Baby P: Mother who abused baby for months released from prison

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Justice secretary Dominic Raab has called for a “fundamental overhaul” of the Parole board after it rejected a government challenge against a ruling to free the mother of Baby P, who died after months of abuse, from prison.

Tracey Connelly could be out of jail within weeks after board judges refused the bid by justice secretary Dominic Raab to keep her behind bars for longer.

But Mr Raab condemned the decision and said it was proof the Parole Board needed a “fundamental overhaul” and that Conenelly actions were “pure evil.”

She was jailed at the Old Bailey in 2009 for causing or allowing the death of her 17-month-old son Peter at their home in Tottenham, north London, on 3 August 2007.

Tracey Connelly will be released from prison after the Parole Board rejected a government challenge against its ruling

(PA)

“Tracey Connelly’s cruelty towards her son, baby Peter, was pure evil”, Mr Raab said.

“The decision to release her demonstrates why the parole board needs a fundamental overhaul – including a ministerial check for the most serious offenders – so that it serves and protects the public,” he added.

Connelly was released on license in 2013 but recalled to prison in 2015 for breaching her parole conditions.

In March the Parole Board decided she was suitable for release, having rejected three previous bids.

But last month Mr Raab asked the board, which is independent of government, to re-examine the decision under the so-called reconsideration mechanism.

On Thursday the Parole Board announced that the application had been rejected and the original decision upheld.

A spokesperson said in a statement: “Following the reconsideration application from the secretary of state, a judge has ruled that the decision made by independent Parole Board members to release was not irrational, as stated in the reconsideration application, and the original decision is upheld.” .”

Baby P suffered more than 50 injuries – despite being on the at-risk register and receiving 60 visits from social workers, police officers and health professionals over eight months.

Connelly admitted the offense and was handed a sentence of imprisonment for public protection with a minimum term of five years.

Her boyfriend Steven Barker and his brother Jason Owen were convicted of the same offence.

A series of reviews identified missed opportunities for officials to save the toddler’s life had they reacted properly to warning signs.

This was Connelly’s fourth parole review. The decision was meant to be made in 2021 but was delayed to obtain more information.

Her case was considered for a third time in 2019 following previous reviews in 2015 and 2017, and refused to either release her or move her to an open prison.

After being recalled to prison, she was put on a “very intensive” treatment program from the Ministry of Justice and the NHS over three years and is “now able to work openly and honestly with professionals”, the report added.

The Parole Board said it was satisfied Connelly is suitable for release after hearing she is now considered to be at “low risk of committing a further offence” and that her probation officers and prison officials support the plan.

Justice secretary Dominic Raab was represented throughout the review and his representative “confirmed that this recommendation was accepted”, the report said.

Connelly will be subject to restrictions on her movements, activities and who she contacts, and faces 20 extra license conditions.

They include living at a specified address, being supervised by probation, wearing an electronic tag, adhering to a curfew and having to disclose her relationships.

Her use of the internet and a phone will be monitored and she has been told she cannot go to certain places to “avoid contact with victims and to protect children”.

Additional reporting by PA

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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