Woman 'sexually assaulted baby as boyfriend took photos'

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The Independent Online

A woman sexually assaulted a five-month-old baby while she allowed her paedophile boyfriend to take photographs on his mobile phone, a court heard today.

Tracy Dawber, 44, allegedly let Colin Blanchard take the indecent images as she sat the youngster on her lap at her home in Bedford Road, Southport, Merseyside.

Dawber admits it was her holding the baby in the photographs but denies one count of sexually assaulting the child and five counts of permitting indecent photographs to be taken.

The jury at Winchester Crown Court was told that IT businessman Blanchard, 40, from Rochdale, Lancs had admitted the "extremely serious offences, for which he will be punished", Simon Morgan, prosecuting said.

He said he would give evidence against Dawber but that was not all of the case against her.

In interview Dawber told police she could not remember the pictures being taken, but Mr Morgan told the jury the Nokia phone always flashed when it took the pictures.

He explained that some had been taken from only about nine inches away on August 20 2008.

"The Crown say the defendant was able to see the phone being used. That Mr Blanchard must have been on his knees or stood and leaning very far forward."

Mr Morgan said the pair had met in 2007 and had a sexual relationship and that she had become "deeply involved" with Blanchard's "unacceptable activities".

She described him as a sociable person but said she had been "disgusted when she heard on the news what he had been involved with".

Blanchard was caught in June 2009 when a work colleague discovered child pornography on his computer, the court heard.

He was arrested at Manchester airport and a connection via a Facebook account was made with Dawber.

Officers also uncovered the mobile phone from Blanchard's Volvo which contained the images of the baby, which were shown to the jury. It also showed Dawber in explicit poses.

When arrested in November 2009 Dawber would not confirm it was her holding the baby but she later admitted it.

Officers found child pornography on her computer the same as that discovered on Blanchard's and search words on her machine linked to child porn such as "Lolita". A PDF file containing stories about incest was also found.

The trial is expected to last seven days.

The case was adjourned until tomorrow.