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tv   Victoria Derbyshire  BBC News  August 18, 2019 3:30pm-4:00pm BST

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i think that's more likely to be the case across the northern half of the british isles as we conclude proceedings today and push on into the wee small hours of monday. with all the breeze around and a fair bit of cloud as well, not a cold night in prospect by any means at all, although if the skies do clear for any length of time, as was the case last night, we may get down to around eight or 9 degrees. what news of monday? i think again sunny spells and showers but the showers perhaps, a bit more widely spread. a better chance therefore of some sunshine so late in the day, it willjust drag another mass of cloud, perhaps more in the way of extended rain spells into the north—west quarter of scotland and eventually that will slump its way towards northern ireland. hello, this is bbc news with lu kwesa burak. the headlines: the man in charge of planning for a no—deal brexit — michael gove — says leaked documents showing shortages of goods and a hard border with ireland — are out of date and worst case scenarios. this is the scene
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live in hong kong — where around 100,000 people have gathered for more pro—democracy protests — for the eleventh week running. kent police name the boy who's missing after he fell into the river stour as six—year old lucas dobson. and now on bbc news, highlights from the victoria derbyshire programme. hello and welcome. over the next half hour we'll show you some of the highlights from our programme in the last week. first, in exclusive interviews, we spoke to a dad whose child is a suspected victim of nursery worker vanessa george. we also heard from one of george's ex colleagues. vanessa george is a convicted paedophile who abused babies and young children in her care at the little ted's nursery in plymouth.
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george is due to be released from prison next month after serving ten years behind bars. she pleaded guilty to seven sexual assaults on children. the father, whose child went to the nursery, tells us he's disgusted she's being released and he'd kill george if he ever met her, and he's urged her to finally reveal the identities of those children she abused. she's one of the uk's worst paedophiles.
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vanessa george was a nursery assistant at little ted's nursery in plymouth, where instead of caring for the children, she abused them in the worst possible way. it's torn my family apart. it's torn the community apart. every day is a living nightmare. people would jump in saying, "they must have heard "those children scream. " "why did they do nothing?" we all felt, how did we not know? even hardened journalists were shocked at the sheer audacity and wickedness of the sexual depravation. some of the families sobbed and swore when they heard that george could be freed from jail in seven years. i know one day the question
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is going to come. my child is going to ask the question about whether they went to the nursery, and i don't know what i'm going to tell them. in a matter of weeks, vanessa george is due to be released. feelings are running high ahead of vanessa george coming out of prison. for the first time ever, one of vanessa george's colleagues from the nursery wants to speak out, alongside the father of one of the suspected victims. their names and voices have been changed to protect their identity. i want to ask you, simon, why as a parent of a child who was at the nursery a decade ago, why you want to speak out nowjust ahead of vanessa george's release from jail? i don't think she should be released.
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no one's asked the parents what they're feeling. well, they've asked seven sets of parents, by the sound of it. ten years is not enough for what she's done. she's been rehabilitated. we've had nothing. we were promised help from day one. we haven't received anything. the only way we've got where we are is through us contacting people. we've been forgotten. it's disgusting. she's getting better treatment than we are. what do you recall feeling when it became clear that she'd been sexually abusing babies, young children in the nursery where you worked, and recording the images and sending them to another paedophile? we as workers were close to the children. you know, some were there most days. you were very protective of them but you've let them down. you've let yourselves down. everything we were taught
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about safeguarding... and she fooled us all. people think you, because you worked in the same nursery as vanessa george, must have known something. yeah. we were cold shouldered or stared at and made uncomfortable. people would jump in, saying "they must have heard those children scream, why did they do nothing?" we all felt, how did we not know? every single member of staff. how can you learn from something you didn't know was happening? i don't feel any wiser now than what i did then. police found 124 sexual images of the children on her phone. their faces weren't shown and she has still never named any of her victims. effectively she would be in a toilet cubicle, changing a baby or a child with her back blocking the doorway. is that right?
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did you see her doing that? yes, i had seen her doing that. i think her sheer size would have blocked the view more than anything else. it didn't look suspicious because it was a deep window ledge and you could comfortably do that, but you wouldn't have seen past her body, really. no one could have known. the only people who could have known were her little ring. vanessa george wasn't acting alone. a married mum of two with no history of abuse, she started sending images to colin blanchard, a paedophile she met on the internet. angela allen was also sending photos to blanchard. both women claim they were manipulated by him into abusing children. all three were jailed. simon, your child was at the nursery when vanessa george worke there. a decade on, how would you say your child is? i've kept my child shielded from everything. but i know one day the question is going to come.
