"I"m on benefits and unemployable": Shamed Baby P boss Sharon Shoesmith says nobody will now take risk of employing her

'I'm on benefits and unemployable': Self-pitying Baby P boss Sharon Shoesmith says nobody will now take risk of employing herFormer social services chief avoids public places four years after sackingSharon Shoesmith is unable to find work because of blame for Baby PIn rare interview she says risk to children is now greater than before case

By
James Rush

PUBLISHED:

00:57 GMT, 6 January 2013

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UPDATED:

01:51 GMT, 6 January 2013


Sharon Shoesmith has said she is on benefits and is unemployable after being blamed for the Baby P case

Sharon Shoesmith has said she is on benefits and is unemployable after being blamed for the Baby P case

The social services chief sacked over the Baby P scandal has spoken of how her life has been unable to 'move on' since she lost her job four years ago.

Sharon Shoesmith, who was blamed for the failings which led to the death of baby Peter Connelly, has said even considered killing herself following the controversy.

Baby Peter died in August 2007 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.

Shoesmith is battling for 1 million compensation after the Supreme Court refused in August 2011 to allow an appeal against a ruling that the former Haringey children’s services chief was unfairly dismissed by the then Children’s Secretary, Labour’s Ed Balls.

In a rare interview with the Public Servant magazine, Shoesmith said she has found it impossible to live with being held directly responsible for the child's murder.

She says she still avoids public places in case she is recognised, cannot use the London Underground and she is now unable to find work.

'People used to know ask me what I'm doing now, and they're shocked when I say “nothing”,' she says in the January edition of the magazine.

'They can't quite grasp that my life hasn't moved on at all in the last four years; that I can't find any work and I'm living on benefits.

'I used to have a 130,000-a-year job running my own department and was a national reference point for Ofsted for special educational needs, but no organisation will take the risk of employing me because of who I am.'

In the interview, Shoesmith says children are now more at risk than before the Baby P case because of the damage done to the social work profession and how social workers are now people to hide from rather than work with.

Peter Connelly was just 17 months old when he died in his mother's north London flat.

Peter and his three sisters were sharing the four-bedroom house with their mother, her boyfriend Barker, his brother Owen and his four children, plus Owen's 15-year-old girlfriend.

Baby Peter died in August 2007 at the hands of his mother Tracey Connelly, her lover Steven Barker and their lodger, Barker's brother Jason Owen

Baby Peter died in August 2007 at the hands of his mother Tracey Connelly, her lover Steven Barker and their lodger, Barker's brother Jason Owen

At the trial, Tracey Connelly refused knowing who had caused the injuries to her son.

Three of the children – Peter and two of his siblings – were on Haringey's Child Protection Register because of fears they were being neglected by their mother.

Social workers, health visitors and doctors saw the family 60 times before 17-month-old Peter died from his horrific injuries.

But none of these professionals realised that two men were living in the house, despite a family support official meeting 6ft 4in Barker during a home visit.

Tracey Connelly, mother of abused toddler Baby Peter, who was jailed following his death

Steven Barker was jailed for life for his role in Baby Peter's death

Baby P's mother Tracey Connelly, left, and her boyfriend Steven Barker, right, were jailed, along with Barker's brother Jason Owen for the death of the 17-month-old

Barker and Owen were both convicted of causing or allowing Peter's death after he was found in his cot on August 3, 2007.

Barker was given a life sentence for the rape of the two-year-old, with a 20-year minimum.
Connelly admitted allowing her son's death and was also given an indeterminate sentence.

She was refused parole last year.

Both she and Barker are expected to ask for new identities and police protection if they are released, at a potential cost to the taxpayer of more than 1million a year.