The former social worker who was last week found guilty of failing
to attend the Victoria Climbie Inquiry may appeal against the
Carole Baptiste had “become a repository for all the frustrations
felt by the inquiry”, her lawyer, Peter Herbert, claimed.
He added that failures by Baptiste’s employer, the London Borough
of Haringey, and children’s charity the NSPCC to provide
documentation to the inquiry had caused problems. But no individual
from those organisations had faced similar action.
“Haringey collectively disappeared quite a few documents and the
NSPCC altered records on the Climbie family. These are major
institutions, but it is an individual that has been hauled over the
coals,” Herbert said.
He added that Baptiste, who was fined £500 by Camberwell Green
magistrates after district judge Hayden Gott ruled that she had
recovered from her mental illness sufficiently to appear at the
inquiry, had “definite grounds for appeal” and was considering her
Herbert said: “At the moment there is still a lot she has to
contribute in terms of the voluntary sector. But it is highly
likely that if you convict someone in this way you are ruining
their chances of coming back. She is considering all the
possibilities, but all this makes it harder.”