back to article Police probe Baby P text messages and websites

The Metropolitan Police is investigating websites which are naming the mother of Baby P and her boyfriend at time of the child's death. A text message naming them, and encouraging people to sign a Sun petition on the case has been forwarded to thousands of people. Several social networking sites also have pages and groups which …

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such a hate campaign could jeopardise future charges against the people they name.

I'd assumed that ws the reason. Personally, i think it would have been better if the judge had said why the names were being withheld.

It could have avoided much of this fuss.

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It's too late.

Once information gets on the Internet, no amount of censorship attempts will stop it. When will they realise this?

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Unhappy

Confused...

Ok, so the information musn't be released because of safety and impartiality right...

So Baby P's Mum & her boyfriend remain anonymous, but the Lodger is fair game? How is it that they are allowed to be shielded from harm but he isn't?

Basically they're all going to be crucified because let's be honest, can anyone sit there and claim they could be an impartial juror on such a case as this? My fear is that the lawyers get to cop a "biased jury" case to get their clients off :(

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Anonymous Coward

it is odd

It is odd that the lodger can be named but the mother and child can't, even to the very surreal event of their being a press conference by the fathers laywer.

O well, the powers that be work in mysterious ways - another fine move that shall make NuGov work ever harder to lock down the internet.

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Anonymous Coward

The law will not punish...

...these people - however the people will. Now that so many know what these people look like and where they are likely to be - they should be released to allow justice to be done. May it be done slowly.

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Stable door looking at the horse

The Police are on a hiding to nothing here. At best they can be seen to be "doing" something.

This is an emotive case, and the mothers details are out there, not just in relation to the trial, but to when this odious threesome were first arrested. If you care to Google, the information will turn up, with a modicum of effort.

To actually get takedowns on all of the information currently in the wild will be impossible. Even if they did, the names are now known in common currency, and blogsites are free to post on as are forums.

I really cannot see why the courts wish to continue with the naming ban. The guilty parties are worthless baby murderers, and the poor mite who was on the recieving end is past caring.

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For those who want more info

If you are one of those (like me) who are not super familiar with this case, here is more info.

Read and understand why this calls for more than contempt.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby_P

(It does NOT contain the names of those responsible, just info about the case and what has happened)

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Names and photos

Yep, I came across everything yesterday on a well known social networking site.

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Anonymous Coward

So let Jason "Owens" sue

Can a nom-de-plume sue?

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Anonymous Coward

thinkofthechildren

If the police aren't thinking of charging anyone then it's none of their business.

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Flame

I really do worry about people in this country

Do they not have any idea how the judicial process works? Don't they realise that by bombarding everyone with hate campaigns, they are prejudicing the view of any jurors unfortunate enough to end up on this case and are jeopardising the process of a fair trial (as everyone is entitled to no matter what the offence) ?

Are they so stupid or do they just not get it? I got a text message with the names of the mother and boyfriend and I contemplated responding with vitriol of my own, but I decided not to fan their flames any further.

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Stop

Keybored Warriors.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again-

I am just about fed up with the whole keyboard warrior/commentard movement nowadays. If there was no FB or internet forums, how many of these enraged idiots would take the time to write to their MP, or arrange a demo? I'll tell you what- 99.99% would drop off the give-a-damn radar before you could scream "Hang Baby-P's Mum".

I hope the people who started these groups (for which I recieve about twenty invites per day) get hauled up before the Beak for breaking the injunction regarding the publication of the names of the accused. While I think the whole thing sucks, these people have overstepped the mark, and broken the law in publishing those names.

There is also a massive outpouring of hate towards the beleaguered Social Services which is entirely knee-jerk and facile. These people did not commit any crimes, and are themselves victims in this matter, and as such their identities should be protected.

I daresay that a percentage of the outspoken mob participating in these groups might notice that there are abuses and tragedies occuring in their own streets and homes, and instead of pouring out their bile on the intertubes, their time might be better spent examining their own lives, families and communities, lest such a tragedy occur on their doorstep next time.

