Jailed Baby P lodger wins appeal

A lodger at Baby Peter's home who was jailed over the toddler's death has won an appeal against his indeterminate sentence at the Court of Appeal.

Jason Owen, 37, of Bromley, Kent, will now serve six years in jail for causing or allowing the death of a child.

Peter's mother Tracey Connelly, 28, and her partner Steven Barker are serving minimum terms of five and 12 years, but could be held indeterminately.

Peter Connelly died aged 17 months in Haringey, north London, in August 2007.

He had more than 50 injuries, including fractured ribs and a broken back.

In May Owen, who is Barker's brother but changed his name after the child's death, was ordered to serve a minimum of three years.

'Deeply unpleasant'

But like Connelly and Barker, 33, he was told he could be detained for an indeterminate period if it was deemed necessary to protect the public.

Three Appeal judges allowed Owen's appeal against that ruling, saying it was "akin to a life sentence".

Lord Justice Hughes said: "His present offence is deeply unpleasant because a completely innocent child who he could have protected was not protected by him against harm by others.

"He displays a willingness to deceive... which is unattractive, but to translate that into a significant risk that he will himself in the future commit offences involving death or serious personal injury to the public is... simply a step too far."

The judges added that Owen was "feckless", and "irresponsible" and might reoffend in the future, but there was no concrete evidence of a "demonstrated risk of future death or serious injury at his hands".

Owen's legal team argued that, although he had been in the house where Peter suffered the injuries, there was no evidence their client had inflicted them.

But the judges rejected the argument that, not only had Owen not been responsible for the injuries, he had shown kindness to the child by suggesting Peter should be taken to hospital.

Rape appeal

Owen has spent 289 days in custody on remand, which will count towards his sentence.

On Monday Connelly, of north London, dropped a bid to appeal against her sentence.

All three had initially been refused leave to appeal against their sentences in September but were later allowed to renew their applications.

Barker's appeal against a conviction for raping a two-year-old girl in a separate case will be heard by the Court of Appeal on 24 November.

Due to publicity surrounding the case, it is thought all three individuals convicted are likely to be given new identities on their release to protect them from vigilante attacks.