Peter Connelly also known as “Baby p” was killed on the 3rd august 2007 at the age of 1, by his stepdad Steven Barker. Baby P had suffered multiple injuries over the previous 8 months resulting in his death. In this piece of writing I will be investing who I think is to blame for Baby P’s death. The social services are to blame for the death of baby P because they were aware of the situation baby P was in and placed him on the at risk register. He went to live with a family friend because the GP spotted that he had bruises on his face and chest and mentioned it to the social services, and the mother was arrested.
Tracey had suffered with post-natal depression and this is when the social services should have taken into account that she suffered from it and should have put it on her file and looked into it more. Haringey council had suspended two social workers for the misconduct in the case of baby peter. Social services had visited the home over 60 times and didn’t notice anything wrong, and didn’t take anything into account. However after watching panorama I learned that the mother had told the social services about the new man in her life but this was never mentioned to the police.
The childminder phoned up the social worker to say that she could no onger care for peter and the other sibling because of peters scalp infection and their head lice problems. The social worker phones Tracey and expressed their concern and that the infection was taking too long to clear up and that Tracey should take them to the GP as soon as possible. The police are to blame because they didn’t investigate when the GP said about his bruises. The metropolitan police did not do their job properly because they didn’t investigate the injuries and the staff at the schools where baby P’s brothers and sisters attended were not told by the police about the baby P’s circumstances or injuries.
Police enquiries knew that at the time of peters death, the mum’s boyfriend, the lodger and is 15 year old girlfriend had been staying at her home since July 2007. The strategy meeting was attended by a social worker and a detective constable from the Metropolitan police. There was a clear concern about peters welfare and a decision was made that he could not return to the family home until the police investigation and enquires had been completed. The notes of the meeting showed that parents of peter had separated and that the mother had a ‘friend’ who was never left alone with the children.
On the 13th December, both the social worker and police officer made a joint visit to the school to interview the two older children. Neither the school nor the health services had concern about their physical safety. During the visit to the hospital the police officer interview Tracey under caution, she told the officer multiple times that she didn’t know where the bruises were coming from and came up with explanations for where the bruises were from and she denied that she or her mother was responsible.
Also on the 19th December the police arrested Tracey and peters grandmother, during their interview neither gave any explanations of how the injuries occurred but gave some possible causes previously. The police agreed that peter could go home once his mother had made alternative arrangements for the dogs The GP had failed peter because they didn’t take note of his abuse properly they made a few phone calls there and now but never fully reported it or tried to help peter.
Jerome Ikwueke admitted having seen peter on numerous occasions, he disputes the claim he neglected his professional duty to look after the child. However he did complain about the bruising also Tracey spoke to Dr. Ikwueke saying that peter had grab marks on him and once again the GP ignored the warning sign. On 26th of July, the SW phoned Tracey after she visited the GP, according to Tracey the GP was unable to prescribe more antibiotics, and he was not concerned and thought that Peter had an allergic reaction the head lice treatment.
The GP recognised the need for concern but did nothing about it because he thought that others would do something, and the child was being seen at the Child Development Centre in a few days. Haringey council failed baby P massively because they didn’t check if the mother had a boyfriend. Maria Ward fully aware he was on the council’s children at-risk list in them 6 months she was supposed to be looking after him there was a 4 month backlog of notes on his case. She was supposed to make announced and unannounced visits at least every two weeks but the general social care council found that she went 22 days without any contact at all.
Maria Ward had no actual idea of where peter was for four days, she accepted his mothers excuse that they were in cricklewood caring for a ‘sick uncle’. If Miss. Ward hadn’t missed these unannounced visits then she could have got a picture of what was happening and nothing crucial could have been missed. All Haringey had to say was sorry, which is not enough and will always carry the guilt of allowing such a vulnerable child to be abused and neglected when they could of done something about it.
Also the paediatrician could have saved his life if she would have noticed his broken back, it was her last appointment of the day and instead of checking him thoroughly she just gave him a pass and didn’t bother examining him properly. If she would have taken her time, she could have saved peters life instead once again another service failed him. She stated that she couldn’t examine him properly because he was miserable and cranky and acted like a young child with a cold. She also added that he was sitting unsupported and there was no reason to suspect anything.
On the other hand, a total of 19 doctors and health workers examined baby P on a total of 33 occasions in the eight months before his death. Three of the doctors raised concern to the police that his injuries had been non accidental but the Crown Prosecution Service, which had received a report from Haringey social services supporting the boy’s mother, decided there was not enough evidence to charge her. Her opinion was that the injuries were non-accidental in nature.
