UK & World News
New Names Request For Abused Siblings
The local authority at the centre of the Baby P scandal has asked to be allowed to give two children waiting to be adopted new identities after an internet campaign backed by their jailed parents.
Haringey Council asked a High Court judge for permission to change the forenames and surnames of the youngsters - aged three and two - because of concerns that they could be "tracked down".
In a written analysis of the case after a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London, Mr Justice Holman said the application raised "considerable issues" over "identity and self-esteem" and would need "very careful consideration".
The children are the youngest of seven siblings taken from their parents, who were jailed after being convicted of child ill-treatment and banned from having any contact with their children.
The judge said the eldest five were in foster homes and the youngest two were placed together with an adoptive family.
Mr Justice Holman did not name the children but confirmed the local authority involved was the London Borough of Haringey
He said that the council had asked for the forenames to be changed because "the parents of the children promoted a considerable campaign on the internet and in other places with regard to this case so that the names of their children have apparently gained some notoriety".
"The local authority (and maybe also the prospective adopters) are fearful that unless the two youngest children are given completely new identities with completely new names, they will be tracked down and the placement potentially destabilised," he said.
"That, of course, is a very serious and worrying aspect of this case."
Haringey Council was heavily criticised in a damning 2008 report into the death of a child known at the time as Baby P.
Peter Connelly, who was 17 months old, died in 2007 after months of abuse.
He had suffered 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.
His mother, Tracey Connelly, her boyfriend, Steven Barker, and his brother, Jason Owen, were jailed in May 2009 for causing or allowing the child's death.