Baby P council boss contemplated suicide after scandal

10:51 06 January 2013

Sharon Shoesmith is still out of a job. File picture: PA Wire

Sharon Shoesmith is still out of a job. File picture: PA Wire

PA Archive/Press Association Images

The council officer in charge of Haringey’s childrens services at the time of the Baby P scandal has revealed she is living on benefits and is struggling to find work.

Sharon Shoesmith, whose sacking was ordered by former children’s minister Ed Balls, has also admitted she considered suicide and sought counselling over the saga in 2007.

Baby Peter Connelly died aged 17 months after sustaining dozens of injuries caused by his mother Sharon Connelly, her partner Steven Barker, and their lodger Jason Owen.

He died despite being on Haringey’s child protection register and the family receiving numerous visits from the council’s social workers.

In an interview with the Public Servant trade magazine, Ms Shoesmith said she hit rock bottom when she saw a picture of herself juxtaposed with a picture of Peter’s blood stained clothes.

She said: “I was certainly no softy, but being held directly responsible for the brutal murder of a child was something that I found impossible to live with.

“I remember turning to my two daughters in tears and asking them, “Did I murder him?” I was in such a state that I actually believed I had killed him.”

She is still fighting for compensation after she won an unfair dismissal appeal against her sacking.

In the interview in the magazine’s January edition, she also says she now avoids public places for fear of being recognised.

“People used to know ask me what I’m doing now, and they’re shocked when I say “nothing”,’

“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.”

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

The Argentina star is set to go the way of Olly Murs.

Read more

500 clowns embarked upon Mexico City with the hope that their laughter would be infectious.

Read more

cadbury’s have installed a giant spider’s web at The Shard, to make Halloween even scarier – and our teeth rot even more.

Read more

Promotions

AGA Living Subscription

Every issue of AGA Living magazine is packed full of celebrity AGA owner interviews, interior and design features, ideas to inspire your culinary imagination, mouth-watering recipes and inspirational shopping ideas.

Dojo gives you hand picked recommendations for events, places and activities in London

Tired of always hearing about some amazing event in London after its gone, missing out on the best activities? That’s where Dojo comes in.

The family to which Ebola belongs could be as old as 23 million years.

The gaming industry’s answer to the Oscars has dished out its annual awards.

Potential female candidates are already being prepared for the upcoming diocese vacancies in Southwell, Nottingham, Gloucester and Oxford.

Watch the moment the Shadow Chancellor got interrupted by a daring arachnid.

TOP Stories

Yesterday, 17:48
The man stole the bus from south-east London (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

A double decker bus was stolen and taken for a rather long drive in south-east London, through picturesque villages, before being dumped in a bus stop - with £500 worth of damage.

Yesterday, 14:24
The 91-year-old gave the cyclist a wallop

After Baroness Sharples bragged about walloping a cyclist, London24’s cycling blogger AViewOfLondon has this to say...

Yesterday, 14:03
Police are keen to talk to this man who was seen leaving the building at around the time of the assault [Photograph from Metropolitan Police]

Police are hunting a pervert who pretended he was a plumber before sexually assaulting a schoolgirl in a Bethnal Green flat.

London Bloggers

Yesterday, 14:24
The 91-year-old gave the cyclist a wallop

After Baroness Sharples bragged about walloping a cyclist, London24’s cycling blogger AViewOfLondon has this to say...

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
The cast, including Josie Lawrence and Mike Myers

Simon Collins catches up with the improv impresarios, who despite being the world’s longest-running comedy show with the same cast, have lost none of the razor-sharp wit:

Monday, September 1, 2014
Do you really need an explanation for that?! (Pic by Serena Marinelli)

If you’ve ever seen an Italian movie, you would probably know how important body language is in the culture.