A high-flying real estate executive who has pleaded not guilty to stealing a taxi from Sydney’s CBD while drunk and dumping it several kilometres away now claims ‘there’s more to the story’.
Brett Henson, 42, appeared in Downing Centre Court for the first time on Wednesday after he allegedly threatened a 54-year-old cab driver on Hunter Street about 9pm on Friday, November 4, before taking off with his car.
Henson was arrested after photos of the alleged incident were circulated by NSW Police and was charged with multiple offences – stealing the cab, dangerous driving and drink driving.
Outside court, lawyer Paul McGirr told Daily Mail Australia there was further footage of the incident which could help explain his client’s actions.
‘All I can say is there’s more to the story in relation to why he did what he did and there’s more footage outstanding,’ Mr McGirr said.
CCTV footage from the taxi allegedly shows Henson making off with the taxi
Police shared CCTV images of the alleged theft on social media the day of Henson’s arrest
‘I’ve asked the police to get all of the relevant footage because we only have parts of it.
‘Once I’ve read the brief and seen all of the footage it might paint a clearer picture about exactly what happened and why my client did what he did.’
Henson appeared calm as Mr McGirr – who represented former NRL star and child sex abuse offender Brett Finch – told Deputy Registrar Nicole Hoffman his client would be fighting all three charges.
Mr McGirr asked for Henson’s bail conditions – which require him to present at Waverley Police Station every Wednesday and to live at his Bronte home – be varied.
‘He is going away from December 7th to 12th,’ he told court.
‘He is technically not breaching bail your honour. He will be back before Wednesday.’
Ms Hoffman agreed to vary the bail conditions and ordered that a brief be served by January 18.
Outside court, Henson – dressed in a dark blue sweater, collared shirt underneath and blue jeans – remained silent as he walked alongside Mr McGirr.
‘Nothing to say at this stage guys,’ Mr McGirr said.
‘We will be defending all three charges.’
Henson was arrested on November 10 – the same day CCTV footage of the alleged theft was shared across police social media channels.
The taxi was allegedly abandoned about 5km east in Woollahra, where it was later found with ‘significant damage’.
It comes after Daily Mail Australia last week revealed Henson is a Senior Capital Transactions Manager for property developing giant Mirvac and owns a $3.3million house in Bronte.
Henson was spotted walking to Waverley Police Station for his weekly report last Wednesday.
Henson – who was dressed casually in shorts, a Nike t-shirt and sneakers – appeared downcast and refused to answer questions over the alleged offences.
Earlier that morning, Henson was seen chatting to a pet day-care provider outside his lavish three-storey home as she arrived to pick up his dog.
The animal wellness business charges $80-a-day for dog sitting or up to $150 per session for other services.
Henson refused to answer questions about the alleged taxi theft when approached by Daily Mail Australia
After she left, Henson strolled out of his front gate and headed to the police station, stopping occasionally to smoke cigarettes, sip on a takeaway coffee, and take calls.
Under NSW Law, drivers’ licenses are suspended immediately if they are allegedly caught operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol.
A neighbour, who wished to remain anonymous, said they were ‘shocked’ to learn about the allegations levelled at the businessman.
‘He’s a family man,’ they said.
‘He’s got three young kids and a beautiful wife. I can’t believe it.’
Property records reveal Henson snatched up a 99-year-old single-storey Bronte property for $2,425,000 in November 2019, before knocking it down to rebuild.
Henson is the owner of a multimillion dollar property in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. A 1920s build bought by Henson in 2019 for $2.4M was knocked down and replaced with the three-storey white brick home pictured above
A development permit was approved in August the following year, with a build value of $750,200 over 109 square metres.
Prior to Mirvac, it is understood Henson was already accomplished within the real estate sector – having previously worked as an executive at Westfield and Scentre Group as well as holding the title of regional property manager for Woolworths.
It remains unclear whether Henson remains employed at Mirvac after being charged.
A Mirvac spokesperson said: ‘We are unable to comment on the specifics of this issue.’