Baby P man back in jail for breaching jail terms

 

A man jailed for his role in the death of Baby P has been recalled to prison after breaching his bail conditions, sources said today.

Jason Owen was a lodger at the home of his brother Steven Barker in Tottenham, north London, where 17-month-old Peter Connelly died in August 2007.

Owen was serving a six-year sentence for causing or allowing the toddler's death but was released halfway through that term, just after the fourth anniversary of the killing.

Peter died at the hands of his mother Tracey Connelly, her boyfriend Barker and Owen.

He suffered more than 50 injuries despite being on the at-risk register of Haringey Council in north London and receiving 60 visits from social workers, police and health professionals during the final eight months of his life.

The circumstances surrounding Owen's recall are unclear, but conditions given to prisoners upon release often include staying away from the area where they committed the crime and from specific people.

Harry Fletcher, assistant general secretary of probation union Napo, said it was possible Owen would now stay in prison until he has served out the rest of his sentence.

Owen will be given 28 days to appeal against his recall to prison, Mr Fletcher said. The Parole Board will then review the case after approximately a year and decide if Owen could be released.

"Because of the notoriety of Jason Owen, the Parole Board would have to be absolutely certain there was no chance of the decision backfiring before releasing him," said Mr Fletcher. "He could end up serving the rest of his sentence.

"He's at last-chance saloon. He has to comply to the regime in prison and prove to the Parole Board that he's not going to breach his licence again, which could be very difficult."

In May 2009, an Old Bailey judge gave Owen an indeterminate sentence of imprisonment for public protection with a minimum term of three years for his part in the boy's death. This meant he could apply for parole after three years but would only be released once the Parole Board was satisfied he no longer posed a risk to the public.

Owen challenged his sentence at the Court of Appeal and in October 2009 was ordered to serve a fixed six-year jail term instead.

He was released on parole in August 2011, halfway through his jail term, taking into account the 289 days he spent in custody on remand before he was sentenced.

A Ministry of Justice spokeswoman said: "Public protection is our priority. Offenders released on licence are subject to a strict set of conditions and controls.

"If they fail to comply with their licence conditions, they are liable to be returned to custody."

PA

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