Baby P's mother denied inquest representation funding

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The Independent Online

Baby P's mother and her boyfriend have been denied public funding to be represented at any resumed inquest into the child's death, it was revealed today.

A pre-inquest review was told that Tracey Connelly and Steven Barker had not been given funds for legal representation.

Hugh Davies, representing the Metropolitan Police, told North London Coroner Andrew Walker at the hearing in Barnet: "Public funding has not been extended to Steven Barker or Tracey Connelly, so it is unlikely they will be represented in these proceedings. Whether that is subject to appeal, I simply don't know."

Julien Foster, representing Baby P's father, told the coroner: "Steven Barker's representatives are indeed appealing against the decision of the minister not to grant public funding."

They would seek to appear at the next pre-inquest review on November 3 and 4, he added.

"I imagine the same is true of Tracey Connelly," he said.

The coroner said arguments in favour of resuming the inquest, or against doing so, should be served by the various parties by October 15.

It has been reported that the police do not favour resumption on the grounds that child protection services have improved greatly since the tragedy, while the child's father is reported to want an inquest to take place.

Peter Connelly was 17 months old when he was found dead in his blood-spattered cot in Tottenham, north London, in August 2007.

He had 50 injuries including fractured ribs and a broken back.

In May last year, Connelly, Barker and Barker's brother, Jason Owen, were jailed at the Old Bailey for causing or allowing his death.