Naming those convicted over Baby Peter's death

Came back from holiday to breaking news of those convicted following the death of Baby Peter being named and shamed in a media tsunami which has only just (mostly) abated.

Had been on Monday to Bangla TV to do a long (one and a half hours) interview on various issues that affect the Bangladeshi community – chief amongst them – stop and search; ID cards; work issues (my anonymous job application proposal); terrorism and so on. Very nice to be given time to actually expand discussion properly around a topic rather than the usual nano second soundbite.

Around four o’clock calls start coming in from newspapers that the names and faces of the three people convicted of ‘allowing Baby Peter to die’ will be released at midnight. Immediate phone call from Newsnight who think that the Mail and others will go earlier – can I be there for 10.30pm to go as lead story if reporting injunction removed earlier? In the event – we go at 11pm.

The next day the media tsunami that has accompanied every twist and turn and new event of this tragic case sweeps me into around twenty interviews across the spectrum of media outlets. It was not only important that the names were published – that is the law for those who are convicted and is the guarantee to the people of this country that justice has been done and been seen to be done. However, it was also inevitable – as the names have been out on the internet for months now.

So – what do I think? I am late in blogging this as the story was yesterday’s news – the future is about whether change will really be delivered and will the closing ranks, secretive culture in Haringey ever end?

And yes – of course there will be problems arising from the notoriety of these criminals which may make their lives hell when they emerge from their sentences because people hate them and may demonstrate that hate with violence.

My own view is that the length of the sentences they serve is quite critical. If they were to only serve a minimum then the people would be rightly angry – but I doubt that this will be the case as the judge when sentencing was extremely robust in his criticisms and put a question mark over whether two of them would ever come out by delivering ‘indeterminate’ sentences.
In a civilised country with a civilised justice system – their time in prison is the punishment and they would be entitled to protection if their lives were still in danger.

For me, however, the real issue is still around how much safer will children at risk be in the future – particularly in Haringey? I am not going to repeat the litany of all the questions that remain unanswered and the agencies who have not yet born the punishments and scrutiny they deserve. I have intoned the need for a public inquiry and the publication of the two Serious Case Reviews often enough.

This isn’t nearly over!

0 thoughts on “Naming those convicted over Baby Peter's death

  1. I’d say the most significant development this week is that some small amount of attention has at last been given to Baby P’s father.

    Would be interesting to find out if he had actually sought custody, although perhaps this is unlikely as obviously most fathers realise they have no chance of getting it.

    One positive that will hopefully come from the case should be increased recognition that a child needs both parents, and hopefully it will result in more support and recognition of the importance of introducing equal parenting ASAP. equal pparenting.

  2. The anonymity was a farce from early on. I imagine most people knew the identities given the internet being used as a vehicle for carying the names and photos of those responsible. Don’t be too confident Lynne that the perps will stay in prison for a long time. Despite the judge’s criticisms he stipulated ridiculously short terms particulary in the case of the mother. Once the stipulation has been met the burden shifts to those who want to continue holding them in custody. The judge had discretion and sought to use it very guardedly.