London

No need for Baby Peter inquest, coroner rules

Baby Peter Connelly
Image caption Peter Connelly died with more than 50 injuries

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

The inquest was opened and adjourned shortly after toddler Peter Connelly was found dead at his home in Tottenham, north London, in 2007.

He was discovered in a blood-splattered cot with more than 50 injuries.

Coroner Andrew Walker said he believed any questions about the circumstances of the toddler's death had already been answered in previous investigations.

Mr Walker, sitting at North London Coroner's Court in High Barnet, said there was therefore insufficient cause for the inquest to be conducted.

Peter's mother Tracey Connelly, her boyfriend Stephen Barker and Barker's brother Jason Owen were all jailed for their part in the toddler's death.

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

'Lessons learned'

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

But the toddler'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.

Mr Walker said there had been a "number of investigations that followed the tragic death of Peter Connelly".

Some were conducted in private but partially published, others were public, he added.

"When I look at the reports I ask myself whether the circumstances are those where, despite a number of 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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