This is a kick in the teeth, says Baby P’s family as mother who allowed him to be tortured to death wins freedom
- Connelly was jailed indefinitely with a minimum of five years in May 2009
- The Parole Board said today it has directed her release
- Connelly appeared before a Parole Board panel at the end of July
North London–THE family of Baby P reacted with fury yesterday as the mother who allowed him to be tortured to death prepared for her release from prison.
Tracey Connelly is expected to walk out of jail within 24 hours after being granted parole yesterday.
The 32-year-old was jailed indefinitely and ordered to serve a minimum of five years in May 2009 for causing or allowing her son Peter’s death, but the Parole Board believes she is no longer a danger to the public.
With time on remand following her arrest in 2007, Connelly has served longer than five years.
The decision to release her has appalled relatives of Baby P who died at his mother’s flat in Tottenham, North London, in 2007. The 17-month-old had more than 50 injuries, including a broken back.
Yesterday a relative of Baby P’s father said: ‘I have been dreading this day for years and it’s finally come around. This is a real kick in the teeth. She should have served much longer. In my view she should never have been let out. This is not justice.’
He added that Peter’s father and siblings ‘are attempting to get on with their lives as a family and I don’t know how this is going to affect them’.
Connelly had admitted doing nothing while Peter was tortured to death by her boyfriend Steven Barker and his paedophile brother Jason Owen.
The case provoked a national scandal after it emerged that social workers, police and doctors missed a series of warning signs that could have saved the child’s life.
Owen was freed on licence in 2011 but returned to jail in April this year after breaching parole conditions. Barker was given an indefinite sentence with a tariff of ten years.
Yesterday officials were debating moving Connelly from Low Newton jail near Durham to another prison prior to her release to protect her from attack by vigilantes.
She will then be taken to a probation hostel away from London. Connelly has not been given a new identity, but will be encouraged to change her name by deed poll.
She has been given tips on how to hide her true identity and change her appearance after she received death threats.
She already looks different from her police mugshot after ballooning to 22st in prison.
She will be seen every week by probation officials and prohibited from returning to Haringey, North London.
After a stint in the probation hostel, Connelly will be allowed to move into a private home.
But she will be banned from contacting her remaining three children by Baby P’s father and her youngest child by Barker.
So Social services will be alerted should she get pregnant again and would almost certainly apply to have the baby taken into care.
She will remain on licence for the rest of her life and will be recalled to custody if she breaches the conditions of her licence.
SHOCKING TIMELINE OF EVENTS SURROUNDING BABY P’S DEATH
March 1 – Peter Connelly is born to Tracey Connelly.
November – Steven Barker, the boyfriend of the child’s mother, moves into her home. This is kept from police and social workers.
December 11 – Peter is taken to Whittington Hospital in Archway, north London, with bruises on his head, nose, chest and right shoulder.
December 12 – Doctors refer the case to the Metropolitan Police’s child abuse investigation team.
December 15 – The little boy is given to family friend Angela Godfrey to look after.
December 19 – Police arrest and interview Connelly on suspicion of assaulting her son. She denies injuring him.
December 22 – Peter is placed on the child protection register.
January – Peter is returned to his family after five weeks.
January 9 – Police pass a file about the injuries to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which requests further investigation.
February – The family is rehoused in a larger, semi-detached property in Tottenham, north London.
February 2 – Haringey Council appoints Maria Ward as the family’s new social worker.
April 9 – Peter is admitted to North Middlesex Hospital in Edmonton, north London, with bruises, two black eyes and swelling on his head.
His mother claims the injuries were caused after another child pushed the infant onto a marble fireplace. The episode is not reported to police.
April 11 – Peter is discharged from hospital.
June – Jason Owen – Barker’s brother – moves into the home with a 15-year-old runaway he describes as his girlfriend.
June 1 – Ms Ward alerts police after bruises and scratches appear on the little boy’s face. He is examined at the North Middlesex Hospital.
June 5 – Officers interview Connelly under caution. She blames another child for the marks.
July 25 – Lawyers advise Haringey Council social workers that they cannot legally take Peter into care.
July 30 – Ms Ward makes a pre-arranged home visit. She misses injuries on Peter’s face and hands after he is deliberately smeared with chocolate to hide them.
July 31 – Police hand over further reports to the CPS, including statements from two doctors saying Peter’s bruising was suggestive of ‘non-accidental’ injury.
Prosecutors decide there is not enough evidence to bring a case.
August 1 – Peter is taken to a child development clinic at St Ann’s Hospital in Tottenham, north London.
Paediatrician Dr Sabah Al-Zayyat decides she cannot carry out a full check-up as the boy is ‘miserable and cranky’.
A post-mortem examination later reveals Peter had probably already suffered a broken back and fractured ribs by this point.
August 2 – Police tell Connelly she will not be prosecuted.
That evening, the child receives the fatal last blow to the mouth, knocking his tooth out.
August 3 – A 999 call is made at 11.36am. Four minutes later paramedics find Peter lying in his blood-spattered cot. He is pronounced dead on arrival at hospital.
An attempt has been made to cover the crime, with the child’s clothes and bedding removed and dumped.
November – Owen, 36, from Bromley, and Barker, then 32, are found guilty of causing the death of Baby Peter. Connelly admitted her part.
May – Barker is convicted of raping a two-year-old girl and Baby P’s name is finally revealed at the request of his family
May – Connelly is handed an indefinite jail term with a minimum term of five years. Barker is jailed for life with a minimum of 10 years for raping the girl and a 12-year sentence for his part Peter’s death. Owen gets an indefinite sentence with a minimum term of three years.
August – Owen, 39, is released from prison. He served three years of a six-year sentence.
October – The Parole Board confirms that it has directed the release of Tracey Connelly.