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Nursery worker jailed for smearing food waste in toddler’s face

A Nottinghamshire nursery worker who smeared food waste in the face of a child in her care has been jailed.

Helen Walker scooped up leftover scraps and pushed them in the toddler’s face before ignoring his cries of distress.

Immediately following the incident, on 24 February 2023, the 49-year-old attempted to cover up what she had done.

Walker, of Watson Avenue, Mansfield, was jailed for five months at Nottingham Crown Court on Wednesday (15 May).

She had earlier pleaded guilty to one count of assault, ill-treatment or neglect of a child.

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Screenshot 2024 05 17 at 18.01.43
Helen Walker

When police were alerted about the incident, detectives began a detailed investigation into exactly what had happened.

By analysing CCTV footage, they were able to prove Walker had scooped up the food and then deliberately sought out the child, who has additional needs.

After smearing the food in his face, Walker was then seen to attempt to cover up the offence.

She was seen on CCTV approaching another child and loudly suggested the young victim had taken the food from them.

Investigator Jacqui Edwards, of Nottinghamshire Police, said:

“Nursery staff are placed in the ultimate position of trust to care for young children.

“Walker betrayed that trust with these appalling actions, which are further aggravated by the fact our young victim has additional needs.

“She then tried to portray the child as a troublemaker in an attempt to conceal what she had done.

“The safeguarding of children is of paramount importance to the force. Once alerted to this offence, specialist officers have carried out a thorough investigation which has led to this outcome in court.

“I would like to thank the child’s parents for their help through what must have been a very difficult experience. We will continue to support them in any way we can.

“Nursery staff and management should also be commended for taking immediate action against Walker and informing police. They have also supported our investigation throughout.”

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