-END-

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@Steven Foster

Yes, it is too late.

And that's exactly why everyone who posted the names should be charged with contempt of court (and given 21days at Her Majesty's Pleasure to reconsider their actions) as an example to those thinking of doing the same in the future.

@Confused: Why is the lodger named but not the parents? Don't know. Possibly the father has another child by another woman and protecting his name protects that other child? Normally the judge lifts any naming restrictions once someone is actually convicted so there must be a good reason.

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Alert

On the convention of witholding names..

These peoples names are kept undisclosed for several very good reasons.

A) The ONLY way a fair trial can be performed is if the public (all potential Jurors) are as impartial as possible. This is helped by protecting the identities of the accused, and is a basic tenet of the judicial system.

B) The Law presumes in every case that the accused is INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. Having trouble understanding that? well imagine for a moment you were the accused. No matter what your view on the case, or what your beliefs, the right of the accused to anonymity helps to prevent PREJUDICE (think about it, pre-judice, clue is in the name) which in times of yore helped prevent the INNOCENT going to the gallows as a result of the pitchfork-weilding-tar-and-feather-witch-burning-mob mentality. This is also a basic tenet of our judicial system.

C) I would also like to point out that as the ubiquitous coward describes, there is a real danger that the accused parties lawyer might now get them off as a result of juror bias or suchlike, it wouldn't be the first time. How would you feel if your thoughtless actions in naming these people actually let them walk!

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Paris Hilton

Re:Confused...

"So Baby P's Mum & her boyfriend remain anonymous, but the Lodger is fair game?"

Right you are.

The boyfriend and the lodger are one and the same.

The clue is "her boyfriend and former lodger "

But I am guessing you didn't bother to read TFA?

Paris 'cos she probably would do the same and not read TFA.

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Stop

The latest witch hunt

Mob mentality rules again! :-(

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Anonymous Coward

"Hypothetically"

If the couple concerned were parents to another child or were expecting a child their names would be withheld in the best interests of that child.

While everyone is in a self-righteous, baby-killer crusading frame of mind why not send a death threat to Jeremy Clarkson while you're at it. Speeding kills dozens of children a year but that's OK , isn't it. Speeding laws are just a loony Labour policy.

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Anonymous Coward

Not just online

I came home last night to find someone had cut out an article about Baby P from the paper, written the names of the mother and boyfriend at the top with the instruction "Text these names to all your friends" and taped it up in the entrance hall of my tower block.

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Flame

idiots

I hope the idiots that have done this realise they've not only destroyed any chance of any further charges being brought against the couple (impossible to find an impartial jury), but also placed anyone with a similar name in grave danger.

This has happened before. A few years back a newspaper released a name in similar circumstances - an innnocent person who happened to share that name had his house firebombed and had to flee for his life.

I also hope the couple don't have other children as their lives will now also be blighted by association.

This was irresponsible, moronic and illegal. The culprits should be sent to prison themselves.

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@ "The Law will not punish" AC

"Now that so many know what these people look like and where they are likely to be - they should be released to allow justice to be done. May it be done slowly."

Whatever happened to the principle of 'innocent until proven guilty'? Trial by media doesn't count - they should face a jury in a court of law and be fairly convicted under due legal process.

Emotive as the case may be, to condemn the accused before the trial has even begun makes a mockery of the British Legal system and sets a dangerous precedent for future cases where the accused may even be innocent.

Once they're convicted of the crime, then by all means bay for blood - but until the moment they are found guilty by a jury, you cannot assume their guilt, especially when relying on a sensationalist media for your facts - moreso when said media stand to profit from the increased circulation caused by such a scandal.

@ "thinkofthechildren" AC

Of course it's the business of the police, because now they have to guard against vigilante attacks and the likelihood of someone becoming a murderer due to knowing the names and addressesof the accused.

