David Wilson Henty was a qualified psychologist who was employed as a guidance counsellor in two Tasmanian schools located in Launceston.  

In 2005, David Henty was found guilty of five counts of indecent assault. The Tasmanian Criminal Court had found that David Henty assaulted four boys over a 29 year period from around 1970 to around 1999 whilst he was working in two schools in Launceston, Tasmania (one being Prospect High School). The survivors, who were all aged between 11 and 14 years old at the time of the abuse, were abused by David Henty during arranged ‘treatment sessions’. The presiding judge in the criminal court hearing described David Henty’s conduct as a “very serious breach of trust over a very long period”. David Henty was sentenced to six months jail.  

The offences committed by David Henty included: 

  • In 1972, it was reported that David Henty rubbed the groin of a Grade 6 boy who was suffering from speech difficulties;  

  • In 1993, it was reported that David Henty placed his hand close to the groin of a Grade 8 student;  

  • In 1994, it was reported that David Henty placed his hand on a boy’s inner thigh, close to his testicles; and  

  • In 1999, it was reported that David Henty inserted his hand down the pants of a Grade 5 boy, between the boy’s trousers and his underpants, and touched him in his penis area. 

The Tasmanian Criminal Court heard that the Tasmanian Department of Education had investigated David Henty in the mid 1990s and, on two occasions, had warned David Henty to stop touching children. The Tasmanian Department of Education did not remove David Henty from his position, despite the investigation results and history, and no further action was taken to protect students. 

David Henty is currently back living in the community. The Australian newspaper revealed that, in recent years, David Henty has promoted his services as being a ‘life coach’ with skills in mental health therapy and hypnosis. When questioned, David Henty argued that this did not breach any laws or restrictions on his ability to practice as a psychologist, however, it was noted by the Australian that the thought of him practising as any form of therapist would likely alarm child abuse survivors. 

The Tasmanian Department of Education has a longstanding history of covering up and shielding paedophile teachers and/or staff, including the specific cases of Mr Darrel George Harington, Mr Anthony LeClerc, and now Mr David Wilson Henty. The Commission of Inquiry into the Tasmania Government’s Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Institutional Settings stated in its final report dated 31 August 2023 that they are “…concerned that there may still be people working with children who are the subject of child sexual abuse allegations who have not been investigated“. 

We are specialist abuse lawyers and can help you receive acknowledgement, meaningful apology and financial resolution from those institutions and systems of power that failed to protect you from harm. If you would like advice in relation to a childhood or adult sexual, physical and/or psychological/emotional abuse claim in any jurisdiction in Australia, please reach out to the author, Emily Wright, at Littles Lawyers today. 

Further Abuse Law information written by our Emily Wright can be found on our website.  

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