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Child abductor had offended in Australia

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 8/07/2016

A 47-year-old man who abducted and indecently assaulted a five-year-old girl in Palmerston North had previous convictions in Australia for attacking a girl of the same age 24 years earlier.

Brendan Paul Henson was jailed for eight years, with a minimum period of five years, in the High Court in Palmerston North on Friday.

In March he pleaded guilty to two charges of indecently assaulting a child under 12 and one charge of abduction for the purpose of sexual connection.

Justice David Collins said there were two incidents involving the girl he did not know in Palmerston North. On February 10 he invited her to come and sit with him in a park and indecently touched her leg before her sister intervened.

Two days later he abducted the girl when she was walking to school with her sister. He took her to a rural location where he indecently assaulted her and then dropped her on the other side of town where she was found by a member of the public.

Justice Collins said Henson had two convictions in Australia in the early 1990s for sexual offending against a five-year-old girl when she was asleep at a place he was boarding at. He was sentenced to a year and three months' imprisonment.

At the sentencing in Palmerston North members of the public yelled the sentence was weak.

Henson was being considered for preventive detention but the judge did not impose this.

Justice Collins said the previous offending was 24 years ago and there had been no re-offending in the intervening period.

Henson had a desire to address the causes of his offending and was willing to participate in a treatment programme.

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