Sacked Baby P official ‘suicidal’
The Northern Ireland-born children’s services chief who was sacked over the Baby P scandal has suffered poor health, suicidal thoughts and tabloid intrusion since her dismissal, the Court of Appeal heard yesterday.
Sharon Shoesmith’s dismissal as director of children's services at Haringey Council in London was neither lawful nor fair, her counsel has told three appeal judges.
Ms Shoesmith, who is originally from Newtownabbey, was sacked in December 2008 after a damning Ofsted report into failings in her department exposed by Baby P's death.
She is seeking to overturn a High Court ruling that declared lawful decisions made by regulator Ofsted, former Children's Secretary Ed Balls and Haringey Council, which led to the loss of her £130,000-a-year job.
Baby P, now named as Peter Connelly, was just 17 months old when he died in August 2007 at the hands of his mother Tracey Connelly, her lover Steven Barker and their lodger.
James Maurici, representing Mrs Shoesmith, said the personal impact of the case on her was catastrophic. Her health has suffered, she has experienced suicidal thoughts, and is regularly hounded by the Press, he said.