Poems for Peter February 21, 2009 - March 31, 2009
Peters Poem - A Candle for Peter
Let me explain: This is the story of the child named 'Baby P'. His name is not staed below but its Peter Connolly. My friends and I started a candle chain, and alot of people took part. I still light mine every night. Its a baby blue candle. I buy more to keep this chain going, but now I would like to something else, so if anyone would like to submit please do. I need just one to go with the candle chain, but i will keep all the others. Please try.
THE British government announced an independent review of child protection services across the country last night after the conviction of two men over the death of a toddler who suffered appalling abuse despite being on a council's "at risk" register. The infant was used as a "human punchbag".
The 17-month-old boy, who cannot be named, was on the child protection register with Haringey Social Services in north London, the authority which failed to protect Victoria Climbie, the young African girl murdered by her guardians in 2000.
The boy's mother had already pleaded guilty to causing or allowing the death of the child, but was cleared of murder on a judge's directions. Yesterday, her 32-year-old boyfriend and another man, Jason Owen (36), were convicted at the Old Bailey on the same charge.
All three face jail terms of up to 14 years when they are sentenced on December 15.
After his death in August last year, the toddler was found to have eight fractured ribs and a broken back that left him a paraplegic. It is thought the back injury was caused when he was swung against his cot.
His fingernails and tips of fingers had been torn off, and he had been hit so hard in the face, probably on the night he died, that one of his teeth was found in his stomach.
Over eight months of abuse, during which he was seen 60 times by health or social workers, the boy suffered more than 50 injuries.
The sickening story echoes the Climbie case, after which an independent inquiry called for a series of reforms to ensure child protection. Yesterday, Beverley Hughes, the children's minister, said she had asked for an independent report to be prepared on the progress made across the country on implementing those reforms.
Ms Hughes said: "This is a very tragic case that makes all of us question how someone could do such a terrible thing to a child and set out to deceive the very people trying to help.
"Safeguarding children is undoubtedly government's top priority and we expect it to be the top priority for local agencies, too. We will be considering carefully the serious case review and whether there needs to be a further investigation of child protection procedures and practices amongst local agencies in Haringey specifically."
The mother ignored the abuse inflicted on her blond-haired, blue-eyed baby, known as "Baby P", spending time viewing pornography and chatting to friends on the internet while he was abused. By the time the youngster died when he was 17 months old, he was nervous and shaven-headed, and covered in bruises and scabs.
The baby had been taken to the hospital or his doctor over a dozen times with multiple bruising and swelling to his face, blood coming from his ears and infected fingernails. He was admitted to hospital or examined by doctors over a dozen times with various different injuries. Many of them were inflicted while he was on the 'at risk' register with Haringey Social Services.
During one examination, shortly before he died in August last year, a doctor failed to find he had a broken back and was a paraplegic. She said she could not examine him as he was "cranky". An independent review by Haringey Local Safeguarding Children Board found the abuse should have been uncovered by the paediatrician.
Neither the mother, the boyfriend or Baby P can be named due to existing court orders. The jury was told to convict the boyfriend of the lesser charge if it could not agree on who caused the injuries in the house where the three adults were living.
Child protection experts said this case was worse than that of Victoria Climbie because there were so many more opportunities for doctors, police and social workers to save him.
Created Feb 22, 2009