Former York council worker who was sacked over Baby P scandal reveals she contemplated suicide

First published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

THE former York council worker who was sacked over the Baby P scandal has revealed how she is living on benefits because no organisation will risk employing her.

Sharon Shoesmith also said she contemplated suicide following media coverage blaming her for the failings which led to the death of baby Peter Connelly in London in 2007, when she ran Haringey’s children’s services department.

She said she avoided public places for fear of being recognised or photographed, and avoids the London Underground following warnings from police that she might be pushed under a train.

In an interview with the magazine, Public Servant, she also spoke of her concerns that children are now at even greater peril because of the legacy of damage to the social work profession.

Baby Peter died at the hands of his mother Tracey Connelly, her lover Steven Barker and their lodger, Barker’s brother Jason Owen. All three were jailed.

The baby had suffered repeated injuries despite receiving 60 visits from social workers, police and doctors in the last eight weeks of his life.

Ms Shoesmith, who worked for City of York Council in the 1990s, was sacked in the wake of the Baby P scandal by the then Children’s Secretary, Labour’s Ed Balls, and is waiting to receive up to £1 million compensation for unfair dismissal, but says she has not yet received a penny and has an unpaid six-figure legal bill.

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