In all the furore and prurient reportage around the death of Baby P, it's all too easy to forget that others have suffered too. That's right - many of the people associated with this case have had their careers blighted and their reputations damaged; some have even lost their jobs.
There's the doctor, Sabah Al-Zayyat, scapegoated and dismissed; and all because she didn't spot that the toddler she was examining had a broken back. After all, its not like you can see a spine, is it? How's anyone supposed to know everything thats wrong with a child, just by examining it? And yet, for this oversight, the unfortunate doctor's career has been abruptly terminated.
But there's a ray of hope for Doctor Al-Zayyat. She's bravely picked herself up from this setback and trotted along to a tribunal. If she wins, she could get her job back and claim 65,000 compensation for this terrible insult to her abilities. Best of luck, Sabah!
Maria Ward, Peter's Social Worker, has also been dismissed, on some trumped up 'Gross Misconduct' charges. Why? Apparently because she failed to spot any problems with Baby P. But the poor, overworked lady had only been able to see him on nine seperate occasions. That's not really enough to form an opinion, is it?
And, to make her job harder, the child's carers had completely disguised his horrendous multiple injuries by putting some chocolate on him. How was she supposed to see through that? There was nothing in the training about that. Hope the tribunal solves your problem, like, Maria.
Cecilia Hitchen, number 2 in the Child Protection agency, is also taking her case to a tribunal. She lost her 80,000 pound a year job without compensation, and really, she thinks this is most unfair. After all, she was only a senior manager - its not like she was actually talking to these ghastly dysfunctional families and their unfortunate kids. So why's she been dragged in?
The list of victims goes on. There's Gillie Christou, who was Maria 'is that a bruise no its chocolate' Ward's supervisor. There's Clive Preece, Head of Safeguarding at Haringey. Both have also been sacked, purely because they made the decision to send Peter back to his mother, rather than placing him with a foster family. Anyone can make a mistake, right? Both are appealing, of course.
But in all of this tragic affair, the person who has probably suffered the most is poor, poor Sharon Shoesmith. She was on a salary of 130,000 pounds as Head of Childrens Services. But she never got to see that salary grow; it was snatched away from her after a few short years. It might have grown into a salary of which she could be proud. But not now.
Luckily, Sharon is receiving financial support, so she can take her case of unfair dismissal to the High Court, and perhaps get this monstrous wrong overturned. Fingers crossed, Shazza!
So, spare a thought for these unfortunate people, and try to imagine their suffering.
We should all follow the progress of these tribunals, and make sure that - no matter how long it takes - justice is done.