Duns nursery duo are cleared by sheriff

Little Reivers childcare facility in Duns.
Little Reivers childcare facility in Duns.

Two workers from a children’s nursery in the Borders accused of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner have been cleared following a long-running trial.

Thirty-five-year-old Teresa Renton and Nicola Jeffrey, who is 33, embraced each other in the dock when the not guilty verdict was announced at Selkirk Sheriff Court.

They had been charged with engaging in a course of conduct likely to cause fear and alarm at Little Reivers Nursery in Duns between January 2015 and August 1, 2016.

The six-day trial heard a number of allegations labelled against the two women – who are both from Duns – regarding practices involving children in their care.

But Sheriff Raymond McMenamin questioned why the claims had never previously been reported until one worker – who was “motivated to paint the worst possible picture of the accused” – made a complaint against them in the summer of 2016 and others then followed.

Sheriff McMenamin said that taking Renton’s evidence alone – he described her as a good witness who was coherent and clear – there was scope for reasonable doubt and therefore a not guilty verdict must follow.