A summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By Clare Jerrom and Reg McKay.

Tories accuse Cook of playing the race card

A row was sparked over immigration last night after the Tories
accused Robin Cook of playing the race card and Labour demanded the
sacking of a Tory MP who refused to sign an anti-racist pledge.

Cook has been accused of trying to smear the Conservative Party
as part of a ploy to stop them raising Labour’s record on
asylum. The foreign secretary had said that those with a racist
view would be comforted by William Hague’s suggestion that
Britain would become a “foreign land” in a second term of Labour,
alongside other comments.

Labour jumped on the immigration bandwagon by highlighting the
Commission for Racial Equality’s disclosure that James Cran
and leading rightwinger Eric Forth had declined to sign an
anti-racist pledge. It called for Cran’s dismissal but the
Tories rebuked the comment saying Hague had signed the pledge on
behalf of the whole party.

Gurbux Singh, chairperson of the Commission for Racial Equality,
said he was disappointed to be told that Cran and Forth, who both
seek re-election, would not sign the compact.

Source:- The Times Friday April 20 page 1

Porn charge boy

A thirteen-year-old boy who was arrested in a national operation
against suspected paedophiles has been charged with 10 offences of
possessing indecent photographs of children.

The boy from Thornaby-on-Tees will appear at Teeside Youth Court
on April 23.

Source:- The Times Friday April 20 page 10

Pervert who abused boys is given life

A paedophile was jailed for life yesterday having lured young
boys into sex after taking them for a ride on his motorbike.

Scotland Yard said that John Croad from Essex took young boys on
holiday, encouraging them to drink alcohol and take cannabis. He
was only caught when his victims came forward to give evidence
against him.

Unemployed Croad was convicted of five counts of rape, one of
indecent assault and one count of indecency with children, at
London Blackfriars crown court in March. Yesterday he was given
life imprisonment for each rape charge, and eight years for each of
the other offences, a police spokesperson said.

Detectives began the investigation after a 17-year-old stepped
forward saying he and his nine-year-old brother had been indecently
assaulted by Croad.

Police said Croad came out of prison in 1992 after serving a
nine-year sentence for child sex abuse, but was molesting
youngsters again within weeks.

Source:- Independent Friday April 20 page 4

Internet twins taken into US foster care

The twin girls at the centre of the transatlantic custody battle
were returned to the United States yesterday.

The nine-month-old girls first came to Britain three months ago
after British couple Judith and Alan Kilshaw paid an internet
agency £8,200 for them. The girls named Kimberley and Belinda
by the Kilshaws were flown from Manchester airport to St Louis,
Missouri, where they are staying with foster parents until a state
court decides who should have long term custody of the girls.

Three social workers from Flintshire Council accompanied the
twins on their journey.

The girls were taken into care in January and the Kilshaws took
their story to The Sun, then condemned their treatment by the
media. Yesterday they were uncharacteristically quiet and made no

Judith Kilshaw, who has four children, and her husband Alan said
last week they would not be appealing against a high court decision
to return the twins to the US.

The legal fight began when California couple Richard and Vickie
Allen claimed the Kilshaws had no right to adopt the twins, and
that they had already paid the baby broker, but had been tricked
into returning the girls to their natural mother Tranda Wecker.

After a face-to-face showdown on the Oprah Winfrey Show, the
Allens served a writ on the Kilshaws claiming the babies had been

The Allens later dropped their case after Richard Allen was
arrested on suspicion of molesting the family babysitters.

The girls were made wards of court of a British court and taken
into the care of Flintshire social services, pending a high court
ruling on their custody.

Tranda Wecker and her estranged husband Aaron both made separate
applications for custody.

Philip McGreevy, chief executive of Flintshire council, said
that the twins were now in the custody and control of the division
of family services under the Missouri court.

Source:- The Independent Friday 20 April page

Street crime still rising in London

Overall crime in London fell last year, but street crime rose by
nearly a fifth in the capital, according to Scotland Yard

There were almost 8,000 more street crimes in the year to the
end of March 2001, than in the previous year, a rise of 18 per cent
to 50,607.

Muggings increased by a third in London in 1999 and increased
again last year to September 2000 by nearly 27 per cent. Increasing
theft of mobile phones, particularly at school gates, drove the
figures up.

Some officers have blamed the decline in stop and searches in
the aftermath of the critical Macpherson report on the Stephen
Lawrence case.

Sir John Stevens, Metropolitan police commissioner, said that
street crime remained a major challenge.

Overall, however, crime in London fell by 22,500 offences, a
decrease of 2.2 per cent.

Home secretary Jack Straw said: “The overall fall in recorded
crime in London appears to show that the downward trend witnessed
across most of the rest of the country is now being reflected in
the capital.”

Source:- Daily Telegraph Friday April 20 page 16

Boy’s grave may bear witness to brutal

William Delaney died 30 years ago. Audrey Magee reports on
inquiries into the church school where he spent his last years.

Source:- The Times Friday April 20 page 8

Scottish newspapers

Three dead babies discovered

The skeletons of three babies were unearthed from under the
floorboards of a Glasgow tenement flat yesterday. The dead babies,
who were not triplets, were found wrapped in plastic when
renovations were being carried out on the building at 35 Summertown
Road, Govan. Susan McLeod (24) has been charged with one count of
murder and is expected to appear in court again today.

Source:- The Scotsman Friday 20 April page 1



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