Baby P Boss Sharon Shoesmith: I Thought Of Suicide
The social services boss sacked over the death of Baby P has told how she contemplated killing herself over the scandal.
Sharon Shoesmith said she was driven to thoughts of suicide after a receiving a series of abusive anonymous calls.
One man rang the former Director of Children’s Services at North London’s Haringey Council every morning at 5am with a different suggestion for how to kill herself.
Ms Shoesmith said: “You do consider how to stop it all. You can just walk off the end of the Tube platform and stop it all and I certainly did think about that on one occasion.
“There was certainly another occasion in the middle of the night when I gathered up all the paracetamol that existed in the house and there was nothing like enough.”
Baby P died after months of abuse at the hands of his mother, her boyfriend and a lodger. The baby was left at the home despite the fact that social services were aware the child was in peril.
Ms Shoesmith, 55, fled her home and moved in with her daughters when it became clear just how much public outrage was directed at her over Baby P’s death. She added: “Of course I expected criticism. Nothing is perfect. But not that. I was really very shocked.
“I just think it’s a huge travesty for Haringey. I don’t think people really understood quite what the potential impact would be. Now you’ve got this local tragedy and a national catastrophe.”
Ms Shoesmith claims she is now virtually penniless despite reports she walked away with a million pound pension.
And she insists she acted properly after learning of Baby P’s death in August 2007.
She maintains none of her staff knew there were two men in the flat with Baby P’s mother.
The trio were convicted of causing Baby P’s death following eight months of torture.
Referring to the social workers involved in the case, Shoesmith added: “One of the huge learning issues I think that comes out of this is they were operating this rule of optimism, that this mother was working with them and there was this huge deceit.
“They didn’t have the evidence to take the child into care but they were constantly unhappy. But you’ve got a helpful mother working with us, and then something colossal happens. I don’t know to this day what the mother knew and understood.”