Three people charged with a string of sexual assaults relating to making and possessing child pornography recently pleaded guilty, after months of public revulsion and a media frenzy surrounding the case.

Angela Allen, 39, a former prostitute who lived in the Bulwell area of Nottingham, was named as an accomplice of Vanessa George, a former nursery worker who admitted to fourteen counts of abuse against children under her care. These abuses, recorded on mobile phones and sent between the members of the ring, were discovered after a work colleague of a third member found the images on his computer.

Judge Royce of Bristol Crown Court has encouraged George, the central figure of the child abuse ring, to do the ‘decent’ thing and reveal the names of the children she abused. Anxious parents whose children attended the day care centre still have no idea if their children were abused or not.
Detective Superintendent Adrian Pearson, the head of Nottingham’s public protection unit, described Allen as “a sinister and totally evil individual” adding that “she has shed not a tear of remorse for her victims.”

All of this lends weight to the idea of stricter police checks when placing someone in a position of trust and responsibility towards children. However, the Government’s Vetting and Barring scheme – which will come into force this month – would not have been enough to prevent this happening, as George had no previous history. This brings into question exactly what the new scheme will add to the prevention of sex offences.

Ben McCabe

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