England

Colin Blanchard's sex abusing women 'competed'

"We will never truly know why these women were willing to take part in such horrific abuse.

"There was no reward, no money, but they clearly wanted to please him."

Det Insp Andy Pilling led the investigation into Colin Blanchard and his four female paedophiles.

After a year gathering evidence he said he was still no closer to what spurred these women - none of whom had any previous convictions - into suddenly violating and abusing babies and young children.

During the court hearings it emerged that the women competed with each other to create the "best" images.

VANESSA GEORGE

Image caption Vanessa George competed to provide Blanchard with the "best" photographs

Even though Blanchard was arrested in June 2009, it was Vanessa George who became the first of the ring to attract the media's focus.

As special forensic teams scrutinised Blanchard's hardware, they discovered child sex abuse images which showed a manicured female's hand and a tabard with a Little Ted's nursery logo on it.

After trawling Facebook they were led to "V George's" profile and immediately contacted Devon and Cornwall Police.

Within two days, George, from Plymouth, had been arrested and the nursery closed down.

Even though she had never met Blanchard - police said there was one instance when she came near his Rochdale home and took a picture of a reservoir - she would compete viciously with the other women to create the "best" images.

George has never divulged which children she abused in her care - some of them as young as 18 months old. Police found about 150 indecent images on her camera phone.

There are about 30 families who have been left in the dark, not sure whether their child was abused by her.

She was jailed in 2009 for a minimum of seven years after admitting seven sexual assaults and six counts of making and distributing indecent pictures of children.

ANGELA ALLEN

Image caption Allen was described as "truly evil" by those involved in her case

Described by officers investigating her case as a "sinister and totally evil individual", Angela Allen has showed no remorse.

Det Supt Adrian Pearson, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: "The tone and the fantasies she described in her texts and e-mails were perhaps the most graphic of them all.

"It was of a graphic nature you could not possibly describe, it was chilling."

Blanchard introduced the single mother to George over the internet. The pair then became adversaries in a contest of child pornography.

Each would send Blanchard the vile images for his satisfaction and to gain his approval.

Allen, who was unemployed, lived on the "fringes of society".

When police raided her house they found she was living in abject conditions - the place was dirty and there was little furniture or food in the house.

She spent most of her time on the internet as "Ang Bank" uploading images of child sex abuse and sharing them in the dark online world that Blanchard had created.

The former prostitute was given an indeterminate sentence to serve at least five years after admitting four child sex assaults and one count of distributing an indecent image.

TRACY LYONS

Image caption Tracy Lyons met Colin Blanchard through Facebook

Tracy Lyons, a mother-of-nine and former nursery volunteer, used the internet name foxywitchweb to communicate with Blanchard.

They met through Facebook where what started as sexual banter developed into lurid and dark fantasies where she sent photographs of her sexually assaulting a two-year-old boy.

The 41-year-old, from Portsmouth, did not commit any of the offences on the children she worked with while at Izzies Nursery, where she volunteered in the summer of 2008.

She did, however, touch a two-year-old boy sexually and caused a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity in the latter part of 2008.

These images were then sent to her internet "boyfriend", Blanchard.

She admitted six charges of child sex abuse and distributing indecent images and has been sentenced to seven years in jail.

TRACY DAWBER

Image caption Tracy Dawber wept as she was convicted of child sex abuse

Tracy Dawber was the only paedophile in the ring not to admit sexually abusing a child and sending photographs.

She was also the only one to ever meet Blanchard and was in a relationship with him in 2008.

While he took photographs, she abused a five-month-old baby who had been sitting on her lap.

The Southport care worker was the last one to be brought to justice after the jury failed to reach a verdict during a trial in July 2010.

She was finally found guilty in October of one count of sexually assaulting a child and five counts of permitting indecent photographs of a child to be taken.

The 44-year-old wept as she was convicted - the only one in Blanchard's sex abuse ring to show any kind of emotion in court.

She was sentenced to four years in prison.

After her conviction, Ann Reddrop, the prosecutor who has dealt with all the cases, described the network of Blanchard and his four women as "one of the most sickening paedophile rings this country has seen".

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