Britain's worst female paedophile to be released in weeks, government confirms

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
Undated Devon and Cornwall Police handout photo of nursery worker Vanessa George, who has admitted a string of child sex offences at Bristol Crown Court.

A former nursery nurse dubbed Britain’s worst female paedophile is set to be released from prison by the end of the month.

Vanessa George, 49, was locked up for a minimum of seven years in 2009 after she sexually abused babies and toddlers.

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But despite widespread outrage from her victims and authorities, a parole board ordered her release in July this year and efforts to keep her in prison have now been exhausted.

Plymouth MP Luke Pollard has now confirmed he had been told by ministers that George would be free before the end of September.

Vanessa George arrives in a van at Bristol Crown Court where she is to face charges of sexual assault and distributing indecent images.

Mr Pollard said he has accepted defeat but hopes that lessons would be learned from the case including a stronger voice for the parents and carers of very young victims, a clearer process for them to challenge an abuser's parole.

Undated Devon and Cornwall Police undated CCTv footage of Vanessa George on the phone to her lawyer while in police custody in Plymouth.

He also called for an acceptance that parents of such young children who have been abused are also victims and should have a voice and said there should be an assurance that abusers such as George who refused to name their victims should remain in prison until they do.

Commenting on the decision, Mr Pollard said: ”Everything about this case feels wrong. The parents were let down, the children were let down.

“They were let down by a lax system at the nursery, they were let down by the justice system regarding her parole and her release. There's something here about the system being broken."

In correspondence with Mr Pollard, Minister for the State of Justice Lucy Frazer QC MP revealed: "My officials have liaised closely with officers from Devon and Cornwall Police and can confirm that there are no un-resolved crimes or allegations in respect of Vanessa George.

"They also confirmed that no evidence was uncovered or has since been uncovered that suggested she committed offences outside of her 2009 index offences."

Court artist Elizabeth Cook's impression of Vanessa George, who appeared in court today charged with sexual assault and making and distributing child abuse images.

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She also confirmed that George's "actual release is scheduled for September" and would be subject to a series of licence conditions.

These would include residing at a location as directed by her supervising officer, to undertake such risk reduction work considered necessary, and prohibitions on owning or using any electronic device which has access to the internet.

She noted how the conditions were "extensive and robust" and "any breach of which could result in Ms George's licence being revoked and her being returned to custody."

The former Little Ted's nursery of Plymouth, Devon, pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault by penetration and two counts of sexual assault by touching.

She was also charged with making, possessing and distributing indecent images of children.

During her sentencing at Bristol Crown Court Mr Justice Royce was keen to stress to parents in attendance that while he was passing an indeterminate sentence "it is, in effect, a life sentence".

Despite this, following oral hearings held on May 21 and July 2 this year, the Parole Board directed the release of Vanessa George following a review.

Ms Frazer QC revealed that "several parents" had requested conditions designed to reassure and protect them.

She also confirmed that the Parole Board had imposed "no-contact conditions" requested by the victims and "an exclusion zone for the whole of Devon and Cornwall”.

In addition, victims were also being kept informed of developments in the parole reviews of Angela Allen and Colin Blanchard, with whom George shared the vile images of nursery children with.

She added: "I would like to say how extremely difficult this must be for the parents of the children and my heart goes out to them. I commend you for the support you are providing the parents, and I am sure that has brought them some comfort."

A spokesperson for the Parole Board said their decisions were "solely focused on whether a prisoner would represent a significant risk to the public after release".

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