If you can hear a rustling sound, then it is most likely to be Peter Connelly turning in his grave.
This is Sharon Shoesmith. You will remember that she was the head of Social Services at Haringey Council who was sacked at the time that Baby P died. A report commissioned by Ofsted produced a damning report into her department highlighting shambolic operations and missed opportunities to saving the child’s life. She was sacked from her £110,000 a year job in December 2008.
Well, just to prove that the law really is an ass, you will be pleased to hear that the appeal court has ruled that she was made a scapegoat for the affair by the then Childrens Secretary, Ed Balls. The judge also ruled that Haringey Council failed to follow guidelines for dismissing an employee and that she was denied a fair hearing.
A gloating Shoesmith declared herself ‘over the moon’ outside the court after the hearing. She is now in line to pocket up to £1,000,000 in damages and £1,500,000 in pension rights.
I can do no better than to quote Mary O’Connor, Peter’s grandmother, who summed it all up like this :
“It’s another kick in the teeth. In any other walk of life the person at the top is the person with overall responsibility. Shoesmith should have lost her job. She is not the victim here, but she is the one who will profit. I hope she chokes on every penny. Terrible mistakes were made by the department she was paid very well to run. It is wrong and makes me feel sick to my stomach.”
On a happier note, David Cameron has announced that the Government and Council will be taking the decision to the Supreme Court to get it overturned.
Let’s hope that this will mean some justice, and not just law…