Ascot and luxury foreign trips - a portrait of Haringey's head of children's services

Weeks after Baby P’s broken body was discovered, Sharon Shoesmith could be found unwinding in luxury at Ascot.

The £100,000-a-year head of children’s services at Haringey enjoyed a free corporate day out with her daughter Esther.

She picked five winners on the day and donated £25 of her £70 profit to a young musicians’ charity in the borough.

Relaxed: Sharon Shoesmith enjoying the races weeks after the death of Baby P

Mrs Shoesmith was at the races last year on October 13 as a guest of Willmott Dixon, one of Britain’s largest privately owned construction, housing, property care and investment companies.

It was ten weeks after Baby P was killed. 

At the time of the junket, disturbing questions were already emerging about how an infant who suffered more than 50 injuries and visited by social workers on 60 occasions could be left to die in a bloodstained cot.

Shortly before the Old Bailey trial, which ended on Tuesday, Mrs Shoesmith enjoyed a family trip to America with her own children where she visited New York and Los Angeles.

And, again in the weeks after Baby P’s death, she was flown to South Africa on an all-expenses paid exchange trip on behalf of Haringey schools.

A head teacher who accompanied her on that junket said she appeared to revel in the experience and seemed trouble-free throughout.

But despite her staff failing to notice any signs of the torture inflicted on Baby P, Mrs Shoesmith refuses to yield to the growing clamour for her resignation.

And she could be in line for a £200,000 pay day amid fears she could sue if she is sacked over the scandal.

Council officials suggested she would be offered several months’ pay and a ‘gold-plated’ pension deal to avoid an expensive and potentially embarrassing legal battle.

A senior council official, who asked not to be named, said: ‘No one expects her to survive this, but she will be difficult and expensive to get rid of.’

The payout would be funded by the taxpayer.