Man, 44, who groomed and as­saulted boy is spared jail

Macclesfield Express - - CARE HOME WORKERS SCANDAL - STU­ART GREER

AMAN 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 inde- cently 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.”

Maria Mar­cel­lus, de­fend­ing Hen­shall, a for­mer pho­tog­ra­pher who works in his fam­ily’s busi­ness, 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.

“It may seem le­nient but it wouldn’t be.

“He will do what­ever the court wants to avoid go­ing to prison again.”

‘You were groom­ing him to abuse him’

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