Page last updated at 14:28 GMT, Tuesday, 13 October 2009 15:28 UK

Abuse accused also nursery worker

Tracy Lyons
Tracy Lyons volunteered at Izzies Nursery in July 2008

A woman charged with child sex abuse after inquiries linked to a Plymouth nursery, was herself a nursery volunteer in Portsmouth.

Tracy Lyons, 38, of the Portsmouth area, has also been charged with taking and distributing an indecent image.

Police have stressed the charges do not directly relate to the abuse at Plymouth's Little Ted's nursery.

They also said the charges are not linked to Izzies Nursery in Wymering Road, where Ms Lyons volunteered.

The investigation in Portsmouth was started after Hampshire Constabulary received information from Greater Manchester Police while investigating Colin Blanchard, a man linked to offences at Little Ted's.

Afternoon sessions

Blanchard, 39, from Rochdale, Greater Manchester, admitted child sex charges linked to Little Ted's on 1 October.

Angela Allen, 39, from Nottingham, and Vanessa George, 39, from Plymouth, also admitted child sex charges at the same nursery.

All three are due to be sentenced in November.

Abuse in that case was recorded on mobile telephones and images were exchanged via e-mail and text.

We would like to stress that at no time was Tracy Lyons ever left alone with any child
Portsmouth City Council spokeswoman

Portsmouth City Council confirmed Ms Lyons spent two afternoon sessions working as a volunteer at Izzies Nursery in July 2008.

The exact dates are currently being confirmed.

"We would like to stress that at no time was Tracy Lyons ever left alone with any child," a council spokeswoman said.

"She was fully-supervised at all times.

"An enhanced CRB check was completed in advance of Tracy beginning her voluntary work at Izzies.

"Therefore we have no reason to believe at this stage that any child at Izzies Nursery was put at risk. We continue to cooperate with the police investigation."

Parents outside the nursery spoke of their shock at hearing the news.

Former neighbour Samantha Gibbs, 26 said: "Well, the person I knew, she was quite a nice person. She used to hold the children, have a cuddle with them.

Three charges

"I would say 'hello' to her every time in the street, she used to live opposite us when I lived at home with my mum.

"As far as we knew from what she gave off, she was a really nice person, family-orientated, loved children."

Another parent, who did not wish to be named, told the BBC: "I have seen her in the playground, seen her with the kids and seen her up in town, this that and the other. But it is just total shock."

Ms Lyons was charged with three offences when she appeared before South East Hampshire Magistrates' Court on Saturday.

She is accused of the sexual abuse of a child, taking an indecent image of a child and distributing an indecent image of a child.

She was remanded in custody until 18 January.



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SEE ALSO
Woman accused of child sex abuse
13 Oct 09 |  Hampshire

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