September 2008

Ilkeston man jailed for sexually assaulting child with learning difficulties

A 23-YEAR-OLD man who sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl had more than 200 indecent images of children stored on his home computer.

Mark Henson’s computer was seized from his home in Ilkeston after the girl’s mother reported the assault to police.

Henson, of Shaw Street West, was jailed for 25 months and was told his name would be put on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

Sentencing Henson, Judge David Price also told him he would not be able to work with children on his release from prison.

Derby Crown Court heard that Henson had sexually assaulted the girl at his flat on June 29 last year.

Mark Van Der Zwart, prosecuting, said it was not clear what sexual activity had taken place but the DNA of Henson had been found on her underwear.

He said: “When the girl got home that night, on questioning by her mother, it was plain that something inappropriate had happened.

“The mother said her daughter was angry, upset and aggressive and had tried to harm herself with a pair of scissors following the incident.”

Henson told police the girl had been jumping on him and had been trying to kiss him.

Mr Van Der Zwart said 237 different indecent images of children were found on Henson’s computer, including girls and boys engaging in sexual activity.

The images had been created on June 27, last year, but had been “manipulated” on the day of the assault, which was two days later.

The court was told Henson had used someone else’s computer to display the images and taken photographs of them with his mobile phone. He had then sent these images to his computer at home.

Clive Stockwell, defending Henson, said: “He struggles to come to terms with his wrongdoing.

“I know he has struggled to explain it to family members. While he has been in custody, he has properly engaged himself on the sexual offending treatment programme. He realises that there is something that needs addressing.”

Henson admitted sexually assaulting a child under the age of 13 and five charges of having indecent images of a child.

Judge Price said: “I don’t find you a dangerous offender but this offence of assault on a child is so serious, I must send you to prison.”

He added: “You knew she was a vulnerable child and was clearly upset and frightened by what happened to her.”