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The mother of Baby P, who died after months of abuse, could be back on the streets within weeks, after a Parole Board decided she is fit to be freed.  

Tracey Connelly, who was jailed in 2009 following the death of her 17-month-old son Peter, was today told she had been successful in her fourth bid for freedom.

However, Justice Secretary Dominic Raab told the House of Commons he plans to appeal against the Parole Board’s decision. 

The 40-year-old had been imprisoned indefinitely with a minimum term of five years in 2009 for causing or allowing her son’s death.

Peter, who was publicly known as Baby P, died in north London on August 3 2007 at the hands of his mother, her lover Steven Barker and his brother Jason Owen.

He suffered more than 50 injuries, including a snapped spine and eight broken ribs, despite being on the at-risk register and receiving 60 visits from social workers, police and health professionals over the final eight months of his life.

A series of reviews identified missed opportunities for officials to save the toddler’s life had they reacted properly to warning signs. 

Connelly was released in 2013 on a lifelong licence, but recalled to jail in 2015 after she breached its terms by selling nude photographs of herself on the internet.

Since then, she has not been subject to a specific length of term in prison, but rather had to wait until the Parole Board – which tends to consider cases roughly every two years –  deemed her fit to be released.

She had bids for freedom turned down in 2015 and 2017 and 2019, and also in 2019, when they refused to release her or move her to an open prison.

In 2020, she lost an appeal against the latest Parole Board decision not to release her. 

However, today, more than seven years after she was recalled, the board found she doesn’t pose a risk to the public, and therefore could be free within weeks.   

Tracey Connelly, who was jailed in 2009 following the death of her 17-month-old son Peter, was today told she had been successful in her fourth bid for freedom

Tracey Connelly, who was jailed in 2009 following the death of her 17-month-old son Peter, was today told she had been successful in her fourth bid for freedom

Tracey Connelly, who was jailed in 2009 following the death of her 17-month-old son Peter, was today told she had been successful in her fourth bid for freedom 

Peter, who was initially named in the press as Baby P, died after suffering more than 50 injuries including a snapped spine and eight broken ribs

Peter, who was initially named in the press as Baby P, died after suffering more than 50 injuries including a snapped spine and eight broken ribs

Peter, who was initially named in the press as Baby P, died after suffering more than 50 injuries including a snapped spine and eight broken ribs

Connelly, pictured in 2013, when she was released on licence in 2013 before being ordered back to jail

Connelly, pictured in 2013, when she was released on licence in 2013 before being ordered back to jail

Connelly, pictured in 2013, when she was released on licence in 2013 before being ordered back to jail

Baby P: A timeline of the tragedy that shocked Britain 

March 1, 2006: Peter Connelly (Baby P) is born

August 3, 2007: 17-month-old Baby P is found dead in cot

November 11, 2008: Peter’s mother, Tracey Connelly, boyfriend Steven Barker and brother Jason Owen are convicted of causing his death

November 13, 2008: Ed Balls orders an inquiry into the role of the council, health authority and police

December 1, 2008: An independent review declares Haringey’s child protection services ‘inadequate’

December 8, 2008: Haringey Children’s Services boss Sharon Shoesmith is sacked with immediate effect

May 22, 2009: Connelly is jailed indefinitely, Barker gets a life term and Owen is given an indeterminate sentence for public protection

October 7, 2009: Shoesmith launches a High Court case against Balls to seek compensation for her dismissal

September 15, 2010: Shoesmith tells MPs she is sorry about what happened but refuses to accept any blame, saying she had no involvement in the care of Baby P

May 27, 2011: The Court of Appeal rules in favour of Shoesmith, saying her dismissal was ‘tainted by unfairness’

October 8, 2013: Connelly is recommended for release by the Parole Board

February 14, 2015: Connelly is back behind bars after sending nude pictures to male fans

December 29, 2015: The Parole Board rejects Connelly’s first bid for freedom

November 28, 2017: The Parole Board rejects Connelly’s second bid for freedom 

January 6, 2019: The Parole Board rejects Connelly’s third bid for freedom

March 30, 2022: Connelly is recommended for release by the Parole Board 

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In response, Justice Secretary Mr Raab said this afternoon he will apply to the Parole Board asking it to reconsider the plans.

He told the Commons: ‘Madame Deputy Speaker with your forbearance before I go on to address the detail of the statement, can I also just update the House on the recent news this morning, because 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 was backed by Shadow Justice Secretary Steve Reed, who described the news as ‘disturbing’ and said he ‘fully supports’ efforts to seek a review. 

Mr Raab made the announcement as he told MPs about a ‘root and branch’ review of the parole system.

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.

Justice Secretary Dominic Raab was represented throughout the review and his representative ‘confirmed that this recommendation was accepted’, the report said.

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, 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’.

A spokesperson for the Parole Board 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.’ 

The case was so ’emotive’ that parole bosses demanded more information on her psychological assessments before a decision was reached, a source told the Sun.

She would have faced another two years behind bars if the board rejected her bid. 

Peter, who was publicly known as Baby P, died in north London on August 3 2007 at the hands of his mother, her lover Steven Barker and his brother Jason Owen.

He suffered more than 50 injuries, which included a snapped spine and eight broken ribs, despite being on the at-risk register and receiving 60 visits from social workers, police and health professionals over the final eight months of his life.

Steven Barker was jailed in 2009 for a minimum of 32 years for torturing the 17-month-old to death and Owen received a six year jail sentence for allowing the toddler to die.  

Steven Barker

Steven Barker

Jason Owen

Jason Owen

Baby P, was tortured to death in 2007 by Connelly’s lover Steven Barker (left) and his brother Jason Owen (right) at their home in Tottenham, north London

Peter and three other children were sharing the four-bedroom house with their mother, her boyfriend and his brother when he died.

Three of the children, including Peter, were on Haringey’s Child Protection Register because of fears they were being neglected by the mother.

Connolly, who covered up the abuse of her son, was jailed in 2009 for a minimum of five years after admitting causing or allowing the death of her son Peter.

She was then freed on licence in 2013 but later recalled to prison in 2015 after it was found she had sent indecent images of herself to people obsessed with her notoriety.  

The Parole Board considered her case for a third time in November 2019, following previous reviews in 2015 and 2017, and refused to either release her or move her to an open prison.

In 2019, the convict launched a bid to be freed from prison so she could try to spend Christmas with her lover.

She became besotted with a 37-year-old insurance salesman named Paul and told fellow prisoners she want to move in with him in Reading.

The abuser said she believed she was ready to leave prison a ‘changed woman’.

Connelly insisted her relationship was genuine because she had known him for many years.

Source: Daily Mail

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