Police in talks over paedophile's victims

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Detectives are in talks with lawyers of a nursery worker who abused young children amid claims that she has named some of her victims.

Vanessa George, 39, who worked at Little Ted's Nursery in Plymouth, Devon, is said to have identified up to 10 of the youngsters she abused.

The confession was made in custody and senior detectives are now examining the claims, according to the Daily Mirror.

Devon and Cornwall Police said officers are investigating whether any of George's victims could be positively identified.

A spokeswoman for the force said: "As part of ongoing inquiries, detectives from Devon and Cornwall Constabulary are involved in a dialogue with George's defence counsel, and the question of victim identification is part of that.

"It would be inappropriate to go into this further until sentencing is complete.

"We continue to update parents regularly regarding the investigation.

"Currently, no individual children have been identified and this information confirmed, but we continue to investigate this."

George, from Plymouth, will be sentenced at Bristol Crown Court next month after pleading guilty to charges of indecent assault, taking indecent photos and distributing photos of children.

Co-defendants Colin Blanchard, 39, from Rochdale, and Angela Allen, also 39, from Nottingham, have also admitted several sex offences.

The trio are said to have met on Facebook, but police still do not know how they found each other.

Transcripts of George's police interviews released by the Crown Prosecution Service showed her admitting that her crimes were "vile" and "disgusting".

But despite that realisation, she refused to name any of the children.

Her apparent change of heart has come just two weeks before her sentencing date.

After her guilty plea earlier this month, Mr Justice Royce urged her to give up the identities.

George took more than 100 images of children being molested, and referred to the mobile she used as her "fun phone".

Devon and Cornwall police could not identify any of the youngsters, whose heads were out of shot.

Around 30 parents of children who attended Little Ted's sobbed in the public gallery of Bristol Crown Court as the admissions of guilt were made.

George's lawyer, Geoff Parlby, will not be commenting, a spokeswoman for his Plymouth-based law firm said.

At the plea hearing on 1 October, George admitted seven sexual assaults on children and six counts of distributing and making indecent pictures of children.

Blanchard pleaded guilty to 17 child pornography counts and two sexual assaults on children. He also admitted a further charge of possessing extreme pornography.

He was caught when a colleague found some of the images on a computer. He had been on the sex offenders register before after receiving a police caution for a previous offence.

Allen admitted four child sex assaults and one count of distributing an indecent image.

The trio recorded the abuse on their mobiles and then swapped the pictures via email using unprotected accounts, including MSN Hotmail.

But they never met in person.

George was arrested at her home in Douglass Road, Plymouth, just after midnight on 8 June.

Mr Justice John Royce warned them they faced substantial prison sentences as he adjourned the case for reports.

He also urged George to co-operate with police in identifying all her victims.

He told her: "A lot of people are affected by this case and I would like your help."

Mr Justice Royce said many parents still do not know if their children were among the victims - but George "must know".

Addressing Nicolas Gerasimidis, George's defence lawyer, Mr Justice Royce said: "Your client must know, it seems to me, who she has abused and who she has not.

"If I were a parent, I would want to know whether my child was abused or not.

"Would it not be decent for her to indicate who she has abused? It is a factor that I have got to take into account."

Defence lawyers for Allen and George suggested there was a degree of encouragement of the two women by Blanchard.

But the judge rejected suggestions that Blanchard was the main instigator who groomed the two women to abuse children.

He said of George: "She is not a child. This is a married woman who can make up her own mind whether she indulges in this sort of activity or not."

Detective Inspector Costa Nassaris, of Devon and Cornwall Police public protection unit, said police feared many of the victims - some of whom were between 12 and 18 months old - may never be identified.

He said: "Work is ongoing, we've not given up on that, but the probability, I would have to say, is very low that we will identify any of these children."