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domenica 2 aprile 2017

Paedophile photographer sentenced for child sex abuse

An aspiring photographer who posed as a talent scout before luring teenage boys to his home has been sentenced to 10 years behind bars.

Andre Hendricks, 45, walked around the streets of Cronulla in Sydney's south, passing the fearful young boys he had sexually abused for years, before his eventual arrest.
The encounters between perpetrator and victim were uncomfortably common for Jason Gustavs, who shuddered when he saw Hendricks pass him by with another teenage boy.
On Friday Mr Gustavs sighed relief as Hendricks, who subjected him to multiple counts of abuse, was sentenced to 10 years' jail with a non-parole period of seven years.
After pleading not guilty, a jury last year convicted the South African-born former high school support officer of committing 10 child sex offences against Mr Gustavs and another boy between 2002 and 2005.
Hendricks' trial heard how he would drive around Cronulla with boys listening to rap music before taking them back to his unit to drink and smoke.
Hendricks took photographs of some boys and put on a pornographic video for one victim before subjecting him to sexual assault.
His cousin Lindsay Smith supported her relative at his sentencing hearing two weeks ago but conceded she never spoke to him about the child sex charges.
She told the Downing Centre District Court Hendricks had a very strict, religious upbringing and was a "spiritual" person who wanted to help people.
"He always has a story about a person in a situation and he has given them advice," she told the court on March 24.
"It is just his nature."
Supported by his family and wife in court, Mr Gustavs detailed the toll his abuse had on his life, damaging his relationships and teenage years.
"My good times and happy thought were taken from me the moment a grown man by the name of Andre Hendricks decided he would invite me to his home and offer me alcohol and marijuana," he said.
For several years, Mr Gustavs held on to the secret of his abuse after Hendricks made threats to hurt his family.
"I couldn't open up and talk about the sexual abuse because I was living in extreme fear," he said.
The once-promising student and athlete drifted in and out of psych wards throughout his teenage years, tormented by his experience.
His relationships with his family and friends deteriorated.
He missed momentous family occasions, fuelled an addiction to marijuana by stealing money from his parents and at one point committed armed robbery.
When he was discharged from mental health facilities, he would receive an all too familiar call from Hendricks, asking him to come over.
Mr Gustavs complied, fearing Hendricks would follow through with his threats if he didn't.
"I was even terrified he would tell people about the abuse," he said.
"I thought I was in the wrong. I was 13 and I should have known better."
Ten years later he confronted the "demons that had haunted" him for many years.
He opened up to his family about the abuse he endured and finally helped them understand why his adolescence, without warning or reason, went off the rails.
Mr Gustavs remembered how he wrote about his abuse in a letter to his family during one of his stints in hospital.
On the other side of the letter he penned a suicide note.
"I simply had enough," he said.
"I then attempted and failed suicide."
Mr Gustavs asked to be identified, even though legal provisions usually suppress the identity of child sexual assault victims, in media reporting to encourage others with experiences like his.

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