Notwithstanding the fact that the publicknowledge of these people's identities could cause trials to collapse due to lack of impartiality, consider the fact that, if these people ever get out of prison, the state will have an obligation to protect their identities at the taxpayers expense lest some unfortunate soul becomes a murderer.

Public lynchings are not a mark of a civilised society, and it's interesting to see people calling for the slow, painful deaths of the accused on one hand, whilst on the other condemning Islamic cultures for practising such punishments as flogging, stonging, and hanging.

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Stu
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@AC #3

Thats a pretty stupid statement, because everybody is assuming this circulated information is correct/accurate. That of the three responsible, or for the social workers or doctors contributing, could all or partly be falsified, or have been altered 'in transit' as it spreads about the internet.

Lets not forget that its a quick and easy task for anybody associated nearby with the case or anybody involved can falsify the information for their own personal gains. Getback at a noisy or asbo neighbour, scorned family members, etc, a lot of people have contact with others they'd like lynched.

Its widely acknowledged too that any controversial information disseminated in such a way as this, manages to be altered very quickly.

Let us all NOT assume the information given to us is correct, because if the Sun or Daily Sport are involved, chances are its not. Lets face it, they will be in favour of the 'big story', and selling their papers.

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<title>

The names of the mother & boyfriend have been withheld as they have another child. The scrotes remain anonymous to protect the identity of this child...

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Justice

If the police are wanting to charge them then the only way to ensure a fair trial would be to make sure that those sitting on the jury were impartial, and by ensuring that the names are not released there is a lesser risk that those called to Jury Duty will make the link between the high profile nature of the biased reporting in the newspapers and the case they are sitting on.

If no charges are to be brought the implication is that they are innocent, in this case having people publicly labled as "Baby-Murderers" is a gross injustice and a huge risk to their personal safety.

Keeping these names private would have been benefitial to everyone involved. As usual people can't see beyond the tabloid grabbing headlines...

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Anonymous Coward

Publish In Scotland?

These injunctions don't apply in Scotland (think Spycatcher for those of us with longer memories), so as long as they are hosted there, there would be little that the English police could do. Given that it is unlikely to affect the judges view on the sentence, I'm a little at a loss to see why the names are still witheld. They must be in solitary in the beasts wing in any case, even on remand awaiting sentencing.

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Re why not name the mother and father?

It's pretty obvious if you think about it... Why might a mother and a father not be named, even if one kid is dead...?

And Re Jason "owens" sue, again, there are reason that name is in quotes....without wanting to say more you can find out in 2 minutes on google. The BBC news site had a report naming names when they were arrested.

And "I cannot see why the courts wish to continue with the naming ban?" Well, maybe their priority is protection not tabloid newspaper sales.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: it is odd

It's odder than you think. The reason for not naming the mother, at least, is to protect the identity of the child. The lodger doesn't have the same surname and as such has been named.

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Boffin

Names

By providing the names of the parents you are pretty much identifying the child.

You can't do this in a child protection case.

There is no such restriction on identifying a 3rd party.

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Anonymous Coward

The reason is brothers and sisters of the deceased

The reason for the names not being revealed is for the privacy of the brother(s) and/or sister(s) of baby P. It is not for the protection of the accused.

Whether this is good enough reason to keep it out of the press is a reasonable question but this background seems to be missing from the discussion so far.

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Always the best plan

"...others incite violence against them..."

Yes! That's it! Violence will make it all ok. It will solve all your problems.

Violence got the parents into this situation, so your violence will put them back on the right track.

And remember, since you can't attack your target directly, attack someone else. Violence is always the best answer.

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Stop

Couple of things

The lodger and the boyfriend are two seperate people.

They have already been tried. The mother pleaded guilty and the other two were found guilty by a jury. No details of the trial were published by the media during the trial so a fair trial was given. The only person that might be influenced by those publishing names on the internet is the judge who will sentence them next month.

