"Baby P" mother Tracey Connelly recalled to prison for breach of licence

"Baby P" mother Tracey Connelly recalled to prison for breach of licence

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The tragic case of “Baby P” – Peter – is known by many. In short, 17-month old Peter was found dead in his cot having suffered 50+ injuries at the hands of Connelly’s boyfriend, Stephen Barker and his brother Jason Owen. The case saw Haringey social services severely criticised as the abuse of Peter had been repeatedly missed over a number of months during which social services staff had visited Peter.

Barker and Owen were convicted of causing or allowing the death of a child: Barker received a sentence of 12 years for that offence and also a sentence of life imprisonment for a separate offence of rape of a child, whilst Owen received an IPP sentence with a minimum term of three years. Connelly, who pleaded guilty to causing or allowing the death of a child, receiving an IPP sentence with a minimum term of five years.

A sentence of IPP – since repealed – means someone is detained at least for the duration of the minimum term, at which point they may apply to the Parole Board to be released. The Parole Board will order their release when they are satisfied the individual is safe to be released.

Release

We explained here how Connelly came to be released in October 2013. Save in very exceptional circumstances, when people are released from custodial sentences, they are on licence for either the duration of their sentence, or for life.

A breach of that licence – or the commission of another offence during the currency of that licence – will lead to them being recalled to prison to serve some or all of the remainder of their sentence. If a new offence has been committed, then they will also be sentenced for that new offence.

When Connelly was released, she was given a new identity.

What happened?

It was reported in the press that “Baby P’s mother [had been] sent back to jail for allegedly selling porn images”.

It appears that Connelly had been selling sexual images of herself online to so-called “fans” who were “turned on by her notoriety”. This, it appears, was considered to be a breach of her licence and she has been recalled to prison.

What happens next?

Connelly’s case will be considered by the parole board who will, again, have to decide whether it is appropriate to re-release her.

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Lyndon is the General Editor of Current Sentencing Practice and the Criminal Appeal Reports (Sentencing)

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