Vanessa George, 49, is due to be released from prison later this month after seven years
An open letter has been written to the victims of Britain’s worst female paedophile ahead of her release this month.
Former nursery worker Vanessa George, 49, was locked up for a minimum of seven years at Bristol Crown Court in 2009 after she sexually abused babies and toddlers.
But despite widespread outrage from her victims and authorities, a parole board ordered her release in July.
Authorities confirmed she would be free before the end of September and the head of the National Probation Service has now issued a letter detailing her parole terms and offering support to her victims.
Crowds gather near a van containing Vanessa George as it is driven from Plymouth Magistrates Court, June 11, 2009. She was charged with making and distributing indecent images of children and assault by penetration
Chief Probation Officer Sonia Crozier said the board had imposed an ‘unusually large’ exclusion zone which bans George from Devon and Cornwall.
The other license conditions say George will reside at a location directed by her supervising officer, to undertake such risk reduction work considered necessary, and restrictions on owning or using any electronic device which has internet access.
If the conditions are breached or there is a chance of re-offending, she will be ‘immediately recalled to prison’, according to Ms Crozier’s letter.
What is an exclusion zone?
An exclusion zone forbids an individual from entering a particular area.
In criminal cases, the order is usually made by the Probation Service as a way to protect ex-criminals from re-offending. It is an assessment on the danger someone imposes to the community once they are released from prison.
An electronic monitoring program can set up these zones around victims home or work places which prohibits the offender from entering the area. If they do, an alert will immediately be sent.
It will depend on the severity and experience of victims.
Chief Probation Officer Sonia Crozier said in Vanessa George’s case, they introduced an ‘unusually large exclusion zone’ which bans George from Cornwall and Devon to ‘reflect the nature of her crimes’.
And any requests from victims for the exclusion zones to be altered will be reported to their individual Victim Liaison Officer and forwarded onto the Parole Board.
The probation chief also said there is a ‘victim contact service’ to the alleged 200 children who may have been affected, and 21 have chosen to take up that support so far.
Ms Crozier has appealed for the victims to contact her but understands some might want to ‘put this awful experience behind them’.
Eighteen-stone George described herself as a ‘paedo whore mum’ to her internet lover Colin Blanchard while working at Little Teds nursery in Plymouth, Devon, until her arrest on June 9.
She was part of a paedophile ring and admitted 13 charges – including sexual assaults of young children and making and distributing indecent pictures of them.
In the letter, Ms Crozier shares her ‘disgust’ towards George and her understanding of how the release is worrying given the memories of abuse ‘are still vivid and frightening’.
She reiterated how people can access support and the license conditions for George’s release
Ms Crozier added how George has received an ‘unusually large exclusion zone’ to ‘reflect the nature of her crimes’ – as well as being forbidden from having unsupervised contact with children and has a place on the sex offenders register for life.
In Parole Board’s report (pictured), they said they were ‘satisfied that it was no longer necessary for the protection of the public that Ms George remained confined in prison’ from their hearings in May and July
‘One of the most tragic elements of this case is that the Police were unable to identify which children were abused. This means hundreds of people were left never knowing if they or their child, sibling, or grandchild were a victim. A victim contact service was offered at the time to more than 200 families who may have been affected, and 21 have chosen to take up that support.
Parents of victims can sign up for a dedicated victim liaison officer who will be notified once George has been released and whether she is recalled to prison for breaching license conditions.
Any further requests for exclusion zones will be considered and victims will get the chance to make a statement about how the crime has affected them if she is recalled, according to the Parole Board.
Parents of victims from the nursery school (pictured right) can appeal for the exclusion zones to be reconsidered and are encouraged to make a statement on how George (pictured left) has affected them if she is recalled
Protest outside Bristol Crown Court, at the time when Little Ted’s Nursery worker Vanessa George was to be sentenced
This will also apply for George’s co-defendants in this case Colin Blanchard and Angela Allen when they become eligible for parole consideration.
‘Nothing can take away the pain caused to victims and the fear felt by the community about her release – but I hope that your readers will find some reassurance in the extremely strict safeguards which are in place and the services available to any victim who wants them.’
If you have been affected, please email DDCVictimContact@justice.gov.uk.
Chief Probation Officer Sonia Crozier’s full letter to Vanessa George’s victims
I share the disgust at the crimes committed by Vanessa George and I understand why the prospect of her release is so worrying to so many people, particularly in Plymouth where memories of her abuse are still vivid and frightening.
The fact she so callously exploited a position of trust to commit these crimes makes them all the more horrifying. With that in mind, I want to make sure your readers are aware that they can access support if these crimes affected them – and also know the strict licence conditions George will face on release from prison.
Vanessa George will not be allowed to return to Devon or Cornwall. The Parole Board has imposed an unusually large exclusion zone which reflects the nature of her crimes, and the number of victims and the seriousness with which we’re taking our responsibility to victims and the wider public.
She will also never be allowed to work with children again and will be on the sex offenders’ register for the rest of her life.
She is subject to a number of conditions, including not to have unsupervised contact with any children whatsoever.
If she breaches any of these conditions or if her probation officer thinks there is an increasing chance she might re-offend – she can be immediately recalled to prison.
One of the most tragic elements of this case is that the Police were unable to identify which children were abused.
This means hundreds of people were left never knowing if they or their child, sibling, or grandchild were a victim.
A victim contact service was offered at the time to more than 200 families who may have been affected, and 21 have chosen to take up that support.
It would be wrong for us to proactively contact people who may have decided very carefully that the best thing for them is to put this awful experience behind them.
But I want to make it absolutely clear to anyone who might have been affected that they can still email DDCVictimContact@justice.gov.uk, to apply to take up that offer of contact now.
Any parent who wants to receive this service will have a dedicated victim liaison officer who will keep them updated about any new developments in George’s case.
This includes being notified once she has been released and whether she is ever recalled to prison for a breach of licence conditions.
Further, the Parole Board has said that it will consider sympathetically any further requests for exclusion zones, to prevent any victim from coming into contact inadvertently with George.
If she is ever recalled, they will be given the opportunity to make a statement to the Parole Board about how the crime impacted them and will be able to express their views on her licence conditions.
Exceptionally, this will also apply for George’s co-defendants in this case Colin Blanchard and Angela Allen when they become eligible for parole consideration.
Nothing can take away the pain caused to victims and the fear felt by the community about her release – but I hope that your readers will find some reassurance in the extremely strict safeguards which are in place and the services available to any victim who wants them.