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my child is going to ask the question about whether they went to the nursery and i don't know what i'm going to tell them. after the abuse was discovered, the mums and dads were called to a meeting at a church hall. they split the parents into two rooms, a room where the child was unlikely to have been abused, a room where their child was, could potentially have been abused, which seems the most extraordinary brutal and crude way of doing things. you ended up in the room where your child was likely to have been abused. do you remember, simon, how you reacted then? the way they told us was just disgusting. you've one group of parents overjoyed, rightly so, and then you have the other lot, myself included, who've just had their hearts ripped out. i was angry, so angry. do you know for sure,
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even now ten years on, whether your child was sexually abused by vanessa george? no, no names have ever been released. do you want to know with absolute certainty? yes. why? i'd rather hear bad news than no news so i can deal with it. what's your instinct, simon? i think my child was. you said the day's coming when your child will ask if they went to that nursery. have you thought about what you would say, if, when that day comes? yeah. i'll explain what happened at the nursery and say no—one knows, but i'd rather tell my child what happened and explain. does that then not potentially give your child years of torment? all my child has to do is look at the local reports. vanessa george is all
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over youtube as well. have you ever considered that you might say to your child, you went there, you weren't abused? i have. but... i don't want to lie to my child in case it ever comes out. if i don't tell them, and someone else does, they could lose trust in me. according to the serious case review by the plymouth safeguarding children board, vanessa george talked at work in the nursery about sex a lot. she talked about affairs she'd had, she was having despite being married with children, she made explicit sexual references in her conversations. they were described as, that was normal. i know there was a reference in the serious case review that that should have been a flag. i don't know how you'd go from being someone wanting men
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to someone wanting children. she would show colleagues in the nursery images on her phone of men's penises. obviously not in front of the children. but it doesn't matter. it's not what you're there for. nobody was interested. vanessa just treated it all as a big joke. now i look back and i think, was the joke on us? did you challenge her? did you report her? i challenged her direct, as i know other staff did. when i saw another member of staff really disturbed and upset, i took it to the supervisor. and she spoke to vanessa. i still don't think it really sunk in that it was a big deal to her. she thought it was a game and a joke. what do you think about the fact that she was doing that in that loo, in that nursery? the chances she must have took. i think she gave that phone to a parent to look at a picture once at the end of the day. if that parent had swiped one way or the other through the photos, what would they have seen?
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did she live on the edge and that was her thrill? i don't know. let's talk about the sentence she was given. a sentence that meant she had to serve a minimum of seven years in jail. she served almost ten. the parole board say that the reason she's being released now is because she's not a risk to the public anymore. she took part in programmes to address her sexual offending behavior. she has, as they put it, presented as showing remorse for what she did. and all the professional witnesses recommended she be released. 0ur sentence is still carrying on. the only time she's feigned remorse was in that first interview. i believe that woman
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is still a danger to children. she's had those urges before. i don't think they will ever go away. i think there's a very, very strong possibility she could do it again. is there anything about the conditions that are attached to her release that reassures you? she won't be able to work with children again. she will have to live at an approved address. she can't use social media, her movements, her contacts will be restricted. she may have to live elsewhere. she won't be given a new identity but reports suggest that she has changed her name. she has divorced from her husband. does any of that reassure you? some would say it's better she does come out and come back here. some would say it's better she comes out and comes back to devon and cornwall? why? she'll be dealt with. would that be the right thing to do, in your opinion? i wouldn't care. i wouldn't care for her life at all. someone‘s going to bump into her and recognise her. it's going to happen to her eventually and someone‘s
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going to get a longer sentence that she did. if i was to bump into her, i'd kill her. seriously? yeah. we have a justice system which allows people, which punishes people for doing heinous things and which allows them, once they have served their sentence, to try to rehabilitate and continue with a life. if you had to sum up what she did, and the devastation she has caused, what would you say? i hope we never see anything like this ever again, ever. it's torn my family apart. it's torn the community apart. every day is a living nightmare. what would you say to her, simon, if you were able to talk to her, face to face? tell us the truth. tell us the names.
