Nursery worker faces jail

A Cupar nursery worker is facing jail after being found guilty of two charges of assault at the town's Busy Bee nursery.

Thursday, 19th May 2016, 1:01 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th May 2016, 2:02 pm

Caroline Bell had denied the assaults, committed between November 1 2013 and February 26 2014 at the nursery now known as Little Beehives.

The nursery’s owners said they “fully supported” the police throughout the prosecution and that Bell had been sacked when the allegations came to light.

Shocked co-workers told a trial at Dundee Sheriff Court that Bell had “joked” about the incidents - and “talked about it as if she was talking about what she had had for tea”.

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Sian Conway, 22, a former worker at the nursery, told a trial at Dundee Sheriff Court that she was the whistleblower who flagged up two specific incidents to bosses – leading the cases to be reported to the police.

She said: “I was working with Caroline - she was my senior.

“There was an incident involving one of the children on the climbing frame. The child had bitten another child and Caroline went over to deal with the situation. She picked him up off the climbing frame and had him upside down by the ankles.”

Miss Conway wept as she told the court: “She walked him across the room, dangling him by the ankles all the way. Then she dumped him on the floor - she dropped him from stomach level, she just let him go.

“Then she came over to me and had a laugh about it – she made a joke of it.”

She also described a second incident that she said Bell had told her about after her return from holiday which had resulted in blood vessels popping in a child’s eye.

Sheriff Simon Collins QC deferred sentence until next month for social work background reports.

Jennifer Martin, owner of Little Beehives nursery, said: “Children’s wellbeing is our number one priority and we fully support the actions of the police in bringing this action against an ex-employee who was dismissed from our service.”