December 2017

Sex offender to spend Christmas behind bars

A sex offender who was spared jail after abusing a vulnerable young boy has been locked up at the second time of asking by top judges.

Nicholas Henshall, 44, from Macclesfield, will spend Christmas behind bars despite being allowed to walk free on a suspended sentence given to him for the offence at Liverpool Crown Court in September.

He was convicted of sexually assaulting a child, but the judge decided not to send him straight to prison.

Henshall’s lawyers said the public interest would be better served by him receiving treatment.

But the case reached London’s Appeal Court as lawyers for the Attorney General, Jeremy Wright QC, attacked the sentence as ‘unduly lenient’.

Senior judge, Lady Justice Macur, agreed with him and ordered Henshall to serve a 20-month jail term.

The least possible sentence that should have been imposed was 20 months’ immediate custody,” she ruled.

Henshall was told to report to Macclesfield police station last Thursday to begin serving his sentence.

The victim was under the age of eight and eventually plucked up courage to tell his mother about Henshall.

Henshall had a previous conviction for a sex crime, having indecently assaulted a schoolboy in the 1990s.

Lady Justice Macur, sitting with Mrs Justice Simler and Judge Peter Collier QC, said there was an element of “grooming” in his latest crime.

And a report compiled on Henshall showed he presented “a risk to the public – and particularly to children”.

“A suspended sentence was not appropriate in this case,” the judge concluded.

At the earlier Crown Court hearing, Maria Marcellus, defending Henshall, a former photographer who works in his family’s business, had argued it would not have been lenient to spare Henshall a jail sentence.

He said: “Because he still denies culpability for this offence it would serve society and the defendant greater if he was given a sex offender treatment programme rather than prison.”

Responding to his lawyer’s plea, Judge Nicholls had told Henshall: “Had you stood before me with no convictions I would have sent you to prison but these offences predate the substantial sentence you served before. Prison would not help you or protect the public.”

October 2017

Man who groomed and sexually assaulted boy spared jail

A man who groomed a young boy before sexually assaulting him has been spared jail.

Nicholas Henshall, 44, denied sexual assault of a child but was found guilty after a trial at Liverpool Crown Court.

After the incident, the boy’s mother started noticing him showing ‘behavioural difficulties’, the court heard.

Henshall, of Hawthorn Way, Macclesfield, was sentenced to 20 months in prison suspended for two years, a six month curfew and ordered to complete a sex offenders treatment programme.

Sentencing Judge Elizabeth Nicholls told Henshall she ‘could have easily’ sent him to prison but custody would not help tackle his behaviour.

She said: “It is clear you were grooming him to abuse him.

“You seized the opportunity when it was presented to you.

“Although it is one single offence it is serious.”

The court heard that in 2015 Henshall was jailed for three years after admitting to indecently assaulting a boy, one charge of possessing indecent images and nine counts of making indecent images.

At the latest hearing, Judge Nicholls said: “Had you stood before me with no convictions I would have sent you to prison but these offences predate the substantial sentence you served before. Prison would not help you or protect the public.”

May 2015

Man admits indecent assault of a child & CSA images

nick

A man has admitted the historic indecent assault of a child and possessing thousands of indecent images of children.

Nicholas Henshall, 42, of Hawthorn Way, Hurdsfield, pleaded guilty to an indecent assault in the early 1990s at Chester Crown Court this afternoon.

He also pleaded guilty to one charge of possessing indecent images and nine counts of making indecent images.

Henshall admitted having 2,933 indecent images and videos of children between October 7, 2011, and April 24, 2013.

The charges included possession of category A images, the most severe level.

Henshall was remanded in custody and will be sentenced at the same court tomorrow.

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