The cost of releasing Baby P’s mother: Taxpayers could cough up £12,500 for bail hostel on top of a MAKEOVER, probation officers and a psychologist to ‘care’ for the killer mother in the community
- Tracey Connelly, 40, was jailed in 2009 over her 17-month-old son Peter’s death
- Connelly, 40, was told yesterday her fourth bid for freedom had been successful
- She will released to a bail hostel – which could cost taxpayers up to £12,500
Baby P’s abusive mother Tracey Connelly could cost taxpayers £12,500 after her release – on top of fees for a makeover, probation officers and a psychologist to ‘care’ for her.
The 40-year-old, who was jailed over the death of her 17-month-old son Peter, found out yesterday she’d been successful in her fourth bid for freedom and could be back on the streets within weeks.
She could therefore be free within weeks, with 20 new licence conditions. They are expected include wearing an electronic tag, a curfew and having her mobile and web use monitored.
She will spend the next few weeks in HMP Low Newton, County Durham, while her release paperwork is finalised, before she is moved to a bail hostel.
A Ministry of Justice source told MailOnline that Connelly could live in the bail hostel for up to 12 weeks, which could cost taxpayers £12,500. She will also receive care from probation officers, a psychologist and hostel workers, topping up the bill.
The most high-profile released prisoners could cost even more because of security and other factors – with the exact cost of her probation only clear after her release.
The killer mother will also be given a makeover so people don’t recognise her and a new surname, adding further costs for taxpayers.
In terms of benefits, Connelly could also receive up to £324.84 a month in Universal Credit.
Connelly was reportedly placed on the psychologically informed planned environment unit at Low Newton in 2015, according to the Sun. Places on the 20-bed unit cost about £3,000 a prisoner a year.
An extra cost could be the release itself. When she was released in 2013, it was alleged she was helped out of her Durham jail in a convoy of vehicles carrying ‘dummy’ obese women.
Sources said that extra vehicles containing women of a similar weight with their faces covered could also be used to throw anyone keen to follow her off the scent.
The same ploy was used when Maxine Carr left prison. In 2004, when Carr left Foston Hall prison in Derbyshire, she was stowed in the footwell of a car at the same time as several similar vehicles also left.
Tracey Connelly, the mother of Baby P, leaving the women’s bail hostel where she was housed after her first release from prison in 2013
Peter, who was publicly known as Baby P, died in north London in August 2007 at the hands of his mother, her lover Steven Barker and his brother Jason Owen
Connelly had been imprisoned indefinitely with a minimum term of five years in 2009 for causing or allowing her son’s death.
Peter, who was publicly known as Baby P, died in north London in August 2007 at the hands of his mother, her lover Steven Barker and his brother Jason Owen.
He suffered more than 50 injuries, including a snapped spine and eight broken ribs, despite being on the at-risk register and receiving 60 visits from social workers, police and health professionals over the final eight months of his life.
Connelly was released in 2013 on a lifelong licence, but recalled to jail in 2015 after she breached its terms by selling nude photographs of herself on the internet.
She was subject to a specific length of term in prison, but had to wait until the Parole Board – which considers cases roughly every two years – deemed her fit for release.
She had bids for freedom turned down in 2015, 2017, and 2019, when the board refused to release or move her to an open prison. In 2020, she lost another appeal.
The high-profile criminals released on parole
Britain’s most notorious female paedophile Vanessa George was jailed for a minimum of seven years in 2009 after she sexually assaulted up to 30 babies and toddlers in her care at Little Ted’s nursery in Plymouth.
However, she was released in 2019 and reportedly put in a probation hostel just six minutes away from a nursery.
The hostel costs up to £50,000 a year and is in the Midlands.
Matthews was nicknamed ‘Britain’s worst mother’ after she hatched a plot to abduct her daughter Shannon, then aged nine, in February 2008 in an elaborate attempt to claim a £50,000 reward.
She was released in 2012 after serving just half her sentence.
Matthews was freed from Foston Hall prison in Derbyshire and taken to a secret location believed to be within 30 miles of her former home in Dewsbury Moor, West Yorkshire.
She was reportedly given a full makeover including a new hairstyle before her release to prevent her being recognised in the street, and she will now live under an assumed name.
