Vile Wigan great-grandad paedophile is finally jailed
A vile Wigan paedophile who got away with his crimes for decades is finally behind bars this week.
Harold Pollard brazenly told relatives of his victim, whom he abused from the age of eight through to 17 in the 1970s and ‘80s, that he had committed the crimes because he did not have a wife, she having left him and then later died.
This disgusting and groundless justification for his attacks cut no ice with a Bolton Crown Court jury which found the 74-year-old grandfather guilty of attempted rape and seven sexual assaults.
He had already confessed to another six sexual assaults and was also acquitted of one.
Appearing at Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester for sentencing, Pollard, a father of five from Borsdane Avenue in Hindley, was handed down a total of 12 years in prison and another further year on extended licence. The great-grandad was also made the subject of an indefinite sexual harm prevention order and must sign on the Sex Offenders’ Register for the rest of his life.
His victim, who is in her 50s and cannot be named for legal reasons, has declined to speak about the case but has authorised a relative, whom we shall call Kay, to speak to the Wigan Observer on her behalf.
She said: “The community is a safer place now that Harold Pollard is locked up. He was grooming other children and boasted about it on tape to us which was used in evidence against him.
“To many he was this portly, balding, jovial old grandad - he loved playing that character - and to our horror we discovered he had been baby sitting young children. I had to tell a woman dropping her kids off with him to get them out and explained what he was really like.
“He clearly thought he could get away with his crimes forever but he has finally got his just desserts and will, hopefully, die in prison.
“He used to tell people he didn’t need another wife after his first left him, but, perversely, it eventually became clear that that was the case because he was committing child abuse.
“Sentencing is a bitter-sweet moment though because this has caused so much suffering to his victim and family members. She had to go through the pain of a trial, sitting behind a screen and recounting all the revolting things he did.”
Kay called her relative very brave for finally coming forward to the police. She said he was an intelligent manipulator and was always around his victim, reminding her he was nearby, and doing good deeds for her which partly explained why it took so long for her to contact the authorities.
It was when the abuse was mentioned to another young relative who pushed and pushed the victim that the breakthrough came.
Kay said: “We had always known that she had been abused but not that it was by him. We were sickened and shocked and it was obvious that something needed to be done about it. She needed to be in the right mental head space before seeing this through.
“Despite justice having finally been served, she cannot get her life back. A lot of irreversible damage has been done and the family have lost their dad too, no matter what they might think of him.
“But the right thing has been done and, if he has committed crimes against any other young people, now is the time to come forward.”
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