- Colin Blanchard was handed indeterminate term for sex abuse charges in 2011
- It came after he recruited Vanessa George to abuse 64 babies in her care
- Blanchard is currently being held at Category C HMP Wymott in Lancashire
- He will appear before Parole Board on July 4 and will give evidence via video link
One of Britain’s worst paedophiles, who coaxed nursery worker Vanessa George to sexually abuse babies and toddlers, could be freed from jail as he prepares for a parole board hearing.
Colin Blanchard, 51, was handed an indeterminate sentence in 2011 for sex abuse charges and told he would serve a minimum of nine years.
It came after he recruited George to abuse 64 babies in her care for his notorious paedophile gang.
Blanchard, from Rochdale, is currently held at Category C HMP Wymott, near Leyland, Lancashire, and will appear before a Parole Board on July 4, MailOnline can reveal.
He will give evidence via a video link to a judge, psychologist and an independent member.
If the panel recommends him for release, he could be released from prison by mid August.
A spokesperson for the Parole Board said: ‘We can confirm the parole review of Colin Blanchard has been referred to the Parole Board by the Secretary of State for Justice and is following standard processes. A hearing is expected to take place in early July.
‘Parole Board decisions are solely focused on what risk a prisoner could represent to the public if released and whether that risk is manageable in the community.
‘A panel will carefully examine a huge range of evidence, including details of the original crime, and any evidence of behaviour change, as well as explore the harm done and impact the crime has had on the victims.
‘Members read and digest hundreds of pages of evidence and reports in the lead up to an oral hearing. Evidence from witnesses including probation officers, psychiatrists and psychologists, officials supervising the offender in prison as well as victim personal statements are then given at the hearing.
‘The prisoner and witnesses are then questioned at length during the hearing which often lasts a full day or more. Parole reviews are undertaken thoroughly and with extreme care. Protecting the public is our number one priority.’
Blanchard’s case was first referred to the Parole Board two years ago by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).
But experts judged he was not ready to be released from jail without holding a hearing.
He was subsequently required to complete another course in jail designed to prevent re-offending.
The case was reviewed by a psychologist before a date could be set to consider his status.
The MoJ referred his case to be considered after he had completed his nine-year minimum sentence.
Offenders are only brought before the Parole Board every two years.
The paedophile had convinced nursery worker Vanessa George to abuse babies and toddlers in her care at Little Ted’s nursery in Efford, Plymouth.
She shared videos of her attacks with Blanchard and jailed for seven years and released in September 2019.
Families of the many young victims will be allowed to air their views on Blanchard’s potential release in impact statements to experts.
George is back on the streets after serving ten years in prison for abusing up to 64 babies.
She cruelly refused to tell police the names of all her victims, leading to a decade of ‘hell’ for families.
During his sentencing hearing in 2011, Blanchard was described as a ‘Svengali’ figure at the centre of one of the ‘most sickening paedophile rings this country has ever seen’.
The IT worker persuaded a string of middle-aged women he met on Facebook to abuse children for his sexual pleasure.
Angela Allen and Tracey Lyons, who were both jailed for their roles in the ring, have already been released from prison.
Police uncovered their activities only when Blanchard forgot to log out of his personal email account and his business partner spotted images of child abuse.