Nursery worker sentenced for shaking child

A nursery worker who shook a child and shoved toys in his chest because he wouldn’t tidy up has been sentenced for assault.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said that Aini Berrington, 54, of Neston, assaulted the child on 3 February 2023 at a nursery in Wirral.

Staff had been encouraging the children to tidy up their toys as they prepared for “home” time.

Berrington began to speak sternly to one child because he wouldn’t tidy up and she repeatedly called the child “rude”. She then grabbed the child by the shoulders and repeatedly shook him.

She then grabbed one of the toys and shoved them into the child’s chest with some force. She also threw some of the toys in the child’s direction.

Another member of staff noticed what she was doing and challenged her. Berrington said she was “sorry”. She repeated that she was sorry for what she had done shortly afterwards.

The member of staff reported what she had seen and Berrington was suspended while an investigation was carried out.

She was interviewed by Merseyside Police under caution on 25 April 2023. She denied she had done anything wrong or that she had assaulted the child or spoken to him inappropriately.

She was charged with assault by beating but denied the charge. She was found guilty following a trial at Birkenhead Magistrates Court on 16 February 2024.

On 20 March 2024, at Liverpool Magistrates Court, she was sentenced to 40 hours of unpaid work and she must pay £300 costs and a £114 victim surcharge.

In a Victim Personal Statement, the parents of the child told the court that his behaviour had changed following the incident. He was anxious and fretful and often needed to be reassured that Aini Berrington wasn’t around.

His moods and sleep patterns had also been affected.

Senior Crown Prosecutor Melissa Williams of CPS Mersey Cheshire, said, “Aini Berrington was in a position of trust at the nursery and was expected to treat the children with care, respect and compassion.

“On that day she repeatedly shook a small child who was powerless to stop her and behaved in a manner that was totally unacceptable.

“She has several years’ experience of working with small children and would have known what was expected of her.

“Her attempts to control the child veered into criminality and the parents have spoken of how that has affected their child long term.

“She did not abide by the standards that her employers and the parents of the children at the nursery expected and now her career in that sector is over and she has a criminal record.

“The Crown Prosecution Service would like to thank the staff at the nursery and the parents of the child for their help in bringing this prosecution.”

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