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Baby P: Dominic Raab asks Parole Board to reconsider decision that toddler’s mother can be freed from jail

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Dominic Raab plans to ask the Parole Board to reconsider its recommendation that Baby P’s mother Tracey Connelly should be released from prison.

Connelly, 40, was jailed in 2009 over the death of her son who died after suffering more than 50 injuries, including fractured ribs and a broken back.

The case sparked outrage as Baby P was on the at-risk register and received 60 visits from social workers, police and health professionals over eight months.

Justice secretary Mr Raab told the House of Commons: “In light of the Parole Board’s direction to release Tracey Connelly, I should inform the House that having carefully read the decision, I have decided to apply to the Parole Board to seek their reconsideration.”

Mr Raab told MPs about plans for a “root and branch” review of the parole system.

He said: “Our reforms will ensure that those offenders who present the highest risk to public safety are reviewed more rigorously with additional ministerial oversight.

“Protecting the public is the Government’s top priority. The proposals in this review will enforce public safety.”

Read more: ‘We don’t want another Baby P on our hands’

Baby P’s mother was jailed for causing or allowing his death at their home in Tottenham in north London in 2007.

Tracey Connelly's boyfriend Steven Barker and his brother Jason Owen were also charged
Image:
Tracey Connelly’s boyfriend Steven Barker and his brother Jason Owen were also charged

Connelly has been refused parole three times in the past seven years – but the board has decided she can now be released.

It is understood all professional witnesses to the board’s review panel supported Connelly’s release and the government representative who attended confirmed the recommendation was accepted.

Panel members were told by witnesses that Connolly now poses a low risk of reoffending.

A spokesperson for the parole board said: “Parole Board decisions are solely focused on what risk a prisoner could represent to the public if released and whether that risk is manageable in the community.

“Parole reviews are undertaken thoroughly and with extreme care. Protecting the public is our number one priority.”

Shadow justice secretary Steve Reed said in Parliament that the potential release of Tracey Connelly was “disturbing news”, adding: “I fully support the Secretary of State in seeking a review of that.”

Floral tributes, photographs and toys were placed at the memorial to Baby P at Islington Crematorium on 2 December 2008
Image:
Floral tributes, photographs and toys were placed at the memorial to Baby P at Islington Crematorium on 2 December 2008

Connelly’s boyfriend Steven Barker and his brother Jason Owen were also charged.

She admitted the offence and was handed a sentence of imprisonment for public protection (IPP) with a minimum term of five years.

This is her fourth review by the Parole Board since she was jailed.

The decision was meant to be made last year but had been delayed pending more reports and information.

Connelly was let out on licence in 2013, but was recalled to prison in 2015 for breaching her parole conditions.

Haringey Council’s Director of Social Services, Sharon Shoesmith, was sacked in December 2008 by a government minister after a damning Ofsted report into Baby P’s death.

She later won a six-figure pay-out following her unfair dismissal claim.

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