Justice Sec to challenge parole board decision to free Baby P's mother Tracey Connelly

30 March 2022, 11:25 | Updated: 30 March 2022, 14:16

Baby P's mother Tracey Connelly is to be freed from prison
Baby P's mother Tracey Connelly is to be freed from prison. Picture: PA

By Asher McShane

Justice Secretary Dominic Raab is challenging the parole board's decision to free the mother of Baby P from prison.

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Mr Raab made the announcement as he told MPs about a "root and branch" review of the parole system in the Commons.

It comes after the mum won her fourth bid for parole, which means she will be released within weeks.

He said: "Madame Deputy Speaker with your forbearance before I go on to address the detail of the statement, can I also just update the House on the recent news this morning, because in light of the Parole Board's direction to release Tracey Connelly, I should inform the House that having carefully read the decision, I have decided to apply to the Parole Board to seek their reconsideration."

Baby P died after suffering more than 50 injuries at the hands of Tracey Connelly’s paedophile partner Steven Barker and his brother Jason Owen.

Connelly was jailed at the Old Bailey in 2009 for causing or allowing the death of her 17-month-old son Peter at their home in Tottenham, north London, on August 3 2007.

A spokesperson for the Parole Board said today: "We can confirm that a panel of the Parole Board has directed the release of Tracey Connelly following an oral hearing.

"Parole Board decisions are solely focused on what risk a prisoner could represent to the public if released and whether that risk is manageable in the community. 

“Parole reviews are undertaken thoroughly and with extreme care. Protecting the public is our number one priority.”

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Known publicly as Baby P, he had suffered more than 50 injuries - despite being on the at-risk register and receiving 60 visits from social workers, police and health professionals over eight months.

Connelly admitted the offence and was handed a sentence of imprisonment for public protection (IPP) with a minimum term of five years.

She is to be freed following a fourth review by the Parole Board since she was jailed.

The decision was meant to be made last year but had been delayed pending more reports and information.

Connelly was let out on licence in 2013 but was recalled to prison in 2015 for breaching her parole conditions.

The Parole Board considered her case for a third time in 2019 following previous reviews in 2015 and 2017, and refused to either release her or move her to an open prison. In 2020 she lost an appeal against the latest Parole Board decision not to release her.