Palmerston North abduction: Girl allegedly attacked twice in one week

By Alecia Rousseau -
Brendan Paul Henson appeared today in the Palmerston North District Court on charges relating to abducting a child. Pool photo
Brendan Paul Henson appeared today in the Palmerston North District Court on charges relating to abducting a child. Pool photo

A man who allegedly abducted a Palmerston North school girl that launched a nationwide appeal by police is accused of assaulting the same child two days earlier.

Brendan Paul Henson can now be named after suppression was lifted.

He appeared today in the Palmerston North District Court on charges relating to the February 12 incident.

Mr Henson is charged with abducting a girl under 12 for sexual connection on February 12, as well as one count of indecent assault.

He faces one further charge of indecent assault on February 10.

Defence lawyer Fergus Steedman said he needed further time to review the case and was unaware of the third charge that had only been laid today.

An application for bail was withdrawn.

The five-year-old girl, who cannot be named, was snatched off Shamrock Street as she walked to school with her siblings at about 8.30am.

Police immediately launched an extensive search for the girl, including aerial support.

The victim was dropped off about two-and-a-half hours after she went missing on the other side of town near Hind Place.

Resident Bill Gilliland said he found the girl distressed and took her to a neighbours who phoned police.

The man was eventually arrested a week later in Rotorua.

Judge Gregory Ross remanded Mr Henson in custody to reappear on March 24.

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