speak in court. It was my turn to say what he had done. It was nerve-wracking,” she said.

“I used to drink to forget but if anything it made it worse. This has scarred me mentally, emotionally and physically.

“I was morbidly obese. I began to over-eat as I did not want boys to fancy me. I had no childhood. He made me do things no child should ever do.

“I thought if I over-ate nobody would come near me. Luckily enough I have a lovely husband who loves me for who I am.”

Having had her time in court, the victim is now hoping others who have suffered like her will know they will not be ignored if they come forward.

“It’s important for other people to know that there are people out there, that there’s support. There are steps to bring them to justice,” she added.

“I always thought it was my dirty little secret. He took away my childhood innocence. The police were amazing as were the victim support at court. They gave me the support I needed. The Oasis team at the rape crisis centre at Rivergate were absolutely amazing. I would not have done it without them.”

Factfile on Michael Hollis

Hollis was jailed for six and a half years at Peterborough Crown Court.

He was charged with seven counts of indecent assault and one of gross indecency with a child.

Hollis had denied all of the offences but was convicted following a trial.

The sentence was given by Judge Alasdair Darroch on November 13.

He told Hollis: “You have been convicted of thoroughly lewd, unpleasant and even disgusting behaviour against a small child.”