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Baby P dad haunted by son's cries

PUBLISHED: 16:44 21 May 2009 | UPDATED: 16:13 07 September 2010

Charlotte Newton THE grieving father of Baby P is haunted by the sound of his son's cries for help, the Old Bailey heard today. In an emotional witness impact statement read out in court today, the man, who cannot be named, described how the last time he

Charlotte Newton

THE grieving father of Baby P is haunted by the sound of his son's cries for help, the Old Bailey heard today.

In an emotional witness impact statement read out in court today, the man, who cannot be named, described how the last time he saw Baby P- now known as Peter - was the weekend before his death.

He said: "When I returned Peter to (his mother's care) I remember him screaming and shouting 'daddy daddy' so much that (his mother) actually brought him back to me to say goodbye again and give him a cuddle.

"I have to live with the knowledge now that Peter was actually screaming for me to help him, he did not want to go home because this was a place he associated with pain and suffering."

Sally O'Neill QC prosecuting, read out the statement before Peter's 27-year-old mother, her 32-year-old boyfriend and their lodger Jason Owen are sentenced tomorrow (Friday May 22) for causing or allowing his death.

The court heard how Peter died on August 3 2007, aged 17 months, after suffering a broken back, cracked ribs, his fingernails ripped out, his finger tip cut off, his big toe missing and damage to his left ear lobe. He finally died after being punched in the face and swallowing one of his own teeth.

Peter's mother pleaded guilty to causing or allowing his death on September 8 2008, while her boyfriend and their lodger - Jason Owen - were found guilty of causing or allowing his death on November 11, 2008.

The case caused a national outcry when details of Peter's torture became public.

Peter's father said that holding his baby son filled him with "an enormous sense of happiness".

"Like all fathers, I had imagined watching my son grow up, playing football with him, taking him to see Arsenal," he said.

But his marriage to Peter's mother broke down when the little boy was five months old and he was forced to leave the family home.

It is alleged that Peter's abuse began when his mother's new boyfriend moved in during November 2006 and continued when 37-year-old Jason Owen of Bromley, Kent, moved in, five weeks before his death.

Paul Mendelle QC, defending Peter's mother, told the court that Peter already had injuries to his toe and finger when he stayed with his father the weekend before his death, but his father did not notice.

In his statement today, the father said he never suspected Peter would come to harm at the hands of his ex-wife. He said that even when he saw Peter's lifeless body in the resuscitation area of the North Middlesex Hospital, he thought that he had died from cot death.

"Not until a week later did I discover the horrific injuries which had been inflicted on my little Peter," he said.

He said that he had turned to alcohol to blot out the pain of Peter's death.

"In the days after Peter's death on August 3 2007, my life became a living nightmare and then when I discovered the catalogue of horrific injuries inflicted on Peter I felt overwhelmed with a mixture of intense anger, sadness and total depression," he said.

All three defendants will be sentenced tomorrow .

Peter's mother's boyfriend will also be sentenced for raping a two-year-old. High Court Orders prevent the Ham&High from naming Peter's mother or her boyfriend.


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