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she's still got that hold on us. and if you have been affected by any of the issues in that report and would like some advice, do visit the bbc action line website, bbc.co.uk?actionline. next, the family of a 12—year—old girl who lost her life injune after drowning in a river in greater manchester told this programme this week they believe institutional racism within the police force is why they are no closer to finding out what led to her death. i have been speaking to shukri abdi's mother, zam zam ture, and her nephew, mustaf 0mar, who helped to translate for shukri's mum who speaks little english. we were also joined by the family's lawyer, attiq malik. before we hear from them, here is a reminder about what we know about what happened to the 12—year—old. shukri abdi came to the uk two and a half years ago with her mother and siblings. they were fleeing
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conflict in somalia. her mum reported her missing at the end of a hot day in latejune. the 12—year—old was found unresponsive in the river irwell in bury. she'd drowned. her parents say she could not swim and would not have gone into the river. greater manchester police investigated and call the case a tragic accident. but the family question how the police could have come to that conclusion so quickly. the police watchdog, the iopc, is investigating greater manchester police's handling of the case. the school shukri abdi went to is reviewing its anti—bullying policy. i want to ask you, zam zam, first of all, as shukri's mother, what the last few weeks have been like for you and your family? everyone have a difficult time. she has been in a lot of pain and it's been difficult for her. and can you tell our audience about shukri? what was she like? she speaks in own language
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shukri was a sweet, young girl that, you know, she used to be playful and happy, but at the same time she was, you know, a bit grown over, as well, her age cos she used to help out a lot with her mum. tell us about shukri's time at school. what was that like for her? she speaks in own language she was happy when she first started going to school from year six and then year seven and she was making a lot of friends and, you know,
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she wasjust enjoying her time going to school and everything. but in the last year, i believe you say that shukri was bullied. and did you report it to the school? do you believe the school knew what was going on with her? yes, they definitely knew. because you reported it? many times, yeah. many times. in a statement released on the school's website following shukri's death, broad 0ak sports college said it would be reviewing all policies and procedures at the school. "in particular," they say, "we will focus on the school's anti—bullying policy and procedures and other policies relating to the welfare of children." so what is the family's view of the report that the school have done? in summary one word describes it — whitewash. conclusion of the report, essentially, just said that they were not aware of any bullying, and it is quite concerning because, from the outset, the family had been informed that
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zam zam would be interviewed for this. and one is, look at the full context of this. the family are a family of refugees. they've come to this country from a warzone, only been in this country for three years, and like it or not, there is a lack of education, communication issues here. and to fully and effectively investigate, this common sense tells you that you would need to interview the mother to see what were the contact points in the school, what was the nature of those contact points, who do they speak to? and the irony of it is this was actually a suggestion by the school themselves. what are your concerns about the greater manchester police investigation into shukri's death? she said, you know, from the beginning when her daughter was missing for 30 minutes, she rang the police to report her daughter missing because it was totally out of character for her not to come home. and then, after ten hours, when they actually told her that her daughter was found in a river, you know, she said she knew that her daughter would notjust go swimming,
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she knows her daughter — especially when fully clothed. and plus she had to go to madrasa after — she had an exam in madrasa. so she knew her daughter wouldn't do that. she was normally... her daughter, she comes home straightaway from school — she'd been doing that every day. so you, as the family, do not believe the police account, which is that shukri drowned and it was a tragic accident? we don't know exactly what happened at the river, but we know shukri very well and we know that she would not... and we know her character. it is so out of character for shukri to go near anything that scares her. shukri is the kind of girl that if she is scared of a dog, sees a dog, she'll cross the road. she's not the kind of girl to... like, she's not brave to try new things or do new things. attiq malik, to say that the family doesn't believe the police account of what happened with the explanation, as mustaf has just said, because shukri couldn't swim, she wouldn't get in the water in full dress. and they said it's a hot day, but the shukris come
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from africa, you know? how can it be hot for her to go in a river? she's come from africa. it's, like, 30 degrees hotter there than it was that day. so they said, "oh, it's a hot day, so we advise people not to go in the river." it's a big thing for a family to say they simply don't believe the police account. what evidence do you have that it was anything other than a tragic accident? the fact of the matter is this. when a family is going through a difficult point like this, they expect support and full investigation responses by all the authorities around him. around them. and in this case, when something so serious has happened and the police have turned around and within hours published a press release saying that there is no suspicious circumstances, that alone caused alarm bells. and then, following that, they have now changed their position and said, "we are still investigating." and so if this was nothing more than a tragic accident, the question is, what are you investigating? do you believe that you have been treated differently
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by greater manchester police because you are refugees? of course. why? she speaks in own language she goes, well, she doesn't believe it because, especially with the communication and... cos she cannot get out everything she wants to say... do you believe they've treated you differently because they are institutionally racist? she goes, "yeah. " and what's your view, as the family lawyer? across the country, there are often complaints from members of the bame communities of the police not giving their concerns due weight. and in this situation, the family have seen how
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the police treat deaths. to turn around so quickly and do a public press release saying, we do not believe is anything wrong, they family's firm position is that they have only been treated in that way because of their race, and that had it been a different racial background, they may not have been treated that way, that more sensitivity probably would have been given, a more thorough investigation would have been done. and so that is their complaint and that is what the iopc are now investigating. yeah. what do you, as the family's lawyer, want to happen next? we want the truth. we want the full investigation done every, single possible avenue explored by the police, so that the family can be satisfied that nothing more could be done. and proper weight and consideration given to all of their concerns and notjust swept under the carpet. finally, millions of you have watched our interview with the delightful liverpool fan who knocked himself unconscious on a lamp post while chasing mo salah's car. he told us he was gobsmacked to have
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been visited by his idol. ii—year—old louis fowler and his ten—year—old brother, isaac, were trying to get the liverpool striker‘s attention as he was driving out of the club's training base. the hospital said that i might have to get it reset in a couple of weeks. really? yes. it looks all right. are you quite happy with it or do you want it reset? i do not know, to be honest. whatever happens, i think it was worth meeting mo salah. was it? but did it knock you out when you hit this lamp post? briefly. did it? yeah. were you there, isaac? yeah, i was watching it, i was behind them. so what happened, describe it? ok, i saw him fall over and hit the lamp post, and i ran over to mo salah's car to tell him what had happened, and then when i figured out that he could not stand up, i was dead scared. so mo salah came back around the corner a few minutes later, and then he came to louis,
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and he was like, why were you running like that? you could have really hurt yourself dead bad. so, louis, from your point of view, this is at the training ground, is this right? liverpool training ground ? yes. you see mo salah come out in his car, take the story up from there. mo salah comes out in his car and sometimes they stop if you run after them, sometimes they stop anyway, so i ran with my brother, and in my excitement, i was not focusing on what was in front of me, i was looking to the left where mo salah's car was and i ran into a lamp post. i think mo salah felt bad and he pulled over, he was worried about me, and my brother, and someone i met called jose, he was friendly, they told mo salah that i could have injured myself and i am hurt on the floor, so thenjose carried me back to my house. we called an ambulance.
