Page last updated at 17:45 GMT, Monday, 12 October 2009 18:45 UK

Judgement reserved on Baby P boss

Sharon Shoesmith
Ms Shoesmith was sacked in December

A judge has reserved his decision in a legal action brought by the dismissed head of Haringey children's services, Sharon Shoesmith.

She has claimed she was sacked unlawfully after the death of Baby P.

Her legal team's demand to see drafts of an Ofsted report prepared after the child's death is still being considered by Ofsted's lawyers.

It follows claims the assessment of her department was secretly downgraded from "good" to "inadequate".

'Media storm'

Ms Shoesmith, 56, says she was unfairly sacked after a "witch-hunt".

The decision won't be immediate. I shall take time to consider
Mr Justice Foskett

Her lawyers argued she was dismissed after Children's Secretary Ed Balls allowed himself to be influenced by a "media storm and witch-hunt" over the Baby Peter case.

Mr Balls has denied the allegation.

Reserving judgment after a four-day judicial review hearing, the judge, Mr Justice Foskett, said he would receive further submissions from Ms Shoesmith's lawyers in writing.

He added: "The decision won't be immediate. I shall take time to consider."

He realised the importance of the case to all sides and would give his decision "as quickly as I can".

Ofsted said after the hearing it denied the allegation that it manipulated its findings.

"No pressure was put on these inspectors to downgrade the... rating," a statement said.



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