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Angry scenes as 'abuse' nursery worker appears in court

A female nursery worker was jeered and spat at when she appeared in court today charged with sexual assault and making and distributing child abuse images.

Vanessa George, 39, who worked at the Little Ted's nursery in Plymouth, was remanded in custody amid angry scenes in the city's magistrates' court.

George, of Douglass Road, Plymouth, faces two counts of sexually assaulting a girl under 13 by penetration, one count of sexually assaulting a boy under 13 by touching and one count of sexually assaulting a girl under 13.

She also faces three separate counts of making, possessing and distributing indecent images of children.

George, wearing a white teeshirt and black trousers, spoke only to confirm her name and address. She entered no pleas.

She was jeered and hissed by people in the public gallery as she emerged from the steps below the dock.

As details of the charges were read, parents cried and yelled, with one man running from the court in tears.

As she was led away, a man in a red teeshirt leapt from the public gallery and spat at George.

Outside court there were more angry scenes as people shouted at the police van carrying George away.

Two men, one wearing a suit and the other wearing a red teeshirt, were taken away by police after blocking the path of the van.

A group of parents with children at the nursery, some in tears, stood together outside the rear of the court after the hearing.

Prosecutor Michael French applied for the case to be sent immediately to the crown court.

Chairman of the magistrates bench Hilary Anderson remanded George in custody. Her counsel, Geoff Parlby, made no application for bail.

George will next appear at Plymouth Crown Court on 21 September.

The court heard the charges ranged from January 2007 to this month.

Following the hearing two men were arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage, in connection with the attack on the police van.

A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall police said: "Following the remand at court this morning, damage was caused to a police van as it left the building.

"Two men, aged 22 and 31 were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and are presently in custody at Charles Cross police station."