Further delay hits trial of Borders nursery staff accused of abusing children

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

The trial of two nursery workers accused of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner towards children in their care has been hit by another delay.

Nicola Jeffrey, 33, and Teresa Renton, 34, are alleged to have committed that offence on various occasions between January 1, 2015, and August 1, 2016, at Little Reivers Nursery in Duns, since closed.

They have both pleaded not guilty to a charge of shouting, forcibly dragging children about, locking children inside cupboards and refusing to let them out, making offensive and abusive comments towards and about young children and behaving in an aggressive, threatening and abusive manner towards young children in their care.

Jeffrey is further alleged to have seized hold of the arm of an injured child receiving treatment from a colleague and it was later ascertained that the youngster’s arm had sustained two fractures.

Jeffrey is also said to changed the nappy of a child in view of the public on a concrete floor without using any mat.

Renton, of Ainslie Terrace, Duns, and Jeffrey, of Rachel Drive, also in Duns, deny that charge.

Their trial was scheduled to get under way tomorrow, January 15, but at an intermediate hearing at Jedburgh Sheriff Court it emerged that there had been a change of defence lawyers and they would not be ready in time for that date.

A new date for the start of the trial, expected to last four days, has been fixed for April 29.