Fresh questions are being asked in the UK about whether ministers and inspectors could have prevented Baby P’s death as the first picture of the little boy was made public.
The toddler was just 17 months old when he died in a blood-spattered cot on August 3 last year having suffered more than 50 injuries despite 60 visits from the authorities over eight months.
His natural father, who did not live with the child, yesterday paid tribute to his “bouncing” boy, saying he “loved him deeply”.
As the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, condemned the three people convicted of involvement in his son’s death, it emerged that a whistleblower wrote to the British government six months before the infant was killed in Haringey, north London, warning of concerns about the area’s child protection services.
But ministers did not investigate further, saying it was a matter for the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI).
Inspectors held a meeting with Haringey Council staff but ruled they were “satisfied” with how the specific fears raised by the whistleblower had been handled.
In a statement read by his lawyer the boy’s father said: “Those who systematically tortured P and killed him kept it a secret, not just from me but from all the people who visited the house up until P’s death.
“Even after he died, they lied to cover up their abuse. The verdicts will help to bring closure for what has been a very traumatic time for me, P’s family and indeed all those who knew and were close to him.”
Haringey Council is the same local authority heavily criticised for failing to prevent the murder of eight-year-old Victoria Climbie in 2000.
The whistleblower was former social worker Nevres Kemal, who claimed on February 16 last year that Haringey had failed to act on unconnected allegations of child sexual abuse.
A review by Ofsted and the CSCI highlighted a number of “issues for improvement” and the council was ordered to resolve them “as soon as possible”.
Ms Kemal’s lawyer, Lawrence Davies, said her complaint was “pushed from pillar to post” and suggested Baby P’s death might have been averted if it had been acted on.
The three people convicted of involvement in killing Baby P were warned yesterday that they faced “substantial” terms in prison.
Old Bailey Judge Stephen Kramer told the child’s mother, 27, her boyfriend, 32, and Jason Owen, 36, that they should not be fooled into thinking otherwise because he had ordered pre-sentence reports.
They will be sentenced on December 15.