Baby Peter: Mother jailed indefinitely and stepfather gets life

The mother of Baby Peter was jailed indefinitely and told she would serve at least five years for causing or allowing her son’s death today at the Old Bailey.

The 17-month-old’s step-father was sentenced to 12 years for his part in the little boy’s death. He was also given life with a minimum term of 10 years for raping a two-year-old girl for which he was found guilty at the start of this month. 

The two sentences will run concurrently.

The couple’s lodger Jason Owen, 37, was given an indeterminate sentence for public protection with a minimum period of three years.

‘Significant force’ used on Baby P

Sentencing the trio at the Old Bailey today, the judge said: “Any decent person who heard the catalogue of medical
conditions and non-accidental injuries suffered by Peter cannot fail to have been appalled.

“It was clear that significant force had been used on Peter on a number of occasions.

“Whatever the truth of what took place and the role and motivation of each individual, the result was that a child died in horrific circumstances with injuries that can only have caused great pain and distress prior to his death.”

Manipulative and self-centred

He told Peter’s mother: “You are a manipulative and self-centred person, with a calculating side as well as a temper. I reject the suggestion that you were blind to what was happening in that house or that you were naive.

“Your conduct over the months prevented Peter from being seen by social services. You actively deceived the authorities.

“Health professionals who saw Peter shortly before he died seem at the least to have missed the import of the injuries to him. However, that does not, in my judgment, absolve you from your culpability.

“You acted selfishly because your priority was your relationship with (the stepfather).”

Mother’s apology

The 27-year-old mother of Baby Peter admitted failing her son and “not being fully open with the social workers” involved in the case.

In a letter given to the judge at the trial, she said she had stopped social workers “from being able to do a full job”, adding: “As a direct result of this, my son got hurt and sadly lost his short life.”

She expressed regret at her son’s death, saying that every day of her life was “full of guilt”.

The mother continued: “I am never going to see my lovely son grow into the lovely sweet man he would have been…I have lost all I hold dear to me.

“I am trying to come to terms with my failure as a mother.I punish myself on a daily basis and there is not a day that goes by where I don’t cry at some point. I have let down my…family, ex-husband, myself, and most importantly my
darling son.”

Baby P father’s ‘living nightmare’

Baby Peter’s natural father told the Old Bailey yesterday his life had become a “living nightmare” since losing his son.

In a victim impact statement the father, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told of the moment he was confronted with his son’s lifeless body in a north London hospital.

He said: “I could not believe what was happening. I could not believe it was my son.”

The serious case review into Baby Peter’s death found that if professionals had taken a “more urgent, thorough and challenging approach” the case would had been “stopped in its tracks”.

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