Nursery worker guilty of assaulting toddler

A nursery worker was today found guilty of assaulting a toddler in his care.

Wesley Prigmore, 21, became frustrated after the two-year-old boy wet himself, Richmond Magistrates' Court, Surrey, was told.



He was seen by another member of staff tapping the little boy over the head with a pair of latex gloves, which were worn by workers at the Twickenham nursery when changing children's clothes.



Prigmore's colleague Andrea Mihaescu told the court she heard the little boy say: "Stop, Wes."



Approximately an hour later when the little boy, who was not toilet trained, wet himself again, Prigmore swore at him in irritation, prosecutor Tony Levy told the court.



Prigmore then told him to go into the bathroom and stay in there, Mr Levy said.



When he let the toddler, who was by then only clothed on his top half, out of the room a short while afterwards, he tapped him three times on the penis with a ruler.



The case was reported to police the next day. When the boy's mother asked him about the incident, he pointed at his head and told her: "Weh (Wes) hit my head."



The two-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, threw a ruler across the floor of the nursery when his mother came to collect him that day, which Magistrates' chairwoman Sarah Houston concluded "was not his normal behaviour".



Prigmore, of Sutton Lane, Hounslow, west London, had denied two counts of common assault but was found guilty by magistrates after a day-long trial.



He had instead claimed to have been tickling the boy with the ruler and playing a game of "tug of war" with it. Prigmore also said he had only changed him once on the day in question, January 18 this year.



There were other staff at the nursery that day, but none had seen the assaults. They described Prigmore, who had worked at the nursery for two years, as a "bubbly" man who got on well with children.



He was suspended immediately after the allegations against him were made and was arrested five days later.



Julian Waskett, defending, said in his closing speech that Prigmore, of previous good character, would have his career ruined by the conviction.



He told the court: "The prosecution has brought crushingly serious charges against this young man. It will end his career as a nursery nurse."



Mr Waskett added that no other complaints had ever been made about Prigmore's behaviour at the nursery and questioned Ms Mihaescu's motivation, saying: "Perhaps she doesn't like young men working in the nursery business."



Ms Houston dismissed Prigmore's evidence however, saying she did not find it "credible".



She said the evidence of Ms Mihaescu was "clear and unshakeable".



Ms Houston added: "She had a clear view of both incidents and reported them as soon as was practicable.



"She had no reason to make up these allegations."



Prigmore did not react as he was found guilty, but his girlfriend broke down in tears.



He will be sentenced at the same court on June 16. He was released on bail but was told he cannot supervise children under the age of 10 without another adult being present.

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