What happened to Baby P? Death explained as his mum is released from jail

Advertisement

Baby P’s mother was released from prison despite government efforts to keep her behind bars.

Tracey Connelly was deemed eligible for parole by the Parole Board in March and confirmed by the Department of Justice on Thursday (July 7).

Advertisement

Register to our Mazic News Today Newsletter

She has been in prison since 2009 after baby P died after months of abuse.

The case was one that shocked the nation.

Advertisement

He died in Tottenham on 3 August 2007 at his mother Tracey Connelly’s home.

The government had attempted to appeal the decision following the Parole Board’s announcement in March.

Advertisement

Here’s everything you need to know about Baby P and Tracey Connelly’s release.

baby p

What happened to baby P?

Advertisement

Peter Connelly, known as Baby P, was 17 months old when he tragically died at Tottenham.

He had sustained more than 50 injuries despite being on the risk register and had received 60 visits from social workers, police officers and health professionals in eight months.

Advertisement

On December 11, 2006, a month after Connelly’s friend Steven Barker moved into the family home, she took her son to see a family doctor who sent her to Whittington Hospital in Archway due to his injuries and their mismatched history.

Four days later, the baby was released but placed in the care of a family friend while police and social workers investigated.

Advertisement

Baby P’s mother and grandmother were arrested on December 19 for assaulting him – and three days later he was placed on Haringey’s child protection register.

However, baby P was returned to his mother on January 26, 2007 – and she had moved into a house in Tottenham, but little was known to social services that Barker had also moved with her.

Advertisement

Over an eight-month period, Baby P’s injuries included a broken back, broken ribs, lacerations to the head, a broken shin, a torn ear, mutilated fingertips, skin tears from the nose and mouth, cuts to the neck and a tooth knocked out.

His handlers also repeatedly choked him until he turned blue and once encouraged a rottweiler to attack him.

Advertisement

The toddler was on the risk register and received 60 visits from social workers, police officers and health professionals over the same eight-month period – but they missed the signs.

After baby P’s death, a post-mortem found he swallowed a tooth after being hit.

Advertisement
Tracey Connelly

Who is Tracey Connelly?

Tracey Connelly, 40, was jailed at the Old Bailey in 2009 for causing or allowing the death of a child.

Advertisement

She was sentenced to public protection imprisonment with a minimum sentence of five years.

She drunkenly watched porn while her son was being tortured to death.

Advertisement

Connelly gave birth to her son on March 1, 2006 when she was 25 years old.

She met Baby P’s father when she was 16 and he was 33. However, three months after the baby was born, he left her and moved out.

Advertisement

Not long after the split, she began a relationship with Steven Barker – who she met in a pub.

The first clear signs of abuse against Baby P began in December 2006, a month after Barker moved in.

Advertisement

Connelly was released in 2013 but was recalled to prison two years later after violating the terms of her parole by selling indecent photos of herself online.

Has Tracey Connelly been released from prison?

Advertisement

The parole board reviewed her case in 2015, 2017 and 2019 – but they refused to release her.

In 2020, she appealed the parole board’s decision, but lost.

Advertisement

This is now her fourth review by the parole board, which ruled that she should be released from prison.

The decision was made on Wednesday, March 30, 2022.

Advertisement

Since Connelly was recalled to prison, she has been on a “very intensive” treatment program run by the Department of Justice and the NHS for over three years and is “now able to work openly and honestly with professionals,” a report added.

The parole board said it was confident Connelly was suitable for release after hearing she was now “at low risk of committing another offence” and that her parole officers and prison officials supported the plan.

Advertisement

A spokesman for the parole board said: “We can confirm that a panel of the parole board has ordered the release of Tracey Connelly following an oral hearing.

“The parole board’s decisions focus solely on what risk a prisoner might pose to the public if released and whether that risk is manageable in the community.

Advertisement

“Probation tests are conducted thoroughly and with the utmost care. Protecting the public is our top priority.”

What restrictions would Connelly be subject to?

Advertisement

Connelly is subject to restrictions on her movements, activities and contact persons and faces 20 additional license terms.

These include living at a specific address — initially a bail home — as well as probation supervision, wearing an electronic tag, complying with a curfew and disclosing their relationships.

Advertisement

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

What did the government say about her release?

Advertisement

Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Minister Mr Raab said: “Tracey Connelly’s cruelty was absolutely evil which is why I have spoken out strongly against her release.

“The decision to let them out shows why the parole board needs a major overhaul, including a ministerial lockdown, to protect the public and keep dangerous offenders off our streets.”

Advertisement

Earlier this year, Mr Raab had asked the government’s independent board to reconsider the decision under the so-called review mechanism.

His application was “denied”.

Advertisement

Who else was involved in Baby P’s death?

Tracey Connelly’s boyfriend Steven Barker and his brother Jason Owen have been jailed for their role in Baby P’s death.

Advertisement

In 2009, Barker was sentenced to 12 years in prison for the death of baby P and 10 years for raping a two-year-old girl.

He remains in prison and was denied parole last year for refusing to face up to his crimes.

Advertisement

Owen moved into the family home in Tottenham in June 2007 with his girlfriend of 15 years.

Owen was a drug addict and received a minimum sentence of three years, which was later changed to a fixed term of six years, for allowing the toddler to die.

Advertisement

When Connelly was arrested, police did not arrest Barker and Owen until eleven days later after they were found at a campsite in Epping Forest.

What did the parole board say?

Advertisement

After the government’s appeal was denied, the parole board has issued a statement.

A spokesman said: “Following the Secretary of State’s request for a reconsideration, a judge has ruled that the decision by the independent members of the Parole Board to release was not irrational, as indicated in the request for a reconsideration, and the original decision is upheld.”

Advertisement