Devon

Vanessa George: Nursery abuser to be freed from prison

Vanessa George Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption Vanessa George was jailed after admitting 12 charges in 2009

A woman who was jailed for abusing children at a nursery is to be released from prison following a Parole Board review.

Vanessa George, 49, took photographs on her phone of her abusing toddlers at Little Ted's Nursery in Plymouth.

She was found guilty of abusing children in her care and swapping indecent images over the internet.

George, of Plymouth, was sentenced to a minimum of seven years when she was jailed in 2009.

A Parole Board spokesman said the review was concluded earlier this month.

He said decisions were focused on whether a prisoner would represent a "significant risk to the public after release".

"This is done with great care and public safety is the number one priority," he added.

Image caption A new pre-school facility called Greenshoots opened in place of Little Ted's Nursery in 2010

George was arrested at her home in Efford in June 2009 after images of her sexually abusing children and babies were found on a computer in Manchester.

The Plymouth Safeguarding Children Board review into abuse at Little Ted's Nursery found that a lack of formal staff supervision was partly to blame.

It concluded that the nursery "provided an ideal environment within which George could abuse" and that there was a "weak governance framework" at the private nursery with "no clear lines of accountability".

Staff became increasingly uncomfortable and worried about George's behaviour, but felt they had nowhere to go with these feelings, it said.

Plymouth Labour MP Luke Pollard said George's crimes "cannot be forgotten" and he had asked Justice Secretary David Gauke for the decision to release her to be "urgently reviewed".

Angela Allen, from Nottingham, who was sent the images, was jailed for at least five years and received an indeterminate sentence.

Colin Blanchard, from Rochdale, who forwarded the pictures to Allen after George sent them to him, was given a minimum term of nine years in 2011.

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