A nursery worker from Herefordshire has admitted physically and emotionally abusing children.

Sarah Pitt, 40, from Linton, near Bromyard, pleaded guilty to four charges of cruelty to children.

Worcester Crown Court today heard the offences occurred over the last few years, and relate to the physical and emotional abuse of a number of different children. Pitt pleaded not guilty to three other counts of child cruelty; these offences will lie on file.

Pitt was handed a two-year suspended prison sentence and disqualified from working with children.

She was also given a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement, and banned from any unsupervised contact with children under the age of 16, without their parents' consent, and them having knowledge of her convictions.

Detective Constable Sarah Celozzi said: "The parents of these children put their trust in Sarah Pitt, and if it wasn't for concerned members of staff, and a student who visited the nursery having the moral courage to come forward, this case would never have come to light.

"Today's sentence sends out a message that those abusing their position of trust, will be brought to justice.

"It is reassuring that Sarah Pitt will never be able to work with children again. This has had a devastating effect on the families who she so deeply betrayed.

"I would like to thank the staff and student who came forward, and the families who have been affected, for their continued understanding, strength and cooperation throughout this investigation.

"We are committed to protecting the most vulnerable members of our society, and although Sarah Pitt may have thought her victims didn't have a voice, today justice has been done."