Man admits Palmerston North child abduction

By Alecia Rousseau -
Brendan Paul Henson is led into the dock at Palmerston North District Court. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Brendan Paul Henson is led into the dock at Palmerston North District Court. Photo / Mark Mitchell

A man has admitted abducting a 5-year-old girl as she walked to school.

Brendan Henson, 46, appearing in the Palmerston North District Court this morning where he pleaded guilty to two charges of indecent assault and one of unlawfully abducting a child under 12 for the purpose of sexual connection.

The charges state Henson indecently assaulted the victim on February 10, before abducting her on February 12 and again assaulting her.

Defense lawyer Fergus Steedman confirmed guilty pleas to all three charges and sought a remand until sentencing in May.

He also said the summary of facts was yet to be agreed upon and asked for the current version to be "sealed".

Judge Gregory Ross gave Henson his first warning under the three strikes legislation.
He said the charges now meant he was obliged to give Henson a warning about the consequences of another "serious violent" offence.

Judge Ross then remanded Henson in custody. As he was led out of the dock, a member of the victim's family shouted, "Brendon, Brendon, you f****** a******, c***."
Pre-sentence and reparation reports were also ordered.

Henson was arrested in Rotorua a week after he snatched the child off Shamrock Street about 8.30am.

An extensive search was immediately launched for the girl, whose name is suppressed. She was found 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 neighbour's house who phoned police.

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