Maxine Carr was jailed for providing murderer Iam Huntley with a false alibi after the deaths of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in Cambridgeshire in August 2002.
Carr, from Grimsby, served 21 months of a three-and-a-half year sentence before being released on parole.
She was given anonymity for life upon her release in 2004.
She was also given a new National Insurance number and passport in a move that is thought to have cost the taxpayer £250,000.
Wwhen Carr left Foston Hall prison in Derbyshire, she was stowed in the footwell of a car at the same time as several similar vehicles also left.
But yesterday, more than seven years after she was recalled to jail, the board found she does not pose a risk to the public.
Now, a relative of the tragic toddler has also spoken out, telling the Sun: ‘Connelly gets chance after chance.
‘When will these people learn evil is evil? She’s fooled them before and fooled them again.’
Mr Raab, who told the Commons he would ask the Parole Board to reconsider the decision, doubled down on his remarks again today, insisting he will do ‘all I can’ to stop Britain’s most notorious offenders being freed.
‘Releasing her was the wrong call then and it still is now,’ he wrote in the Sun.
‘Decisions to free serious criminals like her, double child killer Colin Pitchfork and rapist John Worboys, undermine public confidence in the Parole Board and the whole criminal justice system.’
Mr Raab said he will apply to the Parole Board asking it to reconsider the plans.
Mr Raab was backed by Shadow Justice Secretary Steve Reed, who described the news as ‘disturbing’ and said he ‘fully supports’ efforts to seek a review.
Since being recalled to prison, Connelly has taken part in a ‘very intensive’ treatment programme from the Ministry of Justice and the NHS over three years and is ‘now able to work openly and honestly with professionals’, a report added.
The Parole Board said it was satisfied Connelly is suitable for release after hearing she is now considered to be at ‘low risk of committing a further offence’ and that her probation officers and prison officials support the plan.
Mr Raab was represented throughout the review and his representative ‘confirmed that this recommendation was accepted’, the report said.
Connelly will be subject to restrictions on her movements, activities and who she contacts, and faces 20 extra licence conditions.
They include living at a specified address, being supervised by probation, wearing an electronic tag, adhering to a curfew and having to disclose her relationships.
Her use of the internet and a phone will be monitored and she has been told she cannot go to certain places to ‘avoid contact with victims and to protect children’.
A spokesperson for the Parole Board said: ‘We can confirm that a panel of the Parole Board has directed the release of Tracey Connelly following an oral hearing.
‘Parole Board decisions are solely focused on what risk a prisoner could represent to the public if released and whether that risk is manageable in the community.
‘Parole reviews are undertaken thoroughly and with extreme care. Protecting the public is our number one priority.’
The case was so ’emotive’ that parole bosses demanded more information on her psychological assessments before a decision was reached, a source told the Sun.
She would have faced another two years behind bars if the board rejected her bid.
Peter, who was publicly known as Baby P, died in north London on August 3 2007 at the hands of his mother, her lover Steven Barker and his brother Jason Owen.
Yesterday, more than seven years after she was recalled to jail, the board found she does not pose a risk to the public, and could therefore be free within weeks, with 20 new licence conditions
Baby P, was tortured to death in 2007 by Connelly’s lover Steven Barker (left) and his brother Jason Owen (right) at their home in Tottenham, north London
He suffered more than 50 injuries, which included a snapped spine and eight broken ribs, despite being on the at-risk register and receiving 60 visits from social workers, police and health professionals over the final eight months of his life.
Steven Barker was jailed in 2009 for a minimum of 32 years for torturing the 17-month-old to death and Owen received a six year jail sentence for allowing the toddler to die.
Peter and three other children were sharing the four-bedroom house with their mother, her boyfriend and his brother when he died.
A series of reviews identified missed opportunities for officials to save the toddler’s life had they reacted properly to warning signs.
Catflap rapist, child killer and sex predators: High profile criminals set free to strike again
Black cab rapist John Worboys
The board faced widespread criticism over its handling of the case of the Black Cab rapist – a serial sex offender convicted in 2009 for attacks on 12 women. He was recommended for release in 2018, but just weeks later, the decision was overturned after it was challenged by two of his victims.
