Tuesday 11 August 2009

Media can name Baby P mum today but she could get new identity on release from jail

Although the mother of Baby Peter was named by the media last night as Tracey Connelly after a High Court order expired, she may be given a new identity on her release from prison.
The Guardian reports today: "Lawyers for Connelly may before her release apply for a "Mary Bell order", which will give her a new identity and anonymity if they can prove that her life is at risk."
The Sun said today: "At last, today the world can see the identities of Baby Peter Connelly's evil killers - murderers in all but name. True justice was never possible for this poor boy as long as these heartless sadists remained anonymous."
According to the Guardian, "The decision by Mr Justice Coleridge to withdraw the protection of anonymity from Tracey Connelly and Baby Peter's stepfather, Steven Barker, followed pressure from several major media organisations, including the BBC, the Mirror Group, and the Times, who argued that this was important to ensure that those who caused the toddler's death were being properly held to account.
"Haringey council, which has been heavily criticised for not taking Peter into care despite evidence of repeated non accidental injuries, had made two attempts to keep Connelly's name secret. But Coleridge ruled that Connelly, 28, and Barker, 32, could be named today in the interests of article 10 of the Human Rights Act, the right to freedom of expression, and in order that the public did not lose faith in the criminal justice system.
"He said the case was so notorious that "for the public to be prohibited from learning the identity of the defendants may give rise to considerable public disquiet".
Baby Peter died in August 2007 after suffering months of torture and abuse.
Connelly and Barker's identity was widely available on the internet. As The Times noted today: "Anyone with an internet connection could have circumvented the order issued by those who oversaw the trial. Simply typing “Baby P Mother” into Google yesterday disclosed Connelly’s name and picture in a matter of seconds."

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