Nursery nurses convicted of cruelty

Two nursery nurses who repeatedly pulled down the trousers of a two-year-old boy they were looking after were convicted of cruelty today.

The toddler, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was dragged by his legs across the nursery floor by one of the nursery staff after she had directed other children to poke him and remove his shoes.



Lisa Wymer and Rebecca Robbins were captured on CCTV mistreating him.



In the footage, shown to a jury at St Albans Crown Court in Hertfordshire, the little boy is seen to be holding his head and rubbing his eyes during the incident at the nursery in Welwyn Garden City, Herts.



Wymer, 22, of Arundel Drive, Borehamwood, Herts, and Robbins, 21, of High Street, Codicote in Hitchin, Herts, meanwhile appeared to be laughing and joking.



Both nursery nurses were dismissed from their jobs after the incident on December 17 last year.



They were accused of wilfully mistreating the child in a manner likely to cause him unnecessary suffering or injury to health and were both convicted of cruelty to a person under 16, a charge that both denied.



Prosecutor George Heimler told jurors: "The CCTV shows an episode of ill-treatment whereby (the child) becomes clearly distressed and endures a period of quite unnecessary affliction and suffering caused by these two defendants."



He said their behaviour was not what would be expected of "a reasonable person in loco parentis" and that it "smacks of bullying".



The CCTV footage showed the youngster being poked by about seven other children, some of whom were looking towards Wymer as if for approval.



She is then shown dragging him by his legs into another room, where she is shortly afterwards seen to be nudging him with her foot near his ribs, pulling his shoes off and starting to pull his trousers down as he lies on the carpet.



Robbins then stepped towards him and pulled his trousers down about two inches, revealing his pants and the top of his legs.



Lawyers for the defendants said the child had not been in distress and that witnesses who described the incident to the court had exaggerated or misinterpreted what had happened.



But the child's mother told the court her little boy had become clingy and quiet after the incident and did not want to return to the nursery.



Speaking after the verdict was delivered, Detective Constable Andy Moody of Hertfordshire Police's child abuse investigation unit, said: "The defendants denied causing any distress to the two-year-old since the incident was first reported to police, to the extent of putting the little boy's parents through the ordeal of a trial at court."



The women will be sentenced on October 22.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
News
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Sport
Robbie Savage will not face a driving ban
football
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Voices
voices
Life and Style
Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries were putting themselves at risk of tinnitus and, in extreme cases, irreversible hearing loss
health Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries are at risk of tinnitus
News
It was only when he left his post Tony Blair's director of communications that Alastair Campbell has published books
people The most notorious spin doctor in UK politics has reinvented himself
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in ‘I Am Michael’
filmJustin Kelly's latest film tells the story of a man who 'healed' his homosexuality and turned to God
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Public Service Broadcasting are going it alone
music
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower