Baby P - Peter Connelly - was just 17 months old when he was found dead in his cot after a life plagued by violence at the hand of those who should have loved him most. It's a case Britain must never forget.
In August 2007, a 17-month-old boy baby Peter Connelly, known as ‘Baby P’ was found dead in his cot in Haringey, north London. His short life was tragically plagued by violence. He’d suffered brutal abuse at the hands of his mum Tracey Connelly, her boyfriend Stephen Barker, and his brother Jason Owen.
Connelly was arrested in December 2006, after a GP noticed bruises on Peter’s face and chest. It wouldn’t be the first time. Staggeringly, Baby P was returned to Connelly after five weeks, and admitted to hospital four months later with bruises, two black eyes, and swelling on the left side of his head. In May 2007, Peter returned to hospital after a social worker noticed more bruises and scratches, and Connelly was arrested again. But baby Peter was returned to his mum, who was told by police she would not be prosecuted. Days before his death, a social worker failed to spot more damage to Peter, as he’d been deliberately smeared with chocolate.
By the time of his death, Baby P had suffered a horrifying list of injuries at the hands of his ‘carers’, including a broken back, fractured shinbone, ripped ear, knocked out tooth, and gashes on his head. Though countless professionals had seen Peter, social services failed to save him from his tragic fate.
When news of the case came to light, there was public outrage at the sick trio who allowed innocent Peter to die and filled his short life with pain and misery. But also at the system, which failed to step in and remove Peter from his tormentors. Connelly, Barker, and Owen were convicted of causing Peter’s death, and jailed. Meanwhile, Haringey council issued an apology for it’s failure to save Baby P, sacking several social workers in the process.