Double child killer Colin Pitchfork
Last year the board allowed the release of Pitchfork, who raped and murdered two 15-year-old girls in the 1980s. However, he was recalled to jail less than three months later after he was caught ‘approaching young women’.
Christmas Day killer Steven Ling
The farm worker was jailed for life in December 1998 after admitting murdering 29-year-old Joanne Tulip in Stamfordham, Northumberland on Christmas Day 1997. The Parole Board recommended earlier this year that he be transferred to a lower security jail, however this was overruled by Justice Secretary Dominic Raab.
Catflap rapist Paul Robson
Robson was given two life sentences in August 2000 after he broke into a 23-year-old woman’s house in Oxford through a cat flap and sexually assaulted her while holding a knife to her throat. He fled an open prison in Boston, Lincolnshire earlier this year and was on the loose for four days, which led to the MoJ insisting Mr Raab will have more control over the transfer of prisoners in the most high-risk cases.
Double killer Paul O’Hara
O’Hara murdered new girlfriend Cherylee Shennan in 2014 two years after he was freed early from a life term for killing his ex Janine Waterworth, whose parents said their protests that he was still dangerous were ignored by the Parole Board.
Jailmate thugs Stephen Unwin and William McFall
Stephen Unwin and William McFall, were jailed for raping and murdering a young Vietnamese mother who they had tortured for four hours. They met while serving life for killing OAPs during burglaries. Each was paroled after only 13 years.
Drug addict killer George Johnson
Long-term drug addict George Johnson killed a hotel worker in 1986 for just £3. Freed in 2006, he battered to death an 89-year-old widow five years later to steal £25 to feed his heroin and crack cocaine habit.
The ‘Devil’s Child’ Damien Hanson
Damien Hanson murdered a banker in 2004, three months after winning parole. He was seven years into a 12-year term for trying to kill a teenage boy. Known as ‘the Devil’s Child’, he was freed despite a report saying he was a 91 per cent reoffending risk.
Bodybuilding killer Douglas Vinter
Fitness fan Douglas Vinter knifed his wife Ann White to death after kidnapping her and holding her hostage in 2008. They had married soon after he was freed in 2005 – just ten years into a life sentence for murdering a workmate in a railway cabin.
Pub landlord murderer Ian Simms
Last year the Parole Board freed murderer Ian Simms, despite his refusal to reveal the whereabouts of the remains of his victim. Clerk Helen McCourt, 22, disappeared on her way home in Merseyside in 1988. Her mother lost a legal bid to keep Simms behind bars but a new rule, known as Helen’s Law, now makes it harder for killers to get parole if they refused to reveal where a victim’s body is.
Serial rapist Joseph McCann
Blundering probation staff missed a series of chances to recall McCann to jail before he attacked 11 victims. He was given 33 life terms and jailed for at least 30 years for kidnapping, raping and sexually assaulting women and children aged 11 to 71. McCann had been freed from prison by mistake two months before his two-week rampage fuelled by vodka and cocaine when he forced victims into his car at knifepoint.
Three of the children, including Peter, were on Haringey’s Child Protection Register because of fears they were being neglected.
Connelly, who covered up the abuse of her son, was jailed in 2009 for a minimum of five years after admitting causing or allowing the death of her son Peter.
She was then freed on licence in 2013 but later recalled to prison in 2015 after it was found she had sent indecent images of herself to people obsessed with her notoriety.
The Parole Board considered her case for a third time in November 2019, following previous reviews in 2015 and 2017, and refused to either release her or move her to an open prison.
In 2019, the convict launched a bid to be freed from prison so she could try to spend Christmas with her lover.
She became besotted with a 37-year-old insurance salesman named Paul and told fellow prisoners she want to move in with him in Reading.
The abuser said she believed she was ready to leave prison a ‘changed woman’.
Connelly insisted her relationship was genuine because she had known him for many years.
The decision came as Mr Raab insisted the case for reform of the parole system is ‘clear and made out’.
Offenders who are subject to life sentences, indeterminate sentences for public protection, extended sentences and certain recall cases are all subject to the parole process, meaning their release must be directed by the Parole Board.
