Nursery worker Vanessa George jailed for child sex abuse
Nursery school worker Vanessa George was today jailed for an indeterminate period for sexually abusing children in her care and swapping images of the abuse with two other paedophiles.
George will be held in custody until she is no longer considered a danger to the public. The minimum jail term she will serve is seven years.
The judge, Mr Justice John Royce, told George she was “cold” and “calculating”, as further disturbing details of her relationship with the co-accused, Colin Blanchard and Angela Allen, emerged.
Allen, 39, was also given an indeterminate sentence and was told she must serve at least five years. Blanchard is to be sentenced at a later date.
The judge added that George was “wicked” and that her actions had caused “widespread revulsion”. She had been guilty of a “massive breach of trust” and her actions had had an “immense” impact on parents of children who attended Little Ted’s nursey in Plymouth.
It was revealed that George had not provided a definitive list of the children she had abused, leaving around 30 families in limbo.
During the hearing, George put her hand up to her eyes as the facts of the case were read out in court, apparently shielding herself from the gaze of parents of potential victims and her own husband, Andrew.
Prosecutor Simon Morgan said that after meeting on the Facebook site “Are you interested?” the mother-of-two had become “besotted” with Blanchard, who lived near Rochdale, Greater Manchester.
She started to send him a steady flow of abuse images and texts.
Morgan said: “Witnesses believed her sexual boundaries had blurred. It was as if she wanted to do anything to please Blanchard.”
Blanchard was arrested at Manchester airport after an associate found indecent images of children on his computer. From there, detectives traced George and found there had been more than 1,000 contacts between the pair.
After George’s arrest, she told police: “I knew this would happen. I can’t believe what I’ve done. That family don’t know anything about it. I’m disgusted with myself. I can’t believe what I’ve done. I love children.”
She then corrected herself and said: “I love working with children,” Morgan told the court.
George admitted texting Blanchard regularly on a mobile she called her “fun” phone, adding: “It doesn’t matter what I say now. My job is gone; my family is gone.”
The judge said the evidence was “chilling” as he heard of the two discussing rape. George had joked that Blanchard was a “dirty paedo”.
On another occasion he joked back that she did not need “grooming” and that the perversion was inside her, ready to come out.
Morgan said that in police interviews, the defendants had tried to blame each other for being the main protagonists.
George told police that in February Blanchard had asked for pictures of children “as he knew where I was working”.
She said: “Immediately I knew what sort of pictures he wanted. I sent him two or three when I was changing their nappies. I knew it would make him happy. I felt disgusted but I did it anyway. It was just random – if he wanted extra pictures, I’d take them.” She said she had taken pictures of babies as it was “easier”.
Later Blanchard told George he had found another woman [Allen] who was “really dirty, filthy”, the court heard.
Defending George, Nicolas Gerasimidis said she was “caught up in a double life” where she both cared for children and was abusing them.
He claimed she got no sexual gratification from what she did.
Gerasimidis said she had “no incentive” to withold information about her victims. “The manner in which this abuse took place was in the context of a busy workplace.”
The judge told him: “You make it sound like having a cup of coffee: an activity that people would be doing every day of the week, so that they would not remember doing it.”
Both George and Allen claimed the majority of the pictures showing objects penetrating the victims were staged.
They said Blanchard had promised both of them love and attention and a future together, and had manipulated them to serve his sexual needs.
The court heard personal phones were not allowed in the nursery – George was once told off for having one – but rules had been “relaxed” because the in-house phone was unreliable.
George, of Plymouth, Devon, admitted seven sexual assaults on children and six counts of distributing and making indecent pictures of children.
Blanchard, of Smallbridge, near Rochdale, Greater Manchester, pleaded guilty to 17 child pornography counts and two sexual assaults on children. He also admitted a further charge of possessing extreme pornography.
Allen, from Nottinghamshire, pleaded guilty to four child sex assaults and one count of distributing an indecent image.