Mother of Baby P, Tracey Connelly, at ‘very high’ risk of vigilante attack as prison release date nears

 

Tracey Connelly, the mother of Baby P, is at “very high” risk of being targeted and attacked by vigilantes when she is released from prison, criminal justice experts have warned.

The warnings came as death threats started to circulate on Twitter - some with a #LynchTraceyConnelly hashtag.

Despite public anger at her crime – allowing boyfriend Steven Barker and his paedophile brother Jason Owen to torture her 17 month year old son Peter to death - she has not been given official anonymity.

Fear of revenge attacks has seen a handful of notorious criminals including Jon Venables and Maxine Carr granted lifetime anonymity orders banning the public and press from revealing their new identities.

But Connelly will not receive same protection, despite more than 132,000 people joining ‘hate groups’ on social networking internet sites calling for her, Barker and Owen to ‘burn in hell’. She will have to make her own arrangements to change her name and appearance.

“The risk to her from the people who signed the ‘rot in hell’ petition for example will be very, very high,” criminal justice expert Harry Fletcher said last night. “No matter how heinous the crime probation and the police have a duty to keep people safe,” he added.

News of Connelly’s release was confirmed today. She was jailed indefinitely with a minimum of five years in May 2009 for causing or allowing her son’s death. But after a second review of her case, the Parole Board said: “We can confirm that a three-member panel of the board has directed the release of Tracey Connelly.” The date of her release will be confirmed by the Ministry of Justice.

Mr Fletcher, formerly of Napo, the probation officers union, said: “She will receive strong guidance over the next couple of months on how to keep her identity secure. The more who know where she is and what she’s calling herself the greater at risk she will be, so that will all be kept to a minimum.”

Baby Peter was found dead in his blood-spattered cot at his mother’s flat in August 2007. He had suffered 50 separate injuries, including a broken back. Barker was sentenced to 12 years for his “major role” in Peter’s death.  Owen was jailed indefinitely but successfully appealed to lower it to a six-year sentence. He was freed in August 2011 but recalled to prison again in April this year.

Connelly, understood to be detained at Low Newton jail near Durham, will remain on licence for the rest of her life and if she breaches any of the conditions, faces being returned to jail.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence