News round-up: Child abuse trio plead guilty

Child abuse trio plead guilty but parents’ pain goes on

Parents whose children attended a nursery where a string of child sex attacks took place were waiting last night to see if the woman responsible would end their agony and reveal the identities of her victims.

Nursery worker Vanessa George and her accomplices Colin Blanchard and Angela Allen face lengthy jail terms after admitting a string of sex offences yesterday.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Cut NHS costs to pay off debt, IMF warns Britain

Britain was served notice by the International Monetary Fund today that reforms to healthcare and pensions will be needed to repair the long-term damage to public finances caused by the global recession.

At the end of a bruising week for the prime minister, Gordon Brown, the fund rekindled memories of the spending cuts imposed on Jim Callaghan’s Labour government in the 1970s when it said the new fiscal rules promised by the chancellor, Alistair Darling, earlier this week, were not enough on their own.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Vanessa George and Angela Allen abused toddlers for Facebook ‘friend’ they never met

Head bowed, streaked blonde hair obscuring her face, Vanessa George barely raised her gaze from the floor of the dock as she admitted in a flat voice seven charges of child abuse and six of taking indecent photographs of children.

Sitting alongside the nursery worker from Plymouth were Angela Allen, a single mother from Nottingham, and Colin Blanchard, a businessman from Smallbridge, Greater Manchester.

Read more on this story in The Times

Parents arrested over death of girl, 8, found hanged in bedroom

The stepfather and mother of a girl from Mansfield who was found hanged in her bedroom have been arrested. Charlotte Avenall, 8, died last month and was known to social services.

Simon Moody, 32, and Susan, 24, were interviewed under caution about the events leading up to the death of the child, who was said to have learning difficulties.

Read more on this story in The Times

Treatments helping addicts, says drug study

Two-thirds of heroin and crack cocaine addicts on drug treatment programmes either abstain or substantially reduce their use of street drugs during the first six months, according to the biggest study of outcomes ever attempted.

The National Treatment Agency, which funded the study, greeted the results with enthusiasm, saying they will “give the public further confidence that their investment is being spent well”, in addition to helping drug services become more effective and value for money.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Neighbours accused of hounding mother and daughter could be evicted

A family accused of bullying a mother and her disabled daughter in the years before they were found dead in a burning car could be evicted from their home, their local council suggested today.

Steven Simmons, 43, his 44-year-old wife Susanne and their four sons, have received death threats after it was claimed that they were at least partly responsible for much of the abuse faced by Fiona Pilkington and her daughter Francecca Hardwick.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Doctors acted legally in ‘living will’ suicide case

Doctors who allowed a young woman to kill herself acted within the law, a coroner has ruled.

Kerrie Wooltorton is believed to be the first person to have used a living will to kill herself. She was admitted to hospital after poisoning herself but doctors said they had no alternative but to allow her to die.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Flawed vetting system that allowed an abuser to slip through the net

Few parents will have forgotten the day they handed over their child to a nursery worker or other carer for the first time. For many, the experience would have been tinged with a sense of guilt – but all will recall the overwhelming need to trust the person into whose hands you deliver the most precious thing in your life.

The horrors that unfolded at Little Ted’s Day Nursery in Plymouth will increase the anxieties of couples who, with the aid of the Government, have turned to professional childcare in ever greater numbers over the past decade.

Read more on this story in The Independent

Family of ‘living-will’ girl to sue hospital

The parents of Kerrie Wooltorton are also calling for an urgent change in the law to stop rules which gave the terminally ill the right to decline treatment being used by those wanting to kill themselves.

Miss Wooltorton, who was said to have had a personality disorder and suffered from depression linked to a condition which prevented her having children, died in hospital in Norfolk and Norwich Hospital in September 2007 after poisoning herself in her flat.

Read more on this story in the Daily Telegraph

‘We want to skin her and roll her in salt’: Parents’ fear and fury as nursery monster Vanessa George refuses to name her victims

Parents of children at the nursery where paedophile Vanessa George worked have spoken of their revulsion at her despicable crimes.

One mother, whose child attended Little Ted’s nursery in Plymouth and who she fears was abused, said: ‘We just want to skin her and roll her in salt.

Read more on this story in the Daily Mail

Schools bring in mothers for lessons after pupils ‘start school unable to drink from a cup or speak’

Schools are having to bring mothers in for parenting lessons as youngsters turn up unable to speak, use the toilet or drink from a cup.

Ofsted inspectors found that primaries which achieve good results in deprived areas often extend their teaching to include parents.

Read more on this story in the Daily Mail

Disabled widow, 71 charged with assault after she prodded teenager

A disabled pensioner was hauled before the courts and charged with assault after she prodded a teenage ‘hoodie’ in the chest with her finger.

Renate Bowling, 71, confronted the 17-year-old youth in the street after stones were thrown at her home.

During the conversation the frail widow, who fled to Britain from Communist East Germany and walks with a steel frame, prodded the youth in the chest with her finger.

Read more on this story in the Daily Mail

Soccer’s Phil halts a suicide

PREMIER League soccer boss Phil Brown told yesterday how he talked a suicidal woman out of jumping to her death from a bridge.

The Hull manager, 50, had decided to walk his team over the city’s Humber Bridge on Wednesday instead of going training.

Read more on this story in The Sun

Posh school Sir had pupil fling

A TOP public school’s English master has been forced to resign after he admitted having a fling with a 17-year-old sixth-form pupil.

Married dad-of-three Dr Terence Anthony Bell admitted breaching his position of trust after appearing in court today.

Read more on this story in The Sun




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