'His main interest is spanking, not children': What YMCA boss told cops over child porn By Joe Shute, www.halifaxcourier.co.uk, September 10, 2008

A Halifax YMCA boss drooled over hundreds of child-porn pictures while he worked at the centre, a court heard.


At his laptop: Angus Henderson is now suffering terminal cancer
But Angus Henderson, 59, was spared jail after the judge was told he was suffering from terminal cancer with just months to live.

Henderson, chief executive at the Crossley Street branch for nearly three years, was nailed after a colleague spotted a file entitled Young Girls on his work computer.

On his arrest, he told officers: "This is the end of my life, isn't it?"

Police found nearly 600 horrific images and films of child abuse on computers at Henderson's work and home, along with CDs he made himself.

The former Halifax Street Angel and YMCA pantomine performer viewed the abuse of children as young as three. More than 100 images were judged level five the worst possible.

Judge Paul Hoffman told him: "To think you were in the YMCA and responsible for the young and very young, it is a disgusting picture to think of you at work, drooling over these images.

"It is absolutely shocking that a man with such an obsession as you was in such a job."

The judge told Henderson, who is married and was supported in court by his son and son-in-law: "Normally you would go immediately to prison but you will leave this court an ashamed, disgraced and very fortunate man."

Henderson, who has throat and liver cancer, was given a year's jail, suspended for two years, and banned from working with children. Kama Melly, prosecuting, said Henderson was caught by YMCA general manager Andrew Thomas who found the files on Henderson's work laptop.

Police, fearing children at the centre were involved, swooped on Henderson and he stepped down from his post.

Miss Melly detailed 11 counts of possessing indecent images of children, many of whom were under 10 and clearly in pain.

Alan Taylor, for Henderson, of South Hiendley, Barnsley, said his client was obsessed with spanking rather than children and had countless other perverted images of adults as well. Mr Taylor said: "His main interest is spanking, not children, but these children have been abused and he needs help for his perversion.

"He has harboured this for years but otherwise is a respectable and hard-working man of the community."

Henderson admitted 11 counts of possessing indecent images at an earlier hearing. Outside Leeds Crown Court, Det Con John Higgins, a specialist child-protection officer, said: "When we first got the call we obviously had to ensure the images were not to do with any child who had come into contact with Henderson.

"It was a great relief when we discovered it hadn't. But someone, somewhere, has been abused in each of these images."

Halifax YMCA said Henderson had passed criminal record checks and following his arrest they appointed a child-protection officer.

Cyril Love, acting chief executive of Halifax YMCA, said: "Halifax YMCA has taken this incident very seriously and has put a number of steps in place to reduce the risk of something like this occurring again.

"One of those steps is to appoint a child-protection officer. This is in addition to procedures already in place.

"We are satisfied we have taken steps to ensure no child or young person who takes part in any of our activities is at risk.

"I'd like to thank everyone for their messages of support for the YMCA during this difficult time."



Return to Front page