We couldnâ€™t let the day finish without remarking on a watershed child abuse case that started two years ago and whose effects are continuing to ripple throughout the UK. The court order preventing the identification of this child’s killers was lifted by a judge. (We don’t know if this ever applied to other countries). We now know that Baby Pâ€™s full name was Peter Connelly, 18 months old at the time of his death.
However, the killers had already been named in an online Facebook campaign over a year before today’s judgement, giving that site another reason to hit the news as it grew in stature for usage beyond its usual function. When Facebook removed the group as it hit 6000 members, the focus shifted to the more ubiquitous and less controllable text message arena.
Now the debate is shifting to the potential cost of protecting the offenders whenever they are released, at a cost of up to USD 1.5million to the taxpayer. Since the British taxpayer has already been hit with a bank bailout and the ongoing cost of the remaining war in the Middle East, the debate rages as to whether three killers are worth it.
The protection debate might become academic since one newspaper has already reported a USD 15,000 bounty taken out on the second man on trial, who was also raped a two year old toddler and subsequently received the highest sentence of the three when tried separately for that offence.
Jason Owen, who had always been publicly identified, was also revealed to be the brother of that offender, and Peter Connellyâ€™s mother had been sexually abused as well as neglected. The full revelation of the facts has sparked major debate, which links in to the reported long wait for help for child CSA victims and whether this contributes to the repetition of the cycle in some case. The sole upside to the whole tragic case is the fact that the dead toddlerâ€™s four other siblings were removed ahead of any further death.
Read the coverage of the whole case history here at the BBC. As always, all supporting articles are linked in the highlighted box to the right of the text.