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Computer technician sentenced for child exploitation offences

Convicted child exploitation offender Andrew David Henderson, 44, was sentenced by the Victorian County Court  to 8 years’ and 9 months’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to child pornography offences and failing to comply with reporting conditions under the Sex Offenders Registration Act (Vic) 2004.

Henderson had earlier pleaded guilty to possessing, accessing, making available and promoting his collection of child pornography material. He also admitted he had been involved with a community church in Melbourne and through that involvement having contact with children—and had in fact attended a church youth camp with 32 of the children in April 2016—despite being on the Sex Offender Register for life, which restricted his employment and contact with children.

Henderson was on the Sex Offender Register because of a previous conviction.  Being on the Sex Offender Register also meant Henderson was obliged to report to police within seven days any changes of circumstances relating to internet use, which he failed to do.

Henderson was originally referred for investigation to Victoria Police by the Joint Anti Child Exploitation Taskforce after his email was linked to an international child exploitation website. A month later, in December 2015, the Victoria Police executed a search warrant on his home and found 73,755 child sex abuse images and videos on storage devices.

A computer technician, Henderson told police that he “traded” child pornography images with others via password protected folders where he shared files of children aged between 3–12 years old.  Henderson admitted that he made available child pornography he possessed to others, in return for child pornography material he wanted from others.  Henderson was charged with possessing, promoting and making available child pornography.

While on bail for these offences in June 2016 , Victoria Police discovered Henderson had a Facebook account and a mobile phone. As a result they executed a second search warrant on his home, where they discovered his phone, desktop tower and a document connecting him to a Melbourne city church—where he had been involved for eight weeks as a volunteer and had helped record a video of a guest speaker.

Henderson had not disclosed to anyone in the church that he had charges pending.

Andrew David Henderson was charged with:

  •  possess, promote, make available and access child pornography material contrary to the Criminal Code (Cth).
  •  failure to comply with Sex Offender Register reporting obligations, furnishing false information and engaging in child related employment contrary to the Sex Offenders Registration Act (Vic.) 2004.

Henderson was sentenced to  8 years’ and 9 months’  imprisonment with a minimum term of 6 years and 6 months and be eligible for parole in 2022.

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