By Clare Jerrom and Reg McKay.
Mother’s plea as husband kills mentally ill
A woman appealed last night for immediate action to improve the
care for mentally ill young people, after her husband killed their
manic depressive daughter.
Karen Lawson’s husband James pleaded guilty to
manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. He was
cleared of murdering the 22-year-old girl, Sarah.
Karen Lawson said her daughter had gone from being a “generous,
funny intelligent and good looking” girl to a suicidal alcoholic at
17, as a result of her mental illness.
“I want to appeal to those who are in a position of power to
investigate the level of care mentally ill patients receive,” she
Mr Justice Nelson at Maidstone crown court heard how Lawson held
a plastic bag over his daughter’s head after she had taken an
overdose of painkillers and anti-depressants. It was her third
suicide attempt in less than a week.
Sarah had been ordered to leave the psychiatric unit of Worthing
hospital allegedly for smoking marijuana, hours before her
Her mother said the family had been frustrated at not being able
to get the right treatment for Sarah, and claimed the condition was
not understood by the people who saw her.
Marjorie Wallace of the mental health charity Sane said: “A
tragedy like this should make research into the yet unknown cause
of this serious illness more urgent.”
Lawson’s sentencing was postponed pending a probation
Source:- Daily Telegraph Tuesday 15 May page 1
Boy, 13, placed on sex offenders register over internet
A 13-year-old boy became the youngest person to be placed on the
sex offenders register yesterday after he downloaded paedophile
images from the internet.
A judge described the ease at which the boy called up the child
pornography on his computer as “disturbing”.
The boy’s activities were revealed during a police
operation aimed at paedophiles using chat rooms on the world wide
The boy is the youngest person in Britain to be charged for
dealing in pornographic images of children. He downloaded more than
300 indecent pictures after surfing the web to find a teenage
Police raided his home in Teeside in March, one of 45 raids
He admitted nine counts of possessing indecent photographs. An
18-month supervision order was imposed at Teeside youth court, and
he was placed on the register for two-and-a-half years.
Source:- Daily Telegraph Tuesday 15 May page 10
Violent offenders face longer jail
The home secretary will announce new plans to scrap rights for
prisoners jailed for serious sexual and violent crimes to be
automatically released after serving two thirds of their
Jack Straw will make the announcements tomorrow at the annual
Police Federation conference, and it will outline Labour’s
plans for the first big overhaul of the sentencing powers of the
Currently, a violent offender sentenced to six years for a crime
such as grievous bodily harm, has to be let out after four years if
he behaves himself during the sentence.
The tougher sentence would enable the parole board the power to
keep the violent criminal inside for the full duration of the
sentence if it believes he remains a danger to the public. The
courts will also be able to order sentences of 10 years’ probation
supervision for such crimes, once the prisoners are released.
Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 15 May page 2
Bid to protect asylum seekers
Glasgow’s Lord Provost, Alex Mosson, is to convene a high
level meeting of agencies in a bid to stop the violence against
asylum seekers and refugees in the city. The meeting, scheduled for
tomorrow, will involve Glasgow City social work department,
Strathclyde Police, the Scottish Refugee Council and councillors.
The move comes after growing fears of an escalation of violence
against asylum seekers particularly in the city’s Sighthill
Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 15 May page 1
Drugs courts may fail young
Drugs courts in Glasgow will only reach 1 per cent of those who
need help and won’t assist young addicts at all according to
Peter Hassett, director of Phoenix House, the drug rehabilitation
group. Hassett will make his views known at an international
conference on drugs courts held at Tulliallan police training
college near Alloa today. Rehabilitation works best for people
around the age of 30 years yet there is a higher ratio of
increasingly younger addicts in Scotland. The Glasgow drugs courts
will serve only 200 people each year, only 1 per cent of the
conservative estimate of the city’s 20,000 drug addicts.
Phoenix House welcomes the development of drugs courts, but
warns that the reform of the criminal justice system is happening
in a piecemeal way.
Source:- The Herald Tuesday 15 May page 12
Housing stock plans published
The Scottish executive heralded the publication of plans for the
transfer of Glasgow’s council house stock as a “turning
point” in the housing revolution as the proposals were released for
public scrutiny. Around 400 tenants and housing association
representatives met for the launch. The meeting was picketed by the
Glasgow Campaign Against Housing Stock Transfer.
Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 15 May page 2
Sexual disease time bomb in Scotland
The sexually promiscuous club culture is being blamed for a vast
increase in sexually transmitted diseases among young people. The
growing number of people with chlamydia, described as the silent
sexual epidemic, will be described in a BBC edition of
Frontline Scotland tonight. Cases of chlamydia have
doubled in Scotland since 1994 mainly among women less than 20
years of age. The disease shows few symptoms, but is linked with
infertility, pelvic cancer and inflammatory disease.
Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 15 May page 3