Nanny Trial: `Wild child' put nanny off job

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The Independent Online
A British woman said yesterday that she had turned down a job as nanny with the Eappen family because of the "wild" behaviour of their other child, whom she feared could hurt himself.

Catherine Blood (above) - who visited the Eappen family shortly before Louise Woodward got the job - said: "I got a strange feeling it was not right there, sort of a gut feeling."

She rejected the job even though she was desperate to get work rather than return home.

Ms Blood, from Carlisle, said baby Matthew seemed to be a "good baby", but she was unhappy about the behaviour of the family's other child, Brendan, now two-and-a-half, who bit her during the interview.

"The second child was very boisterous at the interview. While I was there I was very concerned about the safety of him. I was standing there looking around me, feeling very ill at ease.

"He bit my hand - not that that was a major big deal - but it made me realise that he had a biting problem. He came and sat on my knee and pulled my hair.

"He was basically a pretty wild child. I am used to looking after difficult children, but it was a little bit more than just naughty behaviour. I was concerned that he was going to bang into something.

"It was more than hyperactive, I thought he could do damage to himself and I was uncomfortable with looking after him," she told GMTV.

She said the parents, Debbie and Sunil Eappen, did not appear concerned about the child's behaviour, although Mrs Eappen said at one point that the boy "could be a bit of a handful".

Baby Matthew was about six months old at the time of the interview.

"He was quiet, he was sitting in a cradle, just playing with a toy. He was a good baby," Ms Blood said.

But she turned down the job because she did not think she would be happy working there, she added.

Ms Blood said that Mr and Mrs Eappen did not appear to be concerned when she said she had no experience of looking after babies.

Mrs Eappen had said she would show her "everything you need to know", she said.

Asked if she was glad she had turned down the job, she said: "Very, because this could have been me."