Baby P social workers begin their case at Court of Appeal

Maria Ward and Gillie Christou will appear at the Court of Appeal today to appeal against their sacking

Gillie Christou (left) and Maria Ward (right) Pic: Mark St George/Rex

Two social workers sacked by Haringey council in the wake of the Baby Peter tragedy will appear at the Court of Appeal today to argue they were unfairly dismissed.

Lawyers acting for Maria Ward, Peter Connelly’s social worker, and Gillie Christou, her team manager, will challenge an employment tribunal ruling that found the pair’s sacking was fair. 

Ward and Christou have argued they were unjustly fired following public outrage over the death of 17-month-old Peter Connelly.

The pair appealed against an employment tribunal ruling, which in 2010 found they were fairly sacked, but lost their appeal in May. The tribunal found Haringey acted reasonably in sacking the workers over their involvement in the high-profile tragedy.

In August 2012, both Ward and Christou were given permission to take their case against Haringey to the Court of Appeal.

They are being supported by former Haringey director of children’s services, Sharon Shoesmith, who was herself found to have been unfairly dismissed by Haringey in a landmark Court of Appeal ruling.

Speaking to Community Care in August, Shoesmith said she was very pleased the pair had been given permission to appeal again, saying she hoped it would “encourage social workers everywhere”.

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