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25 October 2010, 16:21
Two nursery nurses from our area have been given 16-week suspended jail sentences, after being found guilty of mistreating a two-year-old boy.
Lisa Wymer - who's 22 and of Arundel Drive in Borehamwood - and Rebecca Robins - who's 21 and of High Street, Codicote in Hitchin - have also been given six month supervision orders and told to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.
In October the two women were found guilty of cruelty to a child, after they were caught on CCTV dragging a toddler across a nursery floor by his legs. The boy also had his trousers pulled down and his socks and shoes taken off. Other children at the nursery were encouraged to poke and prod the victim, during the incident in December last year.
Sentencing the pair at St Albans Crown Court today (Monday) Judge Martin Griffith said:
"You two sparked each other off and launched upon a course of teasing and ended up with the humiliation of the boy which you found funny."
Judge Griffith said the boy had been placed in the care of the women by his parents who thought they would look after him.
The court heard that following the mistreatment the toddler had suffered nightmares. He had become like a "shadow" following his mum everywhere and constantly wanting to be cuddled.
Before sentencing, Franco Tizzano for Wymer said:
"She has lost a job which she dearly loved. That's not only a personal tragedy for her but for the children she cared for. It's clear many children were close to her and many parents singled her out for being a wonderful nursery practitioner."
Maria Karaisko - defending Robins - said she had worked with children since she was 16-years-old and until last December had an "unblemished record".
"The tragedy is that she is never ever going to be able to work with children again."
She said, "There was never any intention to hurt or harm the little boy."
Detective Constable Liz Carey of Hertfordshire Constabulary Child Abuse Investigation Unit, said:
“I hope that today’s sentencing will help the little boy’s family put this incident behind them and move on. The family is very happy with the service delivered by the nursery and the support they have received throughout the investigation. The prompt reporting of nursery staff members and the procedures they have in place within the nursery to protect children have been instrumental in securing a successful prosecution today.”