Paedophile ringleader denied parole due to public safety concerns

Date published: 14 June 2024

A convicted paedophile ringleader has been refused parole due to concerns raised about the risk he poses to the public.

Colin Blanchard, from Smithy Bridge, made a bid for freedom to the Parole Board, but his assessment noted that he had 'accepted that he had a sexual interest in children and in bestiality'.

Blanchard, now 53, was given an indeterminate sentence in 2011 for child sex abuse charges and told he must serve a minimum of nine years in jail.

Having served the minimum nine years, Blanchard’s parole request was initially denied in June 2018.

By January 2022, the Parole Board announced that Blanchard was scheduled for a hearing at the end of that month, with a decision anticipated by mid-February, assuming there were no delays or adjournments.

However, multiple delays ensued, with parole hearings rescheduled to July 2022, then December 2022, January 2023, June 2023, February 2024, and finally a two-day hearing on May 29 and 31 2024.

As previously reported, Blanchard had exchanged images with Tracy Lyons, of Portsmouth; Tracy Dawber, of Southport; Angela Allen, of Nottingham, and Vanessa George, of Plymouth.

George abused 64 babies and toddlers in her care as a nursery worker – leading her to be dubbed ‘the UK’s worst female paedophile’.

A video of Lyons abusing a boy was found on Blanchard’s computer following his 2009 arrest, whilst he had also sent indecent images taken from the internet to her email address.

Meanwhile, a mobile phone found in Blanchard’s car held a series of images of a woman abusing a baby. Police were told this was Tracy Dawber, and one of the images had been sent to George.

George was released from prison in 2019, Allen released in 2020, and Lyons in 2011.

Do you have a story for us?

Let us know by emailing
All contact will be treated in confidence.

To contact the Rochdale Online news desk, email or visit our news submission page.

To get the latest news on your desktop or mobile, follow Rochdale Online on Twitter and Facebook.

While you are here...

...we have a small favour to ask; would you support Rochdale Online and join other residents making a contribution, from just £3 per month?

Rochdale Online offers completely independent local journalism with free access. If you enjoy the independent news and other free services we offer (event listings and free community websites for example), please consider supporting us financially and help Rochdale Online to continue to provide local engaging content for years to come. Thank you.

Support Rochdale Online