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Coroner rules out Baby P inquest

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An inquest into the death of Baby P will not go ahead, a coroner has ruled (ITV News)

An inquest into the death of Baby P will not go ahead, a coroner has ruled.

The 17-month-old, now named as Peter Connelly, died at the hands of his mother Tracey, her sadistic boyfriend Steven Barker and Barker’s brother Jason Owen in August 2007.

All three were subsequently jailed for causing or allowing his death.

Peter had suffered more than 50 injuries despite receiving 60 visits from social workers, doctors and police at his home in Tottenham, north London, over an eight-month period.

North London coroner Andrew Walker said he believed questions about the circumstances of the toddler’s death had already been answered in previous investigations by state agencies and there is therefore insufficient cause for him to hold an inquest.

Earlier this month, the coroner heard submissions from lawyers including those representing Baby P’s father, the Metropolitan Police and Barker in a pre-inquest hearing.

It was argued that an inquest would be expensive and that all salient facts had already emerged during inquiries into Peter’s care.

But Peter’s father, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was said to be keen for an inquest to take place to find out exactly what happened to his son.

Looking at the question of the circumstances in which Peter died, Mr Walker told North London Coroner’s Court in High Barnet: “When I look at the reports I ask myself whether the circumstances are those where, despite a number proceedings, there are potential witnesses who are yet to give evidence,” he said.

“On the material I have seen it seems to me that the evidence taken as part of the investigations has gone right to the heart of the circumstances of how Peter Connelly died and has led to significant criticism, changes in practices and procedures and many lessons have been learned. In my judgment the question of in what circumstances Baby Peter Connelly died has been answered.”

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