All three are currently in prison in solitary.

The names have been withheld to protect the mother's 3 other children from being identified.

All of the above has been reported in the press. It's just a shame that people who post on internet forums can't be arsed to read the reports.

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Go

Idiotic comments

AC you said "Whatever happened to the principle of 'innocent until proven guilty'? Trial by media doesn't count - they should face a jury in a court of law and be fairly convicted under due legal process."

They were found guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

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Anonymous Coward

No the officer has overstepped

"Of course it's the business of the police, because now they have to guard against vigilante attacks and the likelihood of someone becoming a murderer due to knowing the names and addressesof the accused."

No, if there's no law (or incitement law) been broken saying they can lean on ISPs to silence discussion then there's no business doing it. It's not for the police to hypothesize laws they think should exist and then act on them.

If the incitement law is not broken then it's not a police matter and they should shut the f**k up and stop extending the laws.

"Notwithstanding the fact that the publicknowledge of these people's identities could cause trials to collapse due to lack of impartiality..."

And if there law has been broken it's a police matter and if it's not it isn't.

"Public lynchings are not a mark of a civilised society, and "

What pubic lynching are you referring to? The one that happens in future only in the imagination of the officer concerned? Again we're not dealing with a breach of law or even breach of and incitement law, we're talking about the fears of an officer IN HIS HEAD, for what he fears may happen.

How many mob lynching have happened of UK child murderers, I can think of NONE, ZERO.. It's bad enough that J Smith can't separate the real world from the fears in her head without the rozzers doing it too.

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Goivernmet regulation of the Internet comes another step closer...

That's all there is to say really, the BNP thing, this, pirate music and software, spam, all the "we are above the law" behaviour you see on the net. How long will it be before anonymising services, freedom to cross borders, all the rest of it is in place globally? 10 years? Five?

Anddon't come up with "they'll ca't stop us: its not possible". They can, and they will. Government run ISPs, compulsory proxy servers, only approved ports transmitted. Its all possible if you give the Man ammunition enough and he wants to do it badly enough.

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Counterproductive

Such releases of information and public hate campaigns are counterproductive, because the police are then obliged to protect the criminals from the baying mob.

Whilst I find the Baby P case abhorrent (as a parent I find it deeply upsetting), the mob-mentality of the UK needs to calm the fuck down. Everyone's going off half cocked about some 'outrage' foisted upon us by a wailing tabloid. I seems not to matter what the outrage is: genuinely despicable conduct as in the Baby P case, to sweary words on an answerphone to someone leaving a light entertainment show, it seems that the British populace, spurred on by the gutter press, is all too keen to complain about something other than what is actually wrong with this country.

Like the financial mismanagement. Like the pernicious tax burden. Like the erosion of civil liberties. Like the fact that we're all treated like criminals anyway.

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Stop

mmmmm...

Question: with high profile cases such as these, how do they select the Jury?

This story is so widespread that only immigrants or visitors from Mars or further would be impartial.

Think about it, it doesn't matter if the names are printed or not there will be NO impact on the jurors, the names of the people are immaterial and to say that juror would be prejudiced BECAUSE of the names and hate campaigns in nonsense.

Anyone who has read anything about the kid will be prejudiced, names or not.

Can you not see this?

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Black Helicopters

How Much Things Change In A Year

On the 23 November 2007 the BBC's website published Baby P's mothers name and address and her partners name. Yet after the recent discussions in Parliament the heavy hand of censorship makes it presence felt. I'm quite sure if it hadn't been brought up in Parliament no would have cared!

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a healthy contempt for the law

If a law, or judgement, isn't seen to be just then it will be ignored.

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Dead Vulture

I'm 50/50

I personally believe that if found guilty they should live through an ongoing hell for the rest of their natural lives as punishment but although I suspect from what I've read that they are guilty, they haven't been proven guilty in a court of law - so it's no different to someone accusing any of you 9or me) and having your neighbours throw stones at you when you'd done nothing worse than upset someone who can hold a grudge.

