Government to fight decision to release Baby P’s mum from prison

Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said he wanted the Parole Board to think again about whether Tracey Connelly should be released

The government says it will fight a controversial Parole Board decision that Baby P's mother should be released from prison.

Tracey Connelly, 40, was jailed in 2009 over the death of her son who suffered months of torture and abuse in north London.

She was sentenced at the Old Bailey for causing or allowing the death of her 17-month-old son Peter. The little boy had more than 50 injuries.

Connelly's recommended release follows a Parole Board review which concluded she no longer posed a risk to the public.

However the Justice Secretary Dominic Raab told the House of Commons he plans to fight the decision.

"In light of the Parole Board's direction to release Tracey Connelly I should inform the House (of Commons) that having carefully read the decision I have decided to apply to the Parole Board to seek their reconsideration," Mr Raab said.

The case caused outrage in 2007 when it emerged Peter was on the at-risk register and had been seen more than 70 times by social workers and health professionals.

Haringey Council's Director of Social Services, Sharon Shoesmith was sacked by a government minister but later won a six-figure pay-out for unfair dismissal.

Connelly was charged alongside her boyfriend Steven Barker and his brother Jason Owen.

She was released in 2013 but was back in prison in 2015 for breaching her parole conditions.

A spokesperson for the Parole Board said: "We can confirm that a panel of the Parole Board has directed the release of Tracey Connolly following an oral hearing. 

"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."

Connelly has taken part in a “very intensive” treatment programme 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.

The board said her release was also subject to conditions such as to stay at a designated address, electronic tagging, to disclose future relationships and respect a specified curfew.