Parents' 'disgust' over porn arrest at nursery

Parents spoke of their "disgust" today following the arrest of a nursery worker in connection with the distribution of indecent images of children.

The 39-year-old woman, from Plymouth, in Devon, is being held following raids on her home and at the city's Little Teds nursery.



The nursery is closed while Devon and Cornwall Police carry out investigations and the woman remains in custody tonight.



Plymouth City Council's children's services department is helping police with the investigation.



Both the Little Teds Day Care Unit in Laira and the woman's home address in Efford were searched "early this morning", the force confirmed.



A spokesman said: "Items have been seized in connection with the ongoing inquiry and will be subject to further examination.



"The nursery will be closed while police carry out their inquiries.



"Police will keep parents of any children who attend the nursery updated as to the progress of the inquiry."



Acting on a tip-off received at about 9pm yesterday, officers arrested the woman just before midnight.



This afternoon police refused to confirm or deny whether the allegedly indecent images involved children at the nursery.



Chief Superintendent Jim Webster, head of Plymouth police, said: "Of course it is a concern to all of us that she worked in a nursery.



"Our work today is to find out what has happened, where the images have come from, where they have been sent to, and any risk to anybody in Plymouth."



Police are working through the Little Teds register to ensure they make contact with all parents of youngsters at the nursery.



Mr Webster stressed the investigation was still at a "very early stage" and refused to rule out making further arrests.



Worried parents dropping children off at the nursery, based at the Laira United Church Hall, were handed letters explaining that a staff member has been arrested and it was closed.



Little Teds, which opened in 1992, also operates a second unit from two rooms inside Laira Green Primary School, which is not part of the school.



Anna Hambly's three-year-old son Declan attends the nursery. She told The Plymouth Herald: "I'm quite disgusted because this is a really nice nursery. It's worrying, especially when it's on your own nursery."



The letter said Little Teds should reopen tomorrow but she said she was having "second thoughts" about sending her child back.



Mother Melissa Williams told the paper: "I feel sick. I can't believe this. I am never ever bringing my son back - not in a million years."



Her three-year-old son Ashton, who joined the unit three weeks ago, saw the staff as "second mothers", she added.



Chrissy Goodwin has two children who attend the unit after school - Jamie, 10, who is autistic, and Joshua, six.



She told the Herald: "I got here and most of the gates were shut and I heard a woman had been arrested. It's quite disturbing and scary."



The letter, signed by Superintendent David Sumner, reads: "We are informing you that police have arrested a 39-year-old woman in connection with distributing indecent images of young children and that the woman is an employee of Little Teds Child Day Care Unit, Old Laira Road.



"As part of our inquiries we have searched the home address of the woman and need to search units one and two of the unit today."



A sign on the day care unit entrance said: "Little Teds is closed. Any schoolchildren arriving for breakfast club, will you please go the main entrance of the school."



Children in the nursery are aged between two and five years but children up to 11 may attend the breakfast and after school clubs.



There are 43 children on the register which is a not for profit concern run by trustees.



Parents with concerns can call Devon and Cornwall Police on 08452 777 444.

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