Baby P's mother set to be freed?

The Parole Board, which assesses the dangerousness of criminals eligible for release, has refused to comment on whether the mother of Baby P could soon be freed.

Tracey Connelly was jailed indefinitely with a minimum of five years in May 2009 for causing or allowing her son Peter's death.

The toddler died on August 3 2007 with more than 50 injuries, despite being on the at-risk register and receiving 60 visits from social workers, police and health professionals over eight months.

Connelly admitted the offence soon after being charged and served several hundred days on remand and will therefore possibly be eligible for parole in the coming weeks from Foston Hall Prison in Derby, where she is believed to be.

A Parole Board spokesman said: "It is the policy of the board not to comment on or confirm its decisions or reasons in individual cases such as this.

"Once an IPP (indeterminate for public protection) sentence prisoner's minimum tariff has been served, the court regards them as having served the necessary period of imprisonment to reflect the gravity of the offence and the need for punishment.

"The only legal question which has to be answered to determine the justification for detention thereafter is whether or not the prisoner is a risk to the public. The statutory test to be applied by the Parole Board is whether it is satisfied that the risk to life and limb to the public is no more than minimal. If it is so satisfied, it is required to release the prisoner.

"When making their judgment, the board will take into account the nature of the index offence, the prisoner's offending history, the prisoner's progress in prison, any statement made on behalf of the victim(s), psychologist's reports, probation officers' reports, prisons officers' reports, any statistical risk assessments that have been completed. There must also be a comprehensive resettlement plan in place."

Baby Peter died at his home in Tottenham, north London, a day after police told Connelly she would not be prosecuted over abuse of the 17-month-old. Connelly was jailed along with her boyfriend Steven Barker and his brother Jason Owen, who were convicted at trial of the same offence.

Barker was jailed for life with a minimum of 10 years for raping a two-year-old girl and given a 12-year term to run concurrently for his "major role" in Peter's death. Owen was jailed indefinitely with a minimum three-year term but later won an appeal to lower it to a fixed six-year term. He was freed last August.