My respect for the police in this country has been knocked so many times there's not much left but I do sympathise with them in this situation as the information could well allow the suspects to get away with something due to a biased jury claim.

All that said, you can't turn back the clock and there's no way the info will ever be concealed now.

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MGJ

@julian

Presumably the BBC published the names before any injunction, and MPs are not bound by these laws while speaking in Parliament

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Anonymous Coward

Related to Rozzer Problem

Fergals complaining about the Rozzers demanding information they are not entitled to ask for 3 weeks in advance to approve live music. (As mentioned by elReg previously).

Again it's the same problem with the out of control Rozzers (the senior ones) leveraging discretionary laws and rules to give themselves more power. If it isn't nipped in the bud now, it will only get worse. They should not have been given discretionary powers where innocent people need to fear the rozzers mood.

And what the f***, the police forces get a kickback from vehicle seizure into their budgets, the more they seize the bigger their budgets. What the f*** were new labour thinking?

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'Can a nom-de-plume sue?'

@ anonymous coward

'Can a nom-de-plume sue?'

Yes, the technique for doing so is called a 'sue donym'.

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Stop

FOR CRYING OUT LOUD

CAN YOU STOP PRINTING COMMENTS SAYING THEY WON'T GET A FAIR TRIAL.

ALL THREE HAVE ALREADY BEEN TRIED AND FOUND GUILTY BEFORE THE FULL STORY WAS RELEASED BY THE MEDIA.

Sorry for the caps but some of the people posting comments are thick.

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Re: FOR CRYING OUT LOUD

Thats right they are awaiting sentencing on 15th December 2008. However lawyers are trying to use Human Rights laws to protect their identities, just in case people might hate them?!

Poor murders need protecting from angry lynch mobs you know. What next? The cops will be collecting for the con's this Christmas.

Can anyone say "heads up their arse"?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7743563.stm

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@ Julian

The worry about angry lynch mobs isn't relevant ATM. They need to worry about fellow cons. There are absolutely no secrets in prison, and child murderers and nonces are the most reviled of all the cons.

There will be more than a few inside wishing to discuss the moral implications of the case when the screws aren't around, as a certain Mr Sutcliffe has found out to his cost on more than one occasion

These scum are going to be on the beast wing for the whole of their sentences, which hopefully will be at the maximum. In theory this will only become an issue in 14 years time (max sentence for this offence)

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Anonymous Coward

Disclosure

It's usual in cases like this where children are involved to prevent the disclosure of the surname as a way to 'protect' the child, but come on folks, the baby is dead!

Preventing disclosure in this case is protecting the mother. She's a criminal and should be treated in the same way other criminals are treated, her lodger's name has been released so why not hers?

You can't have it both ways,. there have been many child killers, and intentional child killers ( which arguably she's not) whose names have been released to the press, why are they making her such a special case?

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Google is your friend

As others mentioned, I found her profile on a certain social networking site (after googling a quote from her profile published in the sun) - searching her name brought up all the previous details of her case on the times, guardian bbc etc...

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@Dave

There are absolutely no secrets in prison, and child murderers and nonces are the most reviled of all the cons.

I just dont see a downside here.

The knee jerk reacion of some here is crazy, revlew the facts.

1. They have been found guilty.

2. In all likelyhood, they will go to jail for a fair while.

3. Any other children involved will be either adopted or in foster care.

4. In a few years time the mob will have forgotten all about this.

I see no downside for the surviving children, and frankly if these scum get a hard time in prison, maybe it will remind them not to be violent towards babies.

The only people to benefit from supression are the perpetrators. Let them suffer.

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Anonymous Coward

Are social workers any good?

If this makes social workers more trigger happy then more children will be taken away and given to happy, wealthy, healthy, non-smoking paedophiles.

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