Haringey Council pays libel damages to social worker who tried to put Baby P in care
HARINGEY Council has paid libel damages and apologised to a social worker after falsely claiming she had not attempted to place Baby P in foster care. Sylvia Henry – who still works at the authority – appeared during the prosecution of Tracey Connolly, St
HARINGEY Council has paid libel damages and apologised to a social worker after falsely claiming she had not attempted to place Baby P in foster care.
Sylvia Henry - who still works at the authority - appeared during the prosecution of Tracey Connolly, Steven Barker and Jason Owen and BBC's Panorama, confirming she had "raised concerns" about Peter.
But, her solicitor James Heath told the High Court's Justice Eady, Haringey Council published "defamatatory allegations" on its website "directly contradicting" Ms Henry's account of what happened.
Peter was admitted to Whittington Hospital with suspicious injuries in December 2006 and, after the case was referred to Haringey social services, Ms Henry urged he be placed in professional care and found a foster place for him, said Mr Heath.
"She made it clear that she did not agree with an alternative proposal that he be placed with a family friend. Regrettably, Ms Henry's view did not prevail."
When Peter's case was reviewed in January 2007, Ms Henry "remained concerned that he might be at risk if returned to the care of his mother".
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Ms Henry tried to launch care proceedings Peter was returned to his family.
Ms Henry then had no further involvement in the case.
Mr Heath told the judge Haringey had apologised to Ms Henry, had promised never to repeat the allegations and agreed to pay her an undisclosed sum of compensation.
Rupert Butler, for Haringey said: "The London Borough of Haringey wishes to apologise unreservedly for the hurt and upset caused by Ms Henry by misrepresenting her role in the case of Peter Connolly and has agreed to compensate her in terms which are confidential".
Mr Henry said the council confirmed an investigation into the Baby P case had exonerated Ms Henry, a Team Manager, finding she had "no case to answer".