Child rapist facing decades in prison

Michael Nicholls
Michael Nicholls

A sick child rapist who abused four children over more than a decade has been handed a 27 year sentence.

Michael Nicholls, 34, preyed on the children – who were all aged 10 or under – when he was homeless and sofa surfing around the Fylde Coast.

The prolific paedophile raped and sexually abused three girls and a boy, after their parents allowed him into their family homes.

Judge Christopher Cornwall branded Nicholls a danger offender, saying there was a serious risk he would strike again if he was at liberty to do so.

Nicholls will only be released from prison if the parole board deem he is no longer a danger to the public.

One of his victims broke down in court as she read a harrowing statement about being raped repeatedly by Nicholls when she was just seven years old.

The woman, who can not be named for legal reasons, said: “He came into my bedroom when I was seven years old and he took my innocence away with him.

“He ruined my childhood.”

Other victims spoke of how they struggled to trust people and form relationships through their teenage years, and had self-harmed.

During the trial Nicholls maintained he was innocent and accused his victims of lying when they took to the witness box to testify against him.

But Judge Cornwall, sentencing, said: “None of these children should feel guilty or to blame.

“The one person who should feel guilty is the one person who dismisses the whole case as lies.

“There is only one liar in this room, and that is you.”

Nicholls, of Ainsdale Road, Great Lever, Bolton has health problems, including epilepsy, asthma, depression and mobility problems.

Judge Cornwall handed him a 27 year extended sentence, made up of 20 years custody and a seven year licence.

However he will not be released until the parole board is satisfied he no longer poses a risk.