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06 NOV 2009

Nursery worker charged with sexual abuse

THURS 11/06/2009 - Vanessa George, mother of two, aged 39, appeared in court today charged with several counts of sexual assault and distributing indecent images of children.

Mrs George worked at Little Ted's Day Nursery in Plymouth where the majority of the images were believed to have been taken; she is believed to have worked at the nursery for the past two years. The nursery will remain shut down for the foreseeable future.

The children involved have yet to be identified and it is feared that some of them never will be. It is believed that no less than 95 families are directly connected with the nursery. Parents of the children are completing a questionnaire to aid officers in identifying the children involved, all of whom are thought to be aged between 2 and 5. Families have also been asked to draw up a list of distinguishing features that could help disclose the identity of individual children.

At this stage it is not clear in what capacity Mrs George was employed at the nursery or whether an adequate criminal records check had been undertaken. Police said that her husband and two teenage children had been taken into 'protective care'.

Paul O'Sullivan, the director of Health Services for Children and Families, said that a support line for affected families has been set up.

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