'Really open and completely honest': Social worker's verdict on Baby P's lying mother recorded during interview about toddler's injuries

A senior social worker heaped praise on Baby P’s mother after interviewing her about the toddler’s injuries four months before his death. 

Sue Gilmore thanked Tracey Connelly for being ‘really open and completely honest’.

A recording of the interview, never seen in public, shows Connelly claiming her son Peter, then 12 months old, had ‘banged his chin’ by accident at a friend’s house. 

She says she comforted him immediately afterwards, and then took pictures of the table on which he ‘caught himself’ as evidence to prove she was innocent.

Impressed: Social worker Sue Gilmore claims she was happy with Tracey Connelly during a recording of an interview in March 2007.

Although she revealed that her sadistic boyfriend Steven Barker was spending time in her home with the toddler, no further checks were carried out and details of the interview were not entered fully on case files.

Had social workers looked into Barker’s background they would have discovered he had been questioned by police on suspicion of torturing his grandmother and prosecuted by the RSPCA for abusing animals. 

The details would have set alarm bells ringing and could have saved the youngster’s life.

Tragic: Baby Peter's mother managed to cover up the injuries he sustained during the interview by saying he had banged his chin on a table

Throughout the tape, Mrs Gilmore, a senior team manager in the social work department at Haringey, north London, appears eager to accept Connelly’s explanations for her son’s injuries. 

And when Connelly says she wishes social workers would ‘back off and leave me alone’ she sympathises, saying that is a ‘straightforward thing to want’.

The interview took place in March 2007. By August, Peter was dead in his blood-spattered cot.

He had suffered an appalling 50 injuries at the hands of his mother, Barker and Barker’s brother Jason, despite 60 visits from social workers, doctors and police at their home in Tottenham. 

The three were all jailed for causing or allowing his death. Mrs Gilmore left Haringey Council in January 2008 and has never faced disciplinary proceedings. 

She recorded the hour-long interview as part of a course in new social work methods aimed at encouraging parents to cooperate with the authorities.

She failed the training assignment and did not complete the course. 

At the end of the interview, to be shown by the BBC tonight on Panorama at 8.30pm, she says: ‘I’m impressed, really, really impressed with the way you have been able to come in here, sit in front of that,’ and points to the camera. 

Connelly denies she is in a relationship with Barker, but then says: ‘He is 6ft 4in, blond hair, green eyes and I am sorry if I’ve built up a dreamboat on him but he is every girl’s dream.’

She adds: ‘I don’t like having people interfere. I know that the social worker is there for a job, and I know they are there for a purpose and at the end of all this I hope they will back off and leave me alone so that I am a caring mother. Does that make sense?’

Evil: Steven Barker, left, and his brother Jason were jailed for their part in Peter's death

Mrs Gilmore replies: ‘That’s a fairly straightforward thing to want.’

Graham Badman, who led the second serious case review into Peter’s death, told Panorama the interview reflected the misplaced optimism surrounding the case.

He said: ‘There are several occasions when Peter’s life could and should have been saved, from the first case conference through to the paediatrician’s failure to act decisively at the end of the life.’

Through her solicitor, Mrs Gilmore said the interview was not ‘investigative’, and that she co-operated with police and answered all their questions.


Tracey Connelly has struck up a prison relationship with mass killer Rose West, who even serves her breakfast in bed, it is claimed.

A former inmate at all-women Low Newton jail in Durham said West, 57, has become a keen cook and used food to woo 29-year-old Connelly.

She added that West sees herself as ‘queen’ of her prison wing and had seduced other prisoners before targeting Baby P’s mother.