The proposed reforms could see ministers override the Parole Board when it comes to the release of dangerous criminals from jail, with an aim to focus on protecting the public rather than the rights of offenders.
This could include cases involving murder, rape, terrorism and causing or allowing the death of a child.
Victims are also expected to be given the right to attend parole hearings in full for the first time, in a nod to the Conservative Party’s 2019 manifesto.
The Parole Board will now be required to take into account submissions made by victims and they will be allowed to ask questions.
The new rules could also see more police, and other people with ‘enforcement experience’, recruited to sit on Parole Board decision panels.
Mr Raab said it was ‘striking’ that as of last year only 5% of all Parole Board panel members come from a law enforcement background, telling MPs he believed this was a ‘significant deficit’.
Shadow justice secretary Steve Reed said: ‘It’s crucial that public protection is paramount and that victims are right at the heart of the criminal justice system.
‘Currently too many victims feel their views are not taken sufficiently into account either in parole decisions or in sentencing and this leads directly to public safety concerns that must be taken more seriously.’
Setting out his review of the parole system, Mr Raab said: ‘Our reforms will ensure that those offenders who present the highest risk to public safety are reviewed more rigorously with additional ministerial oversight.
‘Protecting the public is the Government’s top priority. The proposals in this review will enforce public safety.’
He added: ‘Following the review we have conducted and published today, I believe the case for reform is clear and made out.’
Mr Raab also said a ministerial check would be introduced in cases which involve ‘those who have committed the most serious crimes’.
He said: ‘I believe the focus in this critical decision-making has become adrift from its original moorings. So this Government will anchor Parole Board decision-making back to the cardinal principle of public protection.
‘When it comes to assessing the risk to victims and public safety, we will introduce a precautionary principle to reinforce public confidence in the system and in cases which involve those who have committed the most serious crimes, we will introduce a ministerial check on release decisions exercised by the secretary of state for justice.
‘The package of reforms published today will strengthen the focus on public protection at every stage.’
Outlining his plans further, Mr Raab said: ‘It is striking that as of last year only 5% of all Parole Board panel members come from a law enforcement background.’
He added: ‘But I do point to what I believe is a significant deficit. I believe it is wrong and that our reforms will ensure that those who we charge with making finely balanced assessments of future risk have greater first hand operational experience of protecting the public from serious offenders.
‘So we will change this imbalance by mandating the Parole Board to recruit more members with operational or enforcement experience.’
Shadow justice secretary Mr Reed said: ‘It’s crucial that public protection is paramount and that victims are right at the heart of the criminal justice system.
‘Currently too many victims feel their views are not taken sufficiently into account either in parole decisions or in sentencing and this leads directly to public safety concerns that must be taken more seriously.
‘Labour will put public safety at the core of our contract with the British people, sadly the same can’t be said of this Government.’
He added: ‘Labour wants victims to have a right to make a new personal statement saying how they would feel if the prisoner is released.
‘We would like any assessment of the risk to the public to include the risk of re-traumatising their victim and prevent released prisoners from living near their victim if that’s against the victim’s wishes.’
Meanwhile, a justice campaigner instrumental in the creation of Helen’s Law today hailed Mr Raab’s planned parole shakeup.
He said it’s clear the public and the Government have ‘have lost all trust’ in the British parole system.
Neil Gillingham, 32, grandson to evil wife-killer Russell Causley, has spent more than a decade campaigning for a ‘no body, no parole rule’.
His grandfather Causley, now 77, was jailed for the murder of his wife Carole Packman in 2003.
Causley has never revealed where his wife was buried, since her disappearance in 1985.
Neil said: ‘We have successfully stopped several attempts by lobbying former justice secretaries.
‘Yesterday’s announcements appear to enforce earlier concerns that the Parole Board isn’t fit for purpose and both the public as well as the Government have lost all trust after Colin Pitchfork and Russell Causley were both recalled to prison within two weeks of each other.
‘Yesterday’s announcements are welcomed. The most depraved, narcissistic murderers and those that refuse to engage in rehabilitation deserve to spend the rest of their days behind bars, if that means they die in prison, then so be it.’
Source: Read Full Article