South East Wales

Newport childminder 'dragged toddler up stairs'

Cwmbran Magistrates' Court

A childminder "dragged" a toddler up stairs by the wrists, causing them to have a carpet burn on their face, a court has heard.

Alison Burt-Ryan, 46, of Newport, is also alleged to have shoved another child into a chair.

Cwmbran Magistrates' Court heard the alleged incidents were investigated after a member of staff at the nursery reported them to the NSPCC.

Mrs Burt-Ryan denies two counts of common assault.

Childminding assistant Donna Stitt told the court that in the first alleged incident she saw Mrs Burt-Ryan "grab" a two-year-old by the arm before spinning the child around to face her while she told them off for touching electrical wires.

She then described how Mrs Burt-Ryan picked the child up by the waist and "slammed" them into a chair, causing them to bite their lip, which started to bleed.

The court heard the child's parents were told the injury was caused when they held the spinning wheels of a toy car to their mouth.

'Screaming'

In the second incident, said to have happened two months later, Ms Stitt said she arrived at the nursery to find a 17-month-old "very distressed" sitting in a high chair.

She said the baby's mouth was overly full with food and they were crying.

Ms Stitt told the court Mrs Burt-Ryan said she would take the baby to bed before she walked to the high chair and "grabbed" the baby and carried them upstairs by their wrists.

The court heard the child's feet were hitting the steps and Ms Stitt said she "could hear thumping and crying".

"I heard a big thump from the ceiling and then more screaming," she added.

'Hard lesson'

Ms Stitt said Mrs Burt-Ryan then returned downstairs and told her the baby would have a carpet burn on their face where she "dragged" them up the stairs.

She said she checked on the child three hours later and they had marks on their top lip and nose and a red mark around one eye.

The child's parents were told the injuries were caused when another child injured them with a toy car, causing them to fall and hit their eye on a chair.

Mrs Burt-Ryan, who has been a childminder since 2001, said she ran the nursery "as a passion not a business".

She told police officers during interview she felt "numb" and "very distressed" when she was told of the allegations.

She admitted not recording the incidents in the nursery's accident book and told officers she had "learned a hard lesson" in not doing so.

The trial continues.

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