Baby Peter social worker 'had to move house'

Maria Ward pictured in 2010 Maria Ward was Baby Peter's nominated social worker

Related Stories

One of Baby Peter's social workers had to move house when the case led to a "hysterical media outcry", the Court of Appeal has heard.

Maria Ward, Peter Connelly's social worker at Haringey Council in north London, and Gillie Christou, her manager, are appealing against their sackings.

Peter Connelly was 17 months old when he died in 2007 following abuse.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal ruled against the social workers last year.

'Unfairly sacked'

Ms Ward was called a "murderer" by members of the public following an outcry "calling for heads to roll", said Karon Monaghan QC, representing both women.

The women say they were unfairly sacked in response to the outcry after the baby was found dead with more than 50 injuries, despite being on the at-risk register and receiving 60 visits from social workers, police and health professionals over eight months.

Peter's mother Tracey Connelly, her boyfriend Steven Barker, and his brother Jason Owen were jailed in May 2009 for causing or allowing the child's death.

Ms Monaghan told Lord Justice Laws, Lord Justice Elias and Lord Justice McCombe that Ms Ward had to permanently move home and "was advised to disguise herself".

The barrister told the court: "She had members of the public and press outside her house with members of the public calling her a murderer.

"Mrs Christou was subjected to similar, albeit less severe harassment."

Appeals dismissed

A Watford employment tribunal concluded in 2010 that the local authority acted reasonably in dismissing them because of serious failings in their care of the toddler.

The women then challenged that ruling at the Employment Appeal Tribunal in central London, but their appeals were dismissed.

Ms Ward and Mrs Christou were sacked after an investigation which discovered there was a period in mid-2007 when they did not know where the child was.

Sharon Shoesmith, the Haringey children's services director who won a landmark Court of Appeal ruling that she was unfairly sacked in the Baby P case, was present in court for the hearing in support of the two women.

The appeals brought by Ms Ward and Mrs Christou are opposed by Haringey Council. The hearing continues.

More on This Story

Related Stories

From other news sites

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC London

Weather

London

19 °C 11 °C

BBC Local Live

  1.  
    Friendships 'harder in London' 11:36:

    A survey of Londoners and New Yorkers found meeting people is harder in the British capital than the Big Apple.

    London skyline

    A survey of over 1,000 'young urbanites' in both cities found that three quarters of New Yorkers thought it was difficult to meet people in their city, compared to 80% in London, according to friend-finding network citysocializer.

     
  2.  
    'Illegal immigrants' arrested on M25 11:25:

    Police have arrested 13 suspected illegal immigrants on the M25 after they were seen running from the back of a lorry.

    The suspects were detained between junctions 12 and 13 during rush-hour traffic, said Surrey police.

     
  3.  
    'Fighting dogs' cause playground damage 11:14:

    Enfield Council plans to install CCTV cameras to catch those responsible for "wrecking" a new children's playground installed last month.

    The council said it believes "extensive vandalism" is being caused by "the owners of fighting dogs who are training their animal by making them hang off the equipment by their jaws", and plans to increase guard and police patrols in the area to catch the culprits.

     
  4.  
    Video: London hospital's 'eye bank' 11:07:
  5.  
    News on the hour 10:58:

    On BBC London 94.9 at 11:00:

    • London's Transport Commissioner warns bus and Tube fares can't continue to rise at the rate they have been, and if they do there could be "social unrest"
     
  6.  
    War memorial restored 10:48:

    Locals in Waltham Forest have restored a 'forgotten' war memorial 70 years after residential buildings were destroyed by World War Two bombing, reports the Waltham Forest Guardian.

    In December 1944, six buildings in Walthamstow's Callonfield Estate were destroyed in an attack from the air, but the memorial to residents killed in the attack became neglected for decades on disused land.

     
  7.  
    'More strikes' due for Underground 10:39:

    London Underground workers are due to launch a fresh wave of industrial action in a long-running row over ticket office closures.

    King's Cross

    The RMT union said that despite months of talks with London Underground, the company remained "hell-bent" on carrying out a programme of ticket office closures and job cuts.

     
  8.  
    Lampard love story over - Mourinho 10:29:

    Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho said there was nothing emotional about Frank Lampard's goal against the Blues, and insisted the "love story" finished when the midfielder joined Manchester City.

    The 36-year-old former England international, who left Chelsea in the summer, came off the bench to equalise in the 1-1 draw at Etihad Stadium.

