Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Nursery Worker in Child Abuse Horror; Evil Trio Used Facebook to Swap Pictures

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Nursery Worker in Child Abuse Horror; Evil Trio Used Facebook to Swap Pictures

Article excerpt

Byline: Jamie Griersona

ANURSERY worker formed part of an evil triangle of paedophiles who met on Facebook and subjected victims to a catalogue of child abuse. Vanessa George, and her two accomplices Angela Allen and Colin Blanchard, abused children as young as 12 months old and recorded their vile acts on mobile phones.

All three pleaded guilty at Bristol Crown Court yesterday to a string of chilling sexual assault offences and swapping indecent images.

George, 39, who worked at Little Ted's nursery in her home city of Plymouth at the time of the offences, has worked in childcare for nearly a decade.

But she has no previous convictions and no complaints or allegations have been made about her in the past.

She took up employment at Little Ted's in September 2006 after passing all appropriate criminal record background (CRB) checks. Further inspections of the private nursery by regulator Ofsted confirmed this, and also awarded Little Ted's a good rating for "protecting children from harm or neglect".

Devon and Cornwall Police said a serious case review (SCR) launched by children's services after George's arrest should address any questions over how she secured employment.

Last night, Children's Secretary Ed Balls said it was "hard to comprehend" how George was able to "do such terrible things to innocent children".

"My department is in regular contact with Plymouth Council who have been offering ongoing support to the staff and families," he said.

"I expect the serious case review by Plymouth's Local Safeguarding Children Board to be completed as soon as possible."

He said it was important to "do everything we can" to prevent similar abuse in the future.

The twisted trio subjected their young victims to sexual abuse involving plastic golf clubs, sex toys and toothbrushes.

They recorded the abuse on their mobiles and then swapped pictures via email using unprotected accounts, but they never met in person.

George was arrested at her home in Douglass Road, Plymouth, just after midnight on June 8. She was held following the arrest of Blanchard, 38, who was caught by police officers at Manchester Airport after a colleague found obscene pictures on a work computer. …

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