Baby P's killer denied parole following sentence for campaign of abuse against little boy

Steven Barker was originally sentenced to 12 years in prison over the boy’s death in 2007

Caroline Mortimer
Wednesday 02 August 2017 13:15 BST
Peter Connelly, known as Baby P, died in 2007 after suffering more than 50 injuries
Peter Connelly, known as Baby P, died in 2007 after suffering more than 50 injuries

The “stepfather” of Baby P, the 17-month boy who died after suffering more 50 injuries during eight months of abuse, has been denied parole.

Steven Barker was found guilty of causing the death of his then partner's son, Peter Connelly, in north London in 2007, but cleared of murder at his trial in 2008 and was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

He was later handed a life sentence with a minimum term of 10 years after he was convicted of raping a two-year-old girl at a subsequent trial in 2009, which he was ordered to serve concurrently.

In a case that shocked the nation, Barker, Peter’s mother Tracey Connelly, and their lodger Jason Owen beat the boy for months before he was eventually found cold and blue in his cot on 3 August 2007.

He had suffered a catalogue of injuries, including a broken back and ribs, despite being on the at-risk register and receiving 60 visits from social workers, police and health professionals over the final eight months of his life.

A series of reviews identified missed opportunities when officials could have saved the toddler’s life if they had acted properly on the warning signs.

The spokesman added: “Under current legislation, Mr Barker will be eligible for a further review within two years. The date of the next review will be set by the Ministry of Justice.

“The Parole Board is unable to comment on the specifics of individual cases.”

Barker was handed a 12-year-sentence for the death of Baby P and another life sentence, with a minimum term of 10 years, for the rape of a two-year-old girl

The boy’s mother Tracey was also handed a life sentence for causing his death, but was ordered to serve a minimum of just five years in prison as she had pleaded guilty to “causing or allowing the death of a child or vulnerable person”.

She was initially released on a lifetime licence in 2013, but was later sent back to prison over online pornography allegations in February 2015.

She allegedly attempted to sell nude pictures of herself online, which is in breach of her bail conditions.

Owen was later ordered to serve an indefinite term with a three-year minimum tariff, but this was later reduced to a fixed-year term. He was released in August 2011 but later returned to prison.

The case led to intense criticism of Haringey Council’s social services, after it was revealed there were over 60 visits by social workers to Connelly’s flat in Tottenham, and that the baby was on the council’s at-risk register.

He was twice admitted to hospital and a medical report concluded he was the victim of systematic abuse, but he was never removed from Connelly’s care.

Additional reporting by PA

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