A Ventnor man has been jailed for ten years for sexually abusing a child and being found in possession of thousands of indecent images.
Michael Anthony Henderson, 32, came to police officers’ attention after accounts he was using on online forums to discuss child abuse were identified.
Hampshire Police’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 – which had inappropriate content on them. The 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. Officers worked to identify the victim and provide support to them and their family.
Henderson stood trial and was found guilty of four counts of sexual assault on a child and five of taking indecent images of a child. He also pleaded guilty to three counts of distribution of indecent images, four of possession of indecent images, one of possession of prohibited images of children and one of possession of extreme pornography.
Appearing at Isle of Wight Crown Court for sentencing last Friday (January 15), Henderson was jailed for ten 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.”