Vanessa George, 49, of Plymouth, Devon, was jailed for a minimum of seven years in 2009
A nursery worker dubbed ‘Britain’s worst female paedophile’ will be released from prison after convincing a parole board that she no longer poses a ‘significant risk’ to children.
Vanessa George, 49, of Plymouth, Devon, was jailed for a minimum of seven years in 2009 after taking 64 pictures of herself harming babies and toddlers at the Little Ted’s nursery.
She was said to have ‘plumbed new depths of depravity’ by abusing children in her care and was refused parole in May 2017 after serving the minimum seven years of her sentence.
But the Parole Board has now said she should be released after a review earlier this month. George has been behind bars at HMP Send near Guildford, Surrey.
Her release will cause fury among parents of the abused children, while her ex-husband admitted he was ‘staggered’.
George, publicly disowned by her two daughters, was divorced by her husband Andrew while in jail and has reverted to her maiden name, Vanessa Sylvia Marks.
George is pictured on the phone to her lawyer while in police custody in Plymouth in 2009
Neither Andrew, 51, nor the girls knew of her secret life, and he fears she will have ‘manipulated’ parole board members and she still poses a risk on the outside.
He insisted he was a ‘broken man’ and would bear the mental scars of her crimes for the rest of his life, adding: ‘I am staggered. I just don’t know what to say.’
He said: ‘While she’ll be returned to society, possibly with a new look and identity, I face a life sentence knowing that for me this nightmare will never disappear.
‘Vanessa is manipulative and she’s like the leopard which never changes its spots. She should have stayed locked up.’
News of her release was met with horror within the local community of Plymouth, Devon, with several saying she should never have been considered for release until she revealed details of her victims.
Local resident Donna Garlick said: ‘I hope someone just as caring as her finds her and takes care of her with the same she took care of those families precious little ones.’
Lynn Barnes added: ‘She should have been kept locked up, she has not given one thought to the families who have no idea whether their children were abused. Until that was disclosed parole board should not have even considered letting her out.’
And Sarah Gallagher wrote: ‘Should never ever be freed. She has never given the names of the innocents she abused so how can they say she’s not a danger.
‘The judge even said she should have an indeterminate sentence, absolute disgrace her even being considered.’
George’s daughter Grace declined to comment.
George’s cohort Angela Allen (left) raped a girl of three, while the ringleader of the paedophile gang was Colin Blanchard (right) and he will be eligible for parole next year
In 2009, the 18-stone classroom assistant admitted 13 sexual assault charges, but maintained a silence over the names of children she assaulted.
Her cohort Angela Allen, who raped a girl of three, has already served the five-year minimum of her sentence imposed at the same time.
The ringleader of the paedophile gang, Colin Blanchard, will also be eligible for parole next year after being jailed in 2011 for a minimum of nine years.
George and the two strangers she befriended on Facebook shared a grotesque portfolio of assaults on toddlers captured by George on her mobile phone.
Police believe George came into contact with nearly 200 children while working at Little Ted’s
They used mobile phones to film and send images of what a police officer described as ‘child abuse in its most horrific and devilish form’.
Police believe George came into contact with nearly 200 children while working at Little Ted’s.
She used a cubicle to change children’s nappies rather than the general changing area, which allowed her to hide her abuse of victims.
The offences were uncovered when Blanchard’s IT business partner stumbled across images of child abuse on his colleague’s computer at their firm in Manchester.
The decision to release George has been criticised by Luke Pollard, Labour MP for Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport, who said she should never be forgiven for what she did. He also called for the decision to be urgently reviewed.
He said: ‘Vanessa George’s crimes against children in Plymouth cannot be forgotten and it’s very hard to forgive her for them.
‘I know I can’t and that’s why her release from jail is a kick in the teeth for our city and all her victims.
‘I am very concerned about the safety of our city’s children with the imminent release of Vanessa George and have today written to the Justice Secretary asking for the decision to release Vanessa George to be urgently reviewed in light of the public outcry and continuing risk to children that I believe she poses.’
A Parole Board spokesman said today: ‘The Parole Board has directed the release of Vanessa George, following a parole review that was concluded in July 2019.
‘Parole Board decisions are solely focused on whether a prisoner would represent a significant risk to the public after release.
‘The panel will have carefully looked at a whole range of evidence, including details of the original evidence and any evidence of behaviour change.
‘This is done with great care and public safety is the number one priority.’
Harry Fletcher, Director of the Victims’ Rights Campaign, said those affected by George’s crimes would be ‘horrified’ by the decision of the parole board to release her.
He said: ‘These were extremely serious offences. She was clearly a major danger to small children and I hope the parole board are utterly satisfied she poses absolutely no risk in the future to any child.
‘It is no wonder that the victims in these cases are horrified at the prospect of release.’