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Shoesmith payout 'leaves a bad taste in the mouth'

The payout to Sharon Shoesmith over her unfair dismissal following the Baby P tragedy "leaves a bad taste in the mouth", former children's secretary Ed Balls told BBC Radio 5 Live .

An independent report said there were disastrous failings in Haringey children's services.

They said the management was at fault. Sharon Shoesmith was the director of children's services and so of course it leaves a bad taste in the mouth that the person who was leading that department and responsible ends up walking away with, it seems, a large amount of money.

– Shadow chancellor Ed Balls

Former children's minister: We're rewarding failure

Time Loughton, the Conservative former children's minister, told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme that Sharon Shoesmith's payout was "effectively rewarding failure".

When you are appointed a director of children's services - this is the whole point of the reforms after Victoria Climbie, which again happened in Haringey - is that the buck has to stop somewhere and someone has to take responsibility.

You don't expect that person accepting responsibility, reluctantly in this case, to get a very large cheque on the back of it as well.

– Tim Loughton, Tory former children's minister


MP: Shoesmith 'should demonstrate responsibility'

Conservative MP Charlotte Leslie, a member of the Commons education select committee said, Sharon Shoesmith should "demonstrate personal responsibility" following the Baby P tragedy.

Peter Connelly, known as Baby P, died in August 2007 after suffering a series of injuries during months of abuse. Credit: Police Handout

The MP told Newsnight, "A blame culture is not the same as a culture in which people take responsibility and accountability."

Ms Shoesmith's lawyers argued that she was the victim of ''a flagrant breach of natural justice'' fuelled by a media witch-hunt.

Baby P chief Shoesmith 'to receive six-figure payout'

Former child protection boss Sharon Shoesmith is set to receive a six-figure payout for being unfairly dismissed following the Baby P tragedy, according to BBC 2's Newsnight.

A settlement which could reach up to £600,000 has been agreed, although Ms Shoesmith may receive a lower sum, the programme reported, stating that some of the money will come from central Government.

Sharon Shoesmith, the former director of children's services at Haringey Council. Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Ed Balls, while Education Secretary, removed Ms Shoesmith from her £133,000-a-year post as Haringey Council's director of children's services after a damning report on the death of Peter Connolly, known as Baby P.

She was then fired by the north London council without compensation in December 2008, after a report from regulator Ofsted exposed how her department had failed to protect 17-month-old boy.

  1. Juliet Bremner - ITV News correspondent

Board 'only considered if Connelly posed risk to public'

The Parole Board deciding whether Baby P's mother Tracey Connelly should be released was not looking at what happened to Baby Peter himself - they don't consider how serious that crime was.

What they are purely looking at is whether she still poses any kind of risk to the public and they have obviously decided that she doesn't.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling will now take the final decision of how and when it will happen and Connelly will remain on licence, so if she steps out of order she will be sent back to prison.

Connelly faces strict controls and restrictions on release

The Ministry of Justice said Baby P's mother Tracey Connelly will be subject to strict controls and restrictions following her release from prison for as long as is required.

A Ministry of Justice spokeswoman said:

The release of life and other indeterminate sentence prisoners is directed by the independent Parole Board once they are satisfied they can be safely managed in the community.

The IPP [imprisonment for public protection] licence lasts for a minimum of 10 years, and an offender on an IPP licence may be recalled to prison at any time for breaching their licence conditions.


Imprisonment for public protection sentence explained

Baby P's mother Tracey Connelly was given a so-called imprisonment for public protection (IPP) sentence, which carries a minimum term.

An IPP sentence prisoner is eligible to be considered for release by the Parole Board when the minimum term is served.

Tracey Connelly was given a 'imprisonment for public protection sentence'. Credit: Metropolitan Police

When making its decision, the Parole Board will take into account the nature of the offence, the prisoner's offending history, the prisoner's progress in prison and any statements made on behalf of the victim.

Reports from psychologists, probation officers and prison officers are also taken into account.

Connelly will remain on licence for the rest of her life and if she breaches any of the conditions, she will likely be recalled to custody.

Baby P had more than 50 injuries when he died

Peter Connelly, known as Baby P, had more than 50 injuries across his body when he died on 3 August 2007.

Baby P was on the at-risk register and received 60 visits from social workers, police and health professionals over a period of eight months.

Peter Connelly, known as Baby P, was 17 months old when he died. Credit: Family handout

His mother Tracey Connelly, her boyfriend Steven Barker and his brother Jason Owen were all jailed for causing or allowing the death of Peter.

In May 2009, Tracey Connelly was given a so-called imprisonment for public protection (IPP) sentence and was jailed indefinitely with a minimum of five years.

Secretary of State to arrange Baby P's mother release

A statement from the Parole Board has said that Secretary of State will make arrangements for the release of the mother of Baby P in due course.

We can confirm that a three-member panel of the board has directed the release of Tracey Connelly.

Tracey Connelly first became eligible for parole in August 2012, and at that time a Parole Board panel made no recommendation to release.

This is the second parole review for Tracey Connelly. The decision to release is a matter for the board, which is independent - arrangements and the date of the release are a matter for the Secretary of State.

– statement from the Parole Board

Baby P mother's release follows second case review

Tracey Connelly Credit: Met Police

The mother of Baby P Tracey Connelly is to be released from prison, the Parole Board has confirmed. Connelly was jailed indefinitely with a minimum of five years in May 2009 for causing or allowing her son Peter's death.

The Parole Board has recommended her release from prison following a second review of her case.

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