A daily summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By Clare Jerrom and Alex Dobson.

Vicar was killed by mentally ill man

A mentally ill man who stabbed a homosexual priest before
jumping from a London tower block was failed by community care
services, an inquest heard yesterday.

David Watkins attacked the vicar, David Paget, with a knife and
stabbed him nine times at a vicarage in Fulham, London, in May last
year. Two days later, he leapt from the 11th floor to his death in
east London.

During two separate inquests, west London coroner’s court
heard that Watkins had a history of self-harm and violent psychotic

Two months before the murder Watkins served a four-month
sentence for false imprisonment, and two weeks later discharged
himself from St Clement’s psychiatric hospital, east

The inquest found Paget was unlawfully killed and Watkins
committed suicide.

Source:- The Times Wednesday 24 April page 3

Pope apologises to US for paedophile

There is no place for paedophile priests in the Catholic Church,
the Pope said yesterday.

Addressing a two-day meeting of US cardinals, the Pope offered a
special apology to Roman Catholics in America, where 55 priests
have been removed since January. One of whom is Father John
Geoghan, who is accused of molesting more than 130 children in

Sexual abuse of children was rightly considered a crime by
society, he added.

Source:- The Times Wednesday 24 April page 4

Detained patients win rights case

The government has breached the human rights of people
compulsorily detained in psychiatric hospitals, a judge ruled
yesterday, meaning thousands of patients could be entitled to claim

Mr Justice Burnton ruled that the breaches occurred in seven
test cases because patients ‘sectioned’ under the
Mental Health Act did not receive speedy reviews of their detention
by independent tribunals.

The state must now provide “such resources as will provide
speedy hearings”, he said.

Lawyers for the seven meant the ruling could affect potentially
thousands of people in England and Wales. The seven will be
applying for compensation within the next few months.

Source:- The Times Wednesday 24 April page 12

Asylum Bill ‘plays into the hands of far-right

David Blunkett will today be accused of playing into the hands
of extremists with tough new measures on asylum and

Labour MPs, and black MPs in particular are worried about the
“dangerous rhetoric” of the legislation, saying that it panders to
the same prejudices, which led to the success of Jean Marie Le Pen
in France.

They plan to speak during the second reading of the Nationality,
Immigration and Asylum Bill in the Commons today.

The bill includes plans which will force asylum seekers to take
citizenship lessons, learn English, take an oath of allegiance, and
they may be housed in secure centres.

All parties have aired concern about another measure, which
would prevent asylum seeking children attending mainstream schools
as they would be educated in the detention centres.

The proposal has been criticised by refugee groups and teachers,
who believe children should be integrated into local schools.

Source:- The Times Wednesday 24 April page 14

£90m pledged to tackle truancy

Labour will promise extra cash to help schools reduce truancy by
introducing electronic registration and extra police around

Downing Street has recognised the links between schools
suffering high levels of truancy and 33 crime hot spot areas, and
the money will be spent on three schools in each of the crime

The £90 million cash announced in the Budget will be given
to schools with above average truancy rates. Money will also be
used to increase the number of pupil referral places for fear that
the government may not meet its pledge of ensuring all excluded
children get educated.

Source:- The Guardian Wednesday 24 April page 10

Guardian Society

Blueprint for the future

New posts signal change in health workers’ traditional

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 24 April page 4

Officer found ‘guilty of

Police disciplinary hearing’s verdict on arrest tragedy of
schizophrenic man

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 24 April page 5

Legacy of illness

Compensation bid for Asian workers

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 24 April page 4

Captured essence

Photographic competition to show volunteering

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 24 April page 5

Separate checks

Government takes a big risk with new ‘super’

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 24 April page 6

Early warning

A preventive approach, imported from the US, is to be tried out
in Britain to counter child sex abuse. Maureen Paton on a strategy
aimed at deterring paedophiles

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 24 April page

Dual alliance

A fresh approach to helping people with mental health problems
exacerbated by drink or drugs abuse

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 24 April page

Hazards of helping

Safeguard warning over volunteer support in public services

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 24 April page

Unsettling period

Homelessness likely to recur without support for families

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 24 April page

Welsh newspapers

Commons to look at inquiries into abuse

Police investigations into past cases of abuse in
children’s homes are to be examined by a special session at
the House of Commons.

The all-party home affairs select committee is due to launch a
full inquiry into the way that police have conducted
investigations, and will hear evidence from Sir Frederick Crawford,
the head of the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

The commission was set up in 1997 to investigate possible
miscarriages of justice.

The South Wales Echo has recently reported on a number
of cases of ‘historical abuse’ where there has been
criticism of the way that the police handled investigations that
look at incidents that took place many years earlier.

Source:- South Wales Echo Tuesday April 23 page 4

Judge powerless to punish boy, 11

A judge said yesterday that he was powerless to curb an
11-year-old boy who has been branded a mini crimewave.

The boy appeared at Cardiff youth court yesterday for the 154th
time charged with a string of serious offences, but district judge,
Gerwyn Watkins said that his ‘hands were tied’ because
the boy had not yet reached his 12th birthday, and could not be
locked up until then.

The boy from Cardiff is in local authority care, and is one of
the youngest people in the UK to be electronically tagged. He is
also subject to a 13-hour curfew, but he has breached the curfew
eight times within 22 days, and has gone missing for up to 12 hours
despite being tagged.

Police have warned that the serial car thief will eventually
kill someone, and say that the 4ft 6in boy, who cannot be named for
legal reasons, uses public roads like racetracks.

Source:- Western Mail Wednesday 24 April page 1

Clywch Inquiry: Pupil forced to do ‘Equus’
scene naked

One of the alleged victims of abuse in the Clywch inquiry has
said that his reason for testifying was to prevent other children
being abused in the future.

The inquiry is looking into the activities of alleged
paedophile, John Owen, who taught drama at a school in south Wales
before going on to become an award winning scriptwriter for Welsh
children’s television.

The inquiry, chaired by children’s commissioner for Wales,
Peter Clarke, heard that one alleged victim had been required by
Owen to strip naked to perform nude scenes from the controversial
Peter Shaffer play, Equus, for his O-level drama examination.

Source:- Western Mail Wednesday 24 April page 3





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