A summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By Clare Jerrom and Reg McKay.

Judges overturn asylum decision

The home secretary’s decision that Pakistan should be
listed with countries that asylum seekers are safe to return to,
was unlawful and irrational, the court of appeal ruled

Thousands of Pakistanis threatened with deportation can now
apply to stay in Britain.

Jack Straw claimed the decision was ratified by both houses of
parliament, but Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, the Master of the
Rolls, dismissed the appeal.

The ruling is a further blow to Straw’s efforts to deport
failed asylum seekers.

Source:- The Times Friday 18 May page 2

Children defy order for return to father

An international convention against child abduction has been
defied by three children, who are refusing to leave their British
mother, and board a plane to New Zealand.

Court officers, who have the power to arrest, said they did not
want to return to the home to retrieve the 14-year-old girl and her
younger brothers, as they had put up such a show of resistance. At
one point the girl was alleged to have gone into a bedroom with a
knife, and the staff were warned there could be a violent

The court of appeal has admitted there is nothing they can do to
force the children to obey its order to fly them to be with their
father in New Zealand.

Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, president of the family division,
said: “We are now in a position we have never come across before.
The order has become impossible to implement. We can’t
require the mother to get on the plane and take her children to New
Zealand. It is unrealistic.”

The children were born in New Zealand to a British mother and
father from New Zealand. When the couple split in 1990, the mother
won custody. The woman married again, but left in 1997 and, without
her first husband’s knowledge, returned to Britain in 1998
with her children.

A high court judge dismissed the father’s application
under the Child Abduction and Custody Act and Hague Convention for
the return of the children. That was overturned by the court of
appeal, which made an order in December for the return of the
children to New Zealand.

Source:- The Times Friday 18 May page 4

Mothers in jail cannot care for babies after 18

Two women in jail lost their high court case yesterday to keep
their babies in prison beyond the 18-month cut off age.

Lord Woolfe, the lord chief justice, called the issues raised
“extremely sensitive”, but said the growing numbers of mothers
involved in the drugs trade could not expect “too lenient

Appeals by the two prisoners are expected to be heard by the
court of appeal later this month.

Lawyers for the women, known as P and Q, said the policy to
expel children from prison after the age of 18 months breached the
mothers’ right to respect for human life under the Human
Rights Act.

P is serving an eight-year sentence for smuggling cocaine into
Britain when she was five months pregnant. Q is serving a five-year
sentence for conspiracy to supply cannabis. Her daughter will be
three when she becomes eligible for parole in July 2002.

Source:- The Guardian Friday 18 May page 4

System failed patient who died under

A psychiatric patient was “let down by the system that should
have protected him”, an inquest was told yesterday. The man died
after being restrained by nurses.

David Bennett attacked a fellow patient and punched a staff
member at the Norvic clinic in Norwich in October 1998. His heart
stopped after three nurses restrained him, and he later died in

Coroner William Armstrong spoke after an inquest jury returned a
verdict of accidental death aggravated by neglect, and said the
death was a “tragedy that should not have occurred”.

Bennett became schizophrenic in his early twenties and spent the
remainder of his life in psychiatric units, the inquest at
King’s Lynn, Norfolk, heard.

They were told that inappropriate restraint procedures had been
used, and Bennett had been given unauthorised doses of medication
leading up to his death.

Source:- The Guardian Friday 18 May page 6

We will clear up Labour’s asylum mess, says

William Hague will announce today proposals to end the
“racketeering and trafficking” in asylum seekers, in a bid to force
asylum to the centre of the election debate.

During a visit to Dover, the Conservative party leader will
describe his plans to hold asylum seekers in secure centres to
prevent them from “disappearing into the wider community”.

Hague will say: “Britain is now the target of a miserable,
violent and often tragic multi-billion pound international trade in
asylum seekers.”

“We will clear up Labour’s asylum mess. Conservatives will
ensure that Britain is a safe haven, not a soft touch,” he will

A Conservative government would also review the £2,000
fines on lorry drivers who bring asylum seekers into the country
because it was being applied “unfairly”.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Friday 18 May page 1

Christians accused over domestic violence

Members of the clergy and churchgoers are as likely to inflict
violence on their spouses, as the rest of the population, a study
has shown.

The World Evangelical Fellowship report, No Place for Abuse
says: “Violence is prevalent in our churches.”

It also accuses clergy of maintaining a “holy hush” on the
subject of domestic abuse.

“Pastors would prefer to sweep it under the proverbial church
carpet. We need to crawl out from under the church carpet and admit
that we have been hiding from the problem, sometimes contributing
to it, and not very committed to being part of its solution,” it

In England 23 per cent of the 6,000 women questioned reported
that their spouses had assaulted them with 4.2 per cent saying this
had happened within the last 12 months.

The report claims that Britain has the eighth highest rate of
domestic sexual violence in the world.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Friday 18 May page 10

Scottish newspapers

Latest attacks fuels fears for refugees

Campaign groups warned yesterday of a rising tide of racist
violence after the latest attack against asylum seekers in Glasgow.
Three Sudanese men were attacked by a gang of teenage youths
– the pattern of many previous assaults. There have been at
least 70 known such incidents in Glasgow since January, and the
Scottish Refugee Council has warned that the numbers will continue
to rise as more refugees are accommodated in the city.

Source:- The Herald Friday 18 May page 1




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