An Isle of Wight man has been jailed for 10 years for sexually abusing a child and being found in possession of thousands of indecent images.
Michael Anthony Henderson, 32, of Ventnor, came to officers’ attention after accounts he was using on online forums to discuss child abuse were identified.
Hampshire Constabulary’s Internet Child Abuse Team carried out an investigation, which led to the seizure of a number of devices, including laptops, phones and a kindle, that had inappropriate content on them.
Isle of Wight Crown Court heard Henderson was found to have a large number of indecent images on these devices, many of which had been accessed on the internet. Also among the images were a number which showed Henderson engaging in the sexual abuse of a child and Police worked hard to identify the victim and provide support to them and their family.
Henderson was charged with 4 counts of sexual assault on a child, 5 of taking indecent images of a child, 3 of distribution of indecent images, 4 of possession of indecent images, 1 of possession of prohibited images of children and 1 of possession of extreme pornography – 18 charges in total.
He pleaded guilty to the 3 counts of distribution of indecent images, 4 of possession of indecent images, 1 of possession of prohibited images of children and 1 of possession of extreme pornography.
Following a trial, Henderson was convicted of the 4 counts of sexual assault on a child and 5 of taking indecent images of a child.
Appearing at Isle of Wight Crown Court for sentencing last Friday (15th January), Henderson was jailed for a period of 10 years.
Investigating officer DS Claire Lyons said:
“The images found on Henderson’s devices are unquestionably amongst the worst I have seen while working within the Internet Child Abuse Team, and this sentence takes a dangerous offender off the streets.
“The sexual abuse of children causes unfathomable damage, and I hope that this sentence provides some justice for the victim and their family, who will continue to receive support from partner services.
“We take all reports of sexual assault extremely seriously, and will do everything in our power to bring those responsible to justice.
“It is so important to us that people have the confidence to report these incidents to us, whether they have happened to you or somebody you know. It is also important to us that survivors and their families are provided with the support they need, and we work in partnership with other organisations to ensure this happens”.