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we were not expecting mo salah at all. what happened ? he knocks on the door or what? mo salah came driving with his car to our close and we walked out of our garden and mo salah was really worried about me, and we got pictures. it was great, but it was also not the best because of my nose. wow! what do you think of mo salah? what car does he drive? a bentley. does he? so the bentley went into your close? yeah. what do you think of the fact that he came back, got out of his car, checked on you? i think that is really kind hearted of him. it is a great choice. i love him very much because he is amazing. do you love him, isaac? yeah. joe, do you love him? he is a top guy, to be fair. i was so shocked when he came back, obviously. it might not be a big deal to some people, you have got to understand with these football players, they have cameras watching them,
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security, and all of a sudden mo has disappeared, they are probably panicking. it is a big thing for him to come back, he was really caring and compassionate towards the boys and he made their day so a big thank you to him and everyone at liverpool. they are great with the kids when they wait outside, which is most days. they are so great and mo is a top guy. that is it for this week, do send us your stories. send us an e—mail. we are back live, monday morning at 10:00am on bbc two, the bbc news channel, and online. see you then. hello, in recent days we have advertised it as being a regime of sunny spells and showers but as you know from your experience, there can bea number of know from your experience, there can be a number of variations on that theme and the rest of today falls
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under a theme and the rest of today falls undera similar theme and the rest of today falls under a similar banner. all of the above supplied by the area of low pressure which has been around for a number of days in the north of scotland. this banner of cloud produced more persistent rain across the southern counties in the first half of sunday. that has now quit the scene. following behind, a brighter sky across the southern parts of britain, skies clearing beautifully across parts of cornwall. further north if you get too many showers or a big one and it sells the sky, your mixture of sunny spells and showers will look more like that. for the rest of the evening and overnight, we will keep the shower circulating around the low pressure and coming in across scotland, northern ireland, northern and western parts of the british isles, the odd one further east. a noticeable westerly breeze. not an especially cold night, one or two rural spots will be in single figures. this is monday, low
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pressure is pushed closer towards the coast of norway. we are suggesting a little flood in the flow later in the day. for the most pa rt flow later in the day. for the most part of the day, showers are widely scattered and a deal of sunshine. light on in the day, it will be cloudy and persistent rain will get into the northern parts of scotland and eventually come evening time, towards parts of northern ireland. temperatures on a par for the greater part of the weekend. change of the script for a tuesday because it starts off fine and dry for many areas then we look towards the atla ntic were areas then we look towards the atlantic were a south—westerly wind will usher in a warm front and a banner of cloud thickening up to give rain eventually through wales, northern ireland and southern and western parts of scotland. just it looks drier and brighter to the east, by the end of the week many areas will look dry and bright and the temperatures will begin to pick
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up the temperatures will begin to pick up in many spots as well. take care, goodbye. this is bbc news, i'm lukwesa barak. the headlines: the man in charge of planning for a "no—deal" brexit, michael gove, says leaked documents showing shortages of goods and medicine are out of date. 100,000 people hold demonstrations in hong kong for the 11th week running. kent police continue the search for six—year—old lucas dobson, who's missing after he fell into the river stour. the muslim convert known asjihadijack, who travelled to syria to join so—called islamic state, has been stripped of his british citizenship. and a glacier in iceland goes from this to this. the country holds a ceremony to mourn the first one to be lost because of climate change.

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