LONDON – He collected Nazi memorabilia and used his rottweiler to frighten her baby. She spent endless hours on the Internet and ignored the abuse heaped upon her child — until paramedics collected him from a blood-spattered crib.
Britain long knew the crime that consigned Tracey Connelly and Steven Barker to prison: the August 2007 death of their blond, cherubic 17-month-old boy, Peter. But on Tuesday, all of Britain learned their names and faces, as a court order that had prevented publication of all their identities expired.
Photographs of 28-year-old Connelly and her 33-year-old boyfriend stared out from the front pages of most major British newspapers. Accompanying articles revealed how Barker was accused of assaulting his own grandmother and convicted of raping a 2-year-old girl.
The Daily Mirror's headline declared them "Monsters." The Sun called Barker "sadistic." The Daily Telegraph detailed Connelly's taste for vodka and Internet pornography.
In May the couple were convicted and imprisoned — she for at least five years, he for 12 — for causing or allowing the death of the toddler. A third man, housemate Jason Owen, received a minimum three-year term. On Tuesday, Owen was revealed to be Barker's 37-year-old brother.
Once they're paroled, Connelly, Barker and Owen could receive new identities and years of police protection to protect them from an angry public.
"If either of them is still notorious, then there will clearly be a risk that they may be the subject of a vigilante-style attack," said Harry Fletcher, assistant general secretary of Britain's National Association of Probation Officers.
In such a case, Fletcher said, "the probation service and police will have no choice but to put in place a protection plan."
The details of Peter's death chilled the nation when they were first reported. Paramedics found the 17-month-old's body in his blood-spattered crib in a squalid north London house. He had suffered dozens of injuries, including fractured ribs and a broken back. The fatal blow to his mouth knocked out a tooth.
When it emerged that doctors, police and social workers had visited Peter 60 times before his death, public fury exploded at the child welfare services in the north London borough of Haringey where he lived his short life.
Britain's tabloid press accused child welfare workers of having blood on their hands. Tempers flared in Parliament, two top Haringey officials resigned, five more were fired, and two doctors who examined Peter were suspended.
"I think the whole country shares the outrage," British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said at the time.
Even Connelly's mother joined in the vitriol.
"I haven't got any sympathy for her at all," Mary O'Connor was quoted Tuesday as telling The Sun. "Now everyone will know who they are and what they have done. There is nowhere for them to hide."
Sickening details of the brothers' record also became public Tuesday.
Fourteen years ago, Barker and Owen were charged with assaulting their grandmother in an attempt to force her to change her will. That case was dropped in 1996 because she died of pneumonia before the trial.
In May, Barker was found guilty of raping a 2-year-old girl. The original order barring media from publishing details about Peter's case was ordered to ensure that Barker received a fair trial in that rape case.
Press accounts described how Connelly shared her home with Barker, Owen and his teenage runaway girlfriend.
Connelly browsed the Internet for pornography as the Barker brothers — Owen changed his surname after Peter's death to try to insulate himself from the outrage — brutalized her son.
Screams coming from the infant's room were explained by Barker as attempts to "toughen him up." Barker's dog, Kaiser, was allegedly used to terrify Peter. And some marks on the toddler's head looked like dog bites.
Campaigners said Peter's terrible example had spurred the public to become more vigilant about child abuse.
Britain's National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children said the volume of telephone calls to its help line has grown since Peter's death.
Christine Renouf, the help line's director, called it "a wake-up call for some people to look out for children."