Lollipop man’s filthy acts on children
WARNING: Distressing content
A Perth man who worked as a lollipop man and filmed himself sexually abusing young girls has been jailed for more than 12 years.
Michael Cyril Hyde, 60, stood trial in the District Court of Western Australia charged with eight counts of child sexual abuse - including one baby - committed over the course of five years, between 2011 and 2016.
The crimes, often filmed with a handheld camera, occurred while Hyde was working as a lollipop man at a western suburbs primary school, where he had regular access to young children and would often befriend their parents.
Hyde's offences also included persistently engaging in sexual conduct with a child under 16, and producing child exploitation material.
The lollipop man's disturbing documentation of his abuses were uncovered during a raid of his home in 2016.
Investigators found almost 200 videos, produced by Hyde, as well as more than 26,000 unrelated child exploitation photos and videos, downloaded from the internet.
Hyde was found to have had four victims, the youngest of whom was a one-year-old whose mother he had befriended at his work.
His oldest victim was 12 years old.
None of Hyde's victims were compelled to testify during the trial, so the case hinged solely on several hours of videos, which were shown to the jury in a closed court.
The prosecution told the court that Hyde had made obscene comments during the videos, including one in which he asked a girl: "How much she would cost and how long he could have her for".
The father-of-one admitted making the recordings, but denied that anything about his conduct could be interpreted as sexual.
Instead, he claimed that he was simply brushing potato chip crumbs and sand off the children.
Hyde was convicted of the charges and sentence to jail time on Friday.
Judge Felicity Davis said Hyde's unwillingness to admit his guilt forced the jury to sit through confronting footage for days.
"You were unable to appreciate what was plain to everyone during your trial," Ms Davis said.
She also said there was a "high degree of perversion" and persistence involved in Hyde's crimes, considering he had been working in a position of trust in a school at the time.
"All the children were very young and they could not have been more vulnerable," she said.
Some of Hyde's offences were even found to have been committed close to other people, including the mother of one of his victims.
A detective explained that Hyde's collection of child exploitation material was some of the most graphic he had seen "in a long, long time".
According to the detective, more than 2500 of the images were in the two most severe categories, and some depicted children in very visible distress.
Hyde was sentenced to 12 years and six months imprisonment.
He has already been in custody for more than three years and will be eligible for parole after serving 10 years and six months behind bars.
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