Nursery worker charged with sexual assault and child pornography took pictures in nursery


A nursery worker in Plymouth has been charged with making, possessing and distributing indecent images of young children and sexual assault.

Vanessa George, 39, who works at Little Ted's Day Nursery,was charged with seven offences.
Devon and Cornwall Police confirmed at a press conference this afternoon that they believed some of the indecent images of children were taken inside the nursery using a camera phone.
Ms George was arrested in the early hours of Tuesday morning by police after they received a tip-off in connection with indecent images of children being distributed via email.
In connection with the investigation, Colin Blanchard, 38, from Littleborough, near Rochdale, appeared at Trafford Magistrates Court on Tuesday charged with possessing and distributing indecent images.
The police said the images were recovered from a computer, mobile phones and other software.
Police are continuing to speak to the nursery's staff and parents. Ms George is in police custody and due to appear before magistrates in Plymouth on Thursday.
Around 100 people attended a meeting last night with representatives from the police, the nursery and children's services.
Plymouth district commander chief superintendent Jim Webster said, 'Last night's meeting was well attended by those people associated with the nursery and we took the opportunity to allay their fears where possible and also further the police investigation into the allegations.'

Computer equipment seized

The nursery was closed yesterday as police searched the premises and Ms George's home address in the Plymouth's Efford area. Items including computer equipment were seized by police.
Little Ted's nursery has two childcare units, registered for 46 children in total, and is run as a not-for-profit enterprise. The nursery, which rents rooms in Laira Green Primary School and Laira United Church, offers full daycare and a breakfast and out-of-school club. It is managed by a board of trustees.
It is understood that the police inquiry is focusing on the under-threes provision, known as Little Teds (unit 2), based at the church, which is registered for 18 children aged under three.
Police are holding a press conference at 3pm today (Wednesday).

Ofsted inspections

The unit was visited by Ofsted inspectors in February 2008. They rated the provision good in all areas. Their report said, 'Children's welfare is given high priority as staff have a good awareness of child protection issues and their recording and referral responsibilities. There is a range of documentation in place to support staff in taking appropriate action in the event of any concerns.'
Little Ted's Day Nursery, which operates from the school, was rated satisfactory overall and satisfactory at protecting children from harm or neglect and helping them stay safe, at its latest inspection in April 2007.
An Ofsted spokesperson said, 'Ofsted was unaware of the recent allegations about a member of staff at Little Ted's Nursery in Plymouth. We have had one recent complaint relating to the nursery. This is an unrelated complaint which would not require any police involvement or investigation. Ofsted is investigating this matter in line with our normal procedures and it would not be appropriate to comment further until the outcomes of that investigation are complete.'
A spokesperson from Plymouth City Council said, 'Staff at Plymouth City Council are working as part of a multidisciplinary team supporting the police investigation in the council's capacity as the lead partner for children's safeguarding in Plymouth and as a member of the Plymouth Safeguarding Children Board.
'As a private day care nursery provider it would be assessed and regulated by Ofsted and the unit's management would have a duty to ensure all staff had the appropriate CRB checks carried out.
'The council will be working closely with the police to provide support for parents of children who attend the nursery as well as the wider community.'

More updates will appear on our website as the story unfolds.

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