Page last updated at 12:26 GMT, Friday, 19 June 2009 13:26 UK

Baby P doctor sues over dismissal

Baby P
Baby P died after months of abuse despite being monitored by officials

A doctor who failed to spot that Baby Peter had a broken back and ribs days before his death is suing her former employers over her dismissal.

Dr Sabah Al-Zayyat missed the injuries after deciding she could not perform a full check-up because he was "cranky".

Two days later, in August 2007, Baby Peter died in his cot in Haringey, north London, at the home shared by his mother, her boyfriend and their lodger.

Great Ormond Street Hospital said it would "vigorously defend its position".

Scapegoat denial

Baby Peter suffered months of abuse before his death, despite being on Haringey's child protection register.

He was examined by Dr Al-Zayyat at the child development clinic at St Ann's Hospital, Tottenham, shortly before his death at the age of 17 months.

The consultant paediatrician's contract with Great Ormond Street Hospital, which is responsible for child services in Haringey, was terminated after the case came to light.

A hospital spokeswoman said: "We believe we acted fairly and in the interests of patients. Detailed rebuttal of Dr Al-Zayyat's claims will have to wait for any hearing.

"We didn't scapegoat her. The case surrounds her dismissal from GOSH following the decision not to renew her fixed-term contract."

Baby Peter's mother, her boyfriend and their lodger Jason Owens were all jailed for causing or allowing the boy's death.

Peter's mother and Owens were given indefinite sentences. She must serve at least five years and Owens at least three years.

The boyfriend was given 12 years over Peter's death and life for raping a two-year-old girl. He must serve a minimum of 10 years.

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