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What happened to Baby P? Injuries and death explained as mother Tracey Connelly is released from prison

Baby P’s mum Tracey Connelly has been released from prison

The mother of Baby P has been released from jail despite efforts from the government to keep her behind bars.

Tracey Connelly was deemed suitable for release by the Parole Board in March and it was confirmed by the Ministry of Justice on Thursday (7 July).

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She had been in jail since 2009 follow the death of Baby P, who died after months of abuse.

The case was one which shocked the nation.

He died in Tottenham at the home of his mother - Tracey Connelly, on 3 August 2007.

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

Find out everything you need to know about Baby P and Tracey Connelly’s release here.

Baby P.

What happened to Baby P?

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

He had suffered more than 50 injuries, despite being on the at-risk register and receiving 60 visits from social workers, police officers and health professionals over eight months.

On 11 December 2006, a month after Connelly’s boyfriend Steven Barker moved into the family home, she took her son to a GP - who sent her to Whittington Hospital in Archway, based on his injuries and her story not matching up.

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

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

However, Baby P was returned to his mother on 26 January 2007 - and she had moved to a house in Tottenham, but the social services didn’t know that Barker had also moved with her.

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

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

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

After Baby P’s death a post-mortem exam revealed he had swallowed a tooth after being punched.

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.

She was handed a sentence of imprisonment for public protection with a minimum term of five years.

She was watching porn whilst drunk as her son was being tortured to death.

Connelly gave birth to her son on 1 March 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.

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

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

Connelly was released in 2013 but was recalled to jail two years later, after breaking the terms of her parole by selling indecent photographs of herself online.

Has Tracey Connelly been released from jail?

The Parole Board reviewed her case in 2015, 2017 and 2019 - but they refused to release her.

In 2020 she appealed against the Parole Board’s decision, but lost.

This is now her fourth review by the Parole Board, who have decided she should be released from jail.

The decision was made on Wednesday 30 March 2022.

Since being recalled to prison, 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”, a 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.

A Parole Board spokesman said: “We can confirm that a panel of the Parole Board has directed the release of Tracey Connelly 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.”

What restrictions would Connelly be subject to?

Connelly will be subject to restrictions on her movements, activities and who she contacts, and faces 20 extra licence conditions.

They include living at a specified address – initially a bail hostel – as well as being supervised by probation, wearing an electronic tag, adhering to a curfew and having to disclose her relationships.

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

What have the government said about her release?

Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Secretary Mr Raab said: “Tracey Connelly’s cruelty was pure evil, which is why I strongly opposed her release.

“The decision to let her out demonstrates why the Parole Board needs a fundamental overhaul, including a ministerial block, to protect the public and keep dangerous offenders off our streets.”

Earlier this year, Mr Raab had asked the board, which is independent of the Government, to re-examine the decision under the so-called reconsideration mechanism.

His application was “refused”.

Who else was involved in the death of Baby P?

Tracey Connelly’s boyfriend, Steven Barker, and his brother, Jason Owen, were jailed over their roles in Baby P’s death.

In 2009, Barker was handed a 12-year jail sentence over the death of Baby P and a 10-year sentence for raping a two-year-old girl.

He remains in prison, and due to refusing to confront his crimes, he was denied parole last year.

Owen moved into the family’s Tottenham home in June 2007, with his 15-year-old girlfriend.

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

When Connelly was arrested, police did not arrest Barker and Owen until 11 days later, after they were found at a campsite in Epping Forest.

What has the Parole Board said?

After the government’s appeal was rejected, the Parole Board has issued a statement.

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