BRANDED self-centred and manipulative by the judge who watched her in court for weeks, Baby Peter's mother has shown her true colours by lodging an appeal for early release.

The woman who claimed she "would never forgive herself" for her role in Peter's death has submitted legal papers to the Court of Appeal asking for her five-year minimum sentence to be shortened.

This came just days before the second anniversary of Baby Peter's death.

If she is given permission to appeal, the Holloway prisoner will be eligible for legal aid.

Sentencing the 27-year-old from Tottenham, Judge Stephen Kramer QC told her: "Having seen and observed you over many weeks I have concluded that you are a manipulative and self-centred person with a calculating side as well as a temper."

He added that she had placed her relationship with her boyfriend above the interests of her child.

In prison letters written to a friend, the mother claimed she had no idea her lover was abusing her son until after she was arrested.

She wrote: "I get angry when I think about my ex so I try my best not to think of him.

"When I first came to Holloway I didn't believe he could have done this... But as the weeks and months passed I slowly started to wake up to the truth, so now I hope he rots in hell."

But during the trial, the pair had been seen sharing a joke in the dock.