     
  9.  
    Soho 'most expensive for travellers' 10:19:

    Soho is the most expensive London district for travellers to stay in, according to a new survey.

    The average hotel price a visitor needs to pay is higher in Soho than in 19 other London districts, said CheapRooms.co.uk.

     
  10.  
    British Museum recreated for Minecraft 10:09:

    The British Museum in London - complete with all of its exhibits - is to be recreated in the video game Minecraft.

    Artefacts In The British Museum's Winning At The Ancient Games Exhibition The British Museum has a collection of eight million objects

    The project is part of the Museum of the Future scheme, which aims to expand the institution's appeal.

     
  11.  
    News on the hour 09:58:

    On BBC London 94.9 at 10:00:

    • Criminal gangs have started organising gay weddings to help illegal immigrants get a UK passport, according to a BBC investigation
     
  12.  
    Have your say 09:52:

    What do you think of BBC Local Live? We'd like your feedback about this service.

     
  13.  
    Pellegrini criticises 'small team' Chelsea 09:41:

    Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini said Chelsea played like a "small team" during yesterday's 1-1 draw and criticised their defensive style.

     
  14.  
    More powers for City Hall? 09:33:

    In the wake of the Scottish "No" vote, devolving more power to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland has been pushed up the political agenda - so could City Hall and the London Assembly get extra powers?

     
  15.  
    Alice Gross: Police probe suspect's conviction 09:22:

    Police investigating the disappearance of 14-year old schoolgirl Alice Gross will ask their Latvian counterparts for more information about the murder conviction of suspect Arnis Zalkalns.

    Alice Gross

    Officers want to know about the murder of Mr Zalkalns' wife, for which he was found guilty and spent time in prison before coming to the UK.

     
  16.  
    Overcrowding 'could spark riots' 09:08:

    London could see riots again unless more trains and buses are provided at affordable fares for the poorest communities as the population soars, the city's transport commissioner Sir Peter Hendy has told The Guardian newspaper.

    He said the city will face "overwhelming" overcrowding on its congested transport networks by 2030 without urgent progress on new rail lines.

     
  17.  
    News on the hour 08:57:

    On BBC London 94.9 at 09:00:

    • London's Transport Commissioner has warned of Mumbai-style overcrowding if there isn't urgent investment in more buses and trains - and of "social unrest" if people can't afford to use them
     
  18.  
    Alice suspect 'could be in Latvia' 08:47:

    Latvian police have said a convicted murderer wanted over the disappearance of London schoolgirl Alice Gross could be in the eastern European country - but has not entered by plane.

    Arnis Zalkalns

    Arnis Zalkalns has been named as prime suspect in the hunt for Alice, 14.

     
  19.  
    On air 08:38: Vanessa Feltz Presenter, BBC London 94.9

    On BBC London 94.9 from 09:00, Vanessa unpicks claims from the Transport Commissioner that London could see "social unrest" unless more buses and trains are provided at affordable fares. Tell us about your journey to work. Call 020 7224 2000.

     
  20.  
    Gay weddings targeted for UK citizenship 08:27: Zack Adesina BBC Inside Out, London

    Same-sex marriages were made legal in March this year but within weeks of the legislation coming into effect, criminal gangs were touting sham gay weddings to those wanting to dodge immigration controls.

    Gay marriage ceremony

    Inside Out London went undercover to expose the fraud and discovered one gang that organises sham gay marriages for £10,000. Watch the full story tonight at 19:30 on BBC One.

     
  21.  
    Top headlines
  22.  
    Travel 08:18: Louise Pepper Journalist, BBC London

    South West trains are disrupted through Vauxhall after a person was hit by a train.

    On the M1, there are reports of a six-vehicle collision southbound between London Gateway services and Fiveways Corner.

    And there are queues on the A40 eastbound from the M40 at Denham to Gypsy Corner, not helped by a broken down vehicle at Hanger Lane.

    For more travel news, visit BBC London's travel website. or follow us on Twitter @BBCLondonTravel

     
  23.  
    Chilly start, warm later 08:08:

    It will be a fine and dry day with some good sunny spells. After a chilly start it will feel quite pleasant in the sunshine and the winds will turn light by the afternoon. Maximum temperature: 19C (66F).

    Weather chart
     
  24.  
    08:00: Matthew Bell BBC News, London

    Good morning. I'll be bringing you all the latest news, sport, travel and weather from London today for BBC Local Live.

    You can send your news, pictures and comments to london.locallive@bbc.co.uk or on Twitter @BBCLondonNews

     

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.