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ISLINGTON: How a close male relative of Baby P is linked to a big paedophile network – Eileen Fairweather

ISLINGTON

HOW A CLOSE MALE RELATIVE OF BABY P IS LINKED TO A BIG PAEDOPHILE NETWORK –

EILEEN FAIRWEATHER

November 2008

babyp2
‘Baby P’ – Peter Connelly

On 16 November 2008, Eileen Fairweather wrote an article for the Mail on Sunday, which revealed how a relative of Baby P was connected to a large paedophile network based in Islington care homes.

Eileen Fairweather was a journalist in Islington and helped expose some of the abuse that had been going on within care homes across the borough.


‘BABY P’

For those that don’t know about ‘Baby P’, he was a 17-month old little boy called Peter Connelly who, despite being on the Child Protection Register and seen a number of times by Haringey Social Services and in a hospital just days earlier, died after suffering eight months of abuse at the hands of his mother, Tracey Connelly, her boyfriend Steven Barker, and his brother (and lodger), Jason Owen.  Connelly had five children, and was pregnant with Barker’s child when she was arrested.

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(L-R) Steven Barker, Tracey Connelly and Jason Owen

When paramedics found Peter lying unconcious in his dirty, blood-stained cot wearing nothing but a nappy, all attempts at resuscitation failed and Peter passed away at North Middlesex Hospital on 3 August 2007.  A subsequent post mortem revealed he had swallowed a tooth from being punched, he also had a broken back, broken ribs, mutilated fingertips and missing fingernails and toenails.  In total they discovered 50 separate injuries.  Little Peter would have been in tremendous pain.

I had forgotten a lot about this case, and rereading over some of the reports brings back how awful it was and how a nasty streak of depravity ran through the family.  Poor Peter never stood a chance and was failed by so many.  I will do a separate post covering this case in due course.

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Peter Connelly not long before he died – his head had been shaved and chocolate smeared on his face.

Mail on Sunday: 16 November 2008: REVEALED: HOW A CLOSE MALE RELATIVE OF BABY P IS LINKED TO A BIG PAEDOPHILE NETWORK – Eileen Fairweather

A close male relative of Baby P was feared to have recruited youngsters in care for a notorious paedophile ring, according to a secret report seen by The Mail on Sunday.

Although he is not believed to have had any contact with Baby P, his involvement in a child abuse scandal in Islington, North London, in the early Nineties raises questions on the extent of checks into Baby P’s background.

The family should have been subjected to forensic examination,’ said a child protection expert.  ‘Even cursory checks would have rung alarm bells. Social workers might then have removed the baby, as a paediatrician and police pleaded.’

The relative was named in reports as a victim and a feared recruiter of children for pimps.

In the early Nineties he was put in a children’s home.  At the time, all 12 of Islington’s then homes, and at least one of the boarding schools it used, had been infiltrated by paedophiles.

The relative, then a frightened 13-year-old, was under the control of three pimps – Alan, John and George – who persuaded him with money, drugs and threats to bring other children to them.

He tried in vain to blow the whistle and protect himself and other children.  He gave social workers the names of others ferried from the homes to, he said, Manor Park, Tottenham, Soho and Westminster to ‘be buggered by old men’.  But none of the men were placed under surveillance or questioned.

Several social workers and managers fought hard to get help for the boy and other children targeted by the paedophiles.  Social worker Neville Mighty was deputy superintendent of Islington’s then unit at 18 Highbury Grove, where pimps slept overnight.  His boss claimed such men were simply ‘boyfriends’ and said Mighty was a prude to repress the children’s sexuality.

Mighty, who had received death threats, had named the relative in a report pleading with Islington’s then director of children’s services, Lyn Cusack, for help.  Ms Cusack, married to a senior policeman, did nothing save threaten disciplinary action because Mighty was ‘rude’. Eventually, in June 1992, Mighty was sacked.

Liz Davies, the senior Islington social worker who encouraged Mighty to go public, said: ‘We got too close. There were too many powerful people involved. Child sex, pornography and sadism are extremely lucrative industries.

In 1994, a damning  independent report criticised the failure of police and social workers to help the relative and to help protect children in care in Islington.


FURTHER READING:

The natural father of Baby P is suing the publishers of a Sunday newspaper for £130,000 damages for printing “one of the gravest libels imaginable“.

A judge was told the father, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was wrongly accused in The People of being a sex offender convicted of raping a 14-year-old girl.

Its publishers, MGN Ltd, later apologised and offered to pay damages. However the offer came late and was not enough to compensate the father, referred to as “KC”, for the suffering and distress the “completely false” reports had caused, said his QC, James Dingemans.  The allegations were contained in two paragraphs in a crime supplement about Baby P’s mother, who had separated from KC, and appeared in The People on September 19 2010 in an article entitled “Tortured to death as mum turned a blind eye“.

Baby P, later named as Peter Connelly, was just 17 months old when he was found in a blood-splattered cot at his mother’s home in Tottenham, north London, in August 2007. He had more than 50 injuries.  Tracey Connelly was jailed in 2009 after admitting causing or allowing his death. Her boyfriend, Steven Barker, and their lodger, Jason Owens, who was Barker’s brother, were found guilty at the Old Bailey of the same charge.

Mr Dingemans said the allegations about the natural father in the wake of the Baby P tragedy were “shocking and appalling” but said MGN treated him “as if he didn’t really matter”.

Heather Rogers QC, appearing for MGN, told the High Court: “This was a mistake that MGN regrets and it has apologised to the claimant, and I repeat that apology on its behalf in this court.”  However she denied KC had been badly treated, or that MGN had conducted any kind of “campaign” against him, or dismissed his legitimate complaint.  Mr Dingemans said of KC: “He is a man of good character, with no previous convictions living with the fall-out (of Baby P’s death) day-by-day, and never a sex offender – never guilty of rape.”

The rape conviction had been imposed on Baby P’s maternal grandfather, the QC told Mr Justice Bean and the inaccurate reports appeared in the middle of care proceedings relating to KC’s other children and, as a result, he was put in fear of losing them.

“This was a publication to the whole world that the father of Baby P was a sex offender and rapist,” Mr Dingemans said: “They were the gravest allegations one could possibly make.”

Ms Rogers said the publishers had promptly acknowledged the error. and were motivated by the wish to put the error right.

Reserving judgment, Mr Justice Bean said he would hand down his decision “as soon as I can”.

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