Four Baby P staff are sacked for gross misconduct

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Indy Politics

Haringey Council has sacked three managers and a social worker for failings of care in the Baby P case, following a five-month investigation.

Deputy director of children's services Cecilia Hitchen was sacked for a "loss of trust and confidence", while social worker Maria Ward, team manager Gillie Christou, and the head of safeguarding services Clive Preece had all been dismissed for gross misconduct, a Haringey spokesman confirmed.

Baby P, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was 17 months old when he died of injuries inflicted by his mother, her boyfriend and another man in August 2007. He had suffered more than 50 injuries despite receiving 60 visits from social workers, doctors and police over eight months. All three are due to be sentenced at a later date.

A fifth person, social worker Sylvia Henry, had no action taken against her as there was no case to answer, the council found.

Baby P came to the attention of police when he was taken to Whittington Hospital, north London, with bruises on his head, nose, chest and right shoulder.

A 15-page executive summary of the Baby P serious-case review was published in November. It was widely discredited after it emerged that Sharon Shoesmith, Haringey's director of children's services, had chaired the review. Another has been since been commissioned. Ms Shoesmith was sacked last December following a damning report into the services provided by the north London council. Shortly afterwards it opened the investigation into the case of the staff involved. Two doctors who treated Baby P have also been suspended from practice by the General Medical Council – the family GP Dr Jerome Ikwueke and Dr Sabah Al-Zayyat.

Lord Laming's review of child welfare services in England reported back on 12 March, attacking public bodies for failing to implement recommendations made six years before.

Lynne Featherstone, the Liberal Democrat MP whose constituency covers Haringey, said: "If it took five months that's a lot of taxpayers' money, but at least in the future children will be safeguarded."