This was very concerning for a nine month old baby; peter was ventually registered on both physical abuse and neglect list. Tracey Connelly, peters mother was to blame because she knew what was happening and didn’t do anything about it. In 2009 she was charged and imprisoned for 6 years for allowing her son’s death. Tracey was born in 1981. When her parents split in 1984, their relationship was known to be violent, and both her and her brother witnessed domestic violence. Tracey classed her stepdad as her biological dad and when he died unexpectedly her brother had came to live with Tracey and his mum.
He had been struggling with ‘challenging’ behaviour and was violent at school and towards his sister and also started offending, at the age of 10 she was placed on the child protection register under neglect. After having one of her children she suffered with post-natal depression and couldn’t cope with small children, when she visited the GP in 2005 and they referred her to the PCMHW, there had been concerns that she would suffer with post-natal depression but was not diagnosed.
In September 2006, Tracey took peter to the surgery with a cough and nappy rash. The GP complained that baby P bruised easily, and that she might be accused of hurting him at this time peter was only 6 months old. Peter had visited the surgery and hospital at least 3 times that year on one occasion he went to the surgery with a head swelling and his mother stated that he fell down the stairs and got the swelling from that, the GP told her that he was going to refer peter to hospital.
At the Whittington Hospital a number of bruises were seen on peters body and was then documented on a body map. Peter was discharged from hospital on 15th December to the care of Tracey’s friend. On 5th march, the school nurse had called social works saying that they had observed Tracey and had witnessed her shouting at one of peters siblings and slapping their cheek, she was told she had to attend a parenting programme. However the social worker said that the mother and peter had a very strong relationship.
In January 2007 Tracey attended their visit core meeting with peter alongside her and then the next interview happened on the 24th of Jan and agreed that if the injuries were non-accidental, it was not clear who the predator was. The family friend should have said something to police or the social worker when she noticed the abuse instead she kept quite. When peter was staying with her she noticed that he had bruises on his testes and claimed that they were from the hospital staff when they were doing a scan.
The bruise on his buttocks had vanished. The family friend and peters mother agreed to a contract to find a childminder to assist with the childcare during the day, on June the 5th the family friend and peters mother met the team manager to sign a written agreement to the effect that Tracey and Peter would not be left alone together, there should also be a childminder for Peter and one of the other children on particular days.
Jason Owen (the lodger) and his 15 year old girlfriend knew abuse was going on, they were arrested but only the Jason was charged, Jason who is a crack-cocaine addict, and a convicted arsonist who was accused of a raping a girl of 11, should have never been allowed to stay with the family but the social workers didn’t do any background checks on him. Jason was a very sick, twisted and psychotic person, he tortured his grandmother when he was growing up and did it again when she was 82, so she would change her will. The grandma of Peter could have stopped the abuse from happening; she did take Peter into care for a few weeks.
When peter was crying and scared he ran up to her and she just ignored him and walked away. She was scared of Steven and she saw some of the abuse attacks but did nothing about it. She should have known what it was like as she was abused by her dad when she was younger and was raped by a stranger; instead she ignored it and let Peter suffer. Steven Barker was definitely to blame because he was the one who carried the abuse out; he beat Peter constantly and made him petrified. Steven who was devoted to his Rottweiler Kaiser, treated Peter like an animal, teaching him to obey commands on how to sit, lie down, and if not, face the consequences.
He took pleasure in regularly using the child as a punch bag and was said to have forced the boy to perform “Seig Heil” salutes as part of his fixation with the Nazis. He was obsessed with knives, martial arts weapons and kept a cross-bow as well as collection of Swastika memorabilia. He used to stride around his home in combat gear. As a child he enjoyed hurting animals and tortured guinea pigs and frogs – skinning the latter before breaking their legs. He kept two pet snakes at Tracey Connelly’s home and fed them dead chicks, mice and rabbits.
His fascination with causing pain to animals saw him prosecuted for that very obsession by the RSPCA. The social services never looked into Stevens’s background and if they would have done this procedure then maybe they would of taken peters abuse a lot more into consideration and would of taken him into care for re-homing. In my opinion, I think everyone who was involved with Peter’s death is to blame. If Haringey council would of taken action a lot more sooner this would of never happened, if the social workers looked into everyone’s background and found out the crucial things this would of not happened, that goes for the police as well.
If the paediatrician would of cared to look Peter over, they would have found more injuries and then action would have been taken. Everyone in this case is to blame even if they didn’t do the abuse. The mother is a poor excuse of a human being; she let her child be beaten to death and all she had to say is I’m sorry, that is not good enough! More action should of be done to prevent this and hopefully in the future we will have more skilled people to run these crucial business and maybe they will stop another child from being abused.