One of Britains worst paedophiles could be freed from prison this year

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A paedophile who recruited a nursery worker to abuse babies could be back on the streets later this year after a parole board hearing.

Colin Blanchard, 52, received an indeterminate sentence in 2011 on sex abuse charges, requiring him to serve a minimum of nine years in prison.

He was jailed after convincing nursery worker Vanessa George to abuse 64 babies in her care at Little Ted's nursery in Efford, Plymouth.

Blanchard, from Rochdale, was described as a "Svengali" figure at the centre of one of the "most sickening paedophile rings this country has ever seen" at his sentencing in 2011.

He is serving at Category C HMP Wymott, near Leyland, Lancashire and will give evidence to the Parole Board on July 4 via video link before a judge, a psychologist, and an independent member.

A spokesperson for the Parole Board said: “We can confirm the parole review of Colin Blanchard has been referred to the Parole Board by the Secretary of State for Justice and is following standard processes. A hearing is expected to take place in early July.

“Parole Board decisions are solely focused on what risk a prisoner could represent to the public if released and whether that risk is manageable in the community.

“A panel will carefully examine a huge range of evidence, including details of the original crime, and any evidence of behaviour change, as well as explore the harm done and impact the crime has had on the victims.

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“Members read and digest hundreds of pages of evidence and reports in the lead up to an oral hearing. Evidence from witnesses including probation officers, psychiatrists and psychologists, officials supervising the offender in prison as well as victim personal statements are then given at the hearing.

“The prisoner and witnesses are then questioned at length during the hearing which often lasts a full day or more. Parole reviews are undertaken thoroughly and with extreme care. Protecting the public is our number one priority.”

The outcome could see the twisted abuser released as soon as mid-August.

Videos of the sickening attacks were shared by George who was jailed for seven years and released in September 2019.

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She piled further misery onto the victims’ relatives by refusing to give the names of all of the babies she abused to police.

The families will give impact statements to experts to share their thoughts on the paedophile’s potential release.

The pair’s activities were discovered when Blanchard forgot to sign out of his email account and a business partner saw images of child abuse.

The IT worker convinced a number of middle-aged women who he met on Facebook to carry out sexual abuse on children for his pleasure.

Angela Allen and Tracey Lyons were jailed for their part in the paedophile ring but have already been released.

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