A daily summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By Clare Jerrom, Reg McKay and Alex Dobson.

Court battle starts for white couple with black twins in
IVF mix-up

A series of court battles were launched yesterday after a white
mother gave birth to black twins following an error at a fertility

The woman and her white partner knew nothing of the error until
she gave birth.

The mistake is thought to be a result of staff at the clinic
implanting a black couple’s fertilised eggs into the
woman’s womb, or using a black man’s sperm to fertilise
her eggs.

The legal cases will look at the circumstances of the error, and
try and determine who should keep the children. Further court cases
are expected if either couple seeks compensation for their

Source:- The Times Tuesday 9 July page 1

Woolf says only judges should set life

The judiciary alone should decide when killers can be released,
and not the home secretary, according to the lord chief justice

Lord Woolf’s comments that the role “should only be
performed by the judiciary” came as the present system under which
David Blunkett retains the right not to release murderers is under

Two mandatory life prisoners will argue in the House of Lords
that it is wrong, under the Human Rights Act 1998, for politicians
to have a role in what should be a judicial process.

Blunkett has said he is determined to keep his powers.

Source:- The Times Tuesday 9 July page 4

Boy, 15, stabbed to death ‘over £10 drug

Two teenagers stabbed a schoolboy to death as he and his friends
celebrated finishing an examination, the Old Bailey heard

Despite undergoing open-heart surgery in the street as dozens of
children looked on, Abdul Maye, aged 15, died.

Susan Edwards, QC for the prosecution, said he was attacked by a
16-year-old and a 14-year-old (now 15), in an act of “public
revenge” over an alleged £10 bill for cannabis.

A 15-year-old witness told the court he saw the two defendants
“running and laughing” after the attack.

The youths deny murdering Abdul on December 7 last year.

The trial continues.

Source:- The Times Tuesday 9 July page 6

How shire councils will subsidise deprived

The government’s proposals to reform local council
finances will benefit inner London boroughs and metropolitan
authorities in the north and Midlands.

Under a new formula to be introduced across England next April,
funding will be distributed from the shire counties in the east and
south, and wealthier London boroughs, to areas with high pockets of
social deprivation.

Some boroughs and counties could lose up to 4 per cent of their
allocation, while others gain up to 11 per cent, figures showed

Those councils likely to gain are in the midlands, Yorkshire,
and some in Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Tyne and Wear. Those
expected to lose out are East Sussex, Essex, Kent and West

Source:- The Times Tuesday 9 July page 8

Blunkett blocks early release for more

Proposals to release hundreds of prisoners early in a bid to
curb overcrowding in prisons, has been blocked by the home

David Blunkett acted even though a draft parliamentary written
answer had been prepared announcing the move, and telling MPs that
a further 850 prisoners would be freed early.

Non-violent robbers, burglars and fraudsters serving between 12
months and four years would have been allowed to leave prison three
months early under a night time curfew, monitored by electronic

Source:- The Times Tuesday 9 July page 12

Special schools ‘face closure’

Children with learning difficulties could be forced into
mainstream schools as a quarter of special schools are in danger of
closing, the Conservatives revealed yesterday.

Speaking at a summit of experts from the special needs sector,
party leader Iain Duncan Smith warned of a repeat of the “care in
the community” crisis, and called on the government to do more to
secure the provision of special education.

The comments came after a survey of head teachers of special
schools was conducted and it found that a quarter believed they
faced a threat of closure. Sixty-four had closed since 1997.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Tuesday 9 July page 6

Youth Justice Board protests at rise in children locked

The government’s youth crime chiefs have warned ministers
about the rise in children aged 12 and 13 being locked up, after
the number of children behind bars has risen above 3,000 for the
first time.

Ten children aged 12, 75 aged 13 and 177 aged 14 are now
incarcerated in England and Wales, according to the Youth Justice
Board. The number of children aged under 14 in custody has risen by
47 per cent since last year.

The warnings came as the prison population increased to 71,360,
and the prison service warned they were only 293 places short of
full capacity.

The rise in the number of children in prison comes after the
home secretary invoked legislation last April to allow them to be
remanded as well as sentenced into custody.

Lord Warner, chairperson of the Youth Justice Board, said: “I
don’t think anyone on the board actually feels comfortable
with a rising number of 12 and 13-year-olds in custody for other
than very grave offences.”

Source:- The Independent Tuesday 9 July page

Welsh newspapers

Hazelcroft report due to be published

Union leaders are urging councillors to leave no stone unturned
in the search for the workers or managers responsible for the
failings of a home for older people in Cardiff.

The Cardiff council branch of the General Municipal and
Boilermakers Union (GMB) said councillors would be expected to “do
their duty” once a report into the background of the troubled
Hazelcroft residential home is published.

Hazelcroft was the subject of hundreds of complaints by staff
against one another, and the GMB estimates that the two-and-a-half
years of allegations and investigations into the way that the home
was run have cost council taxpayers more than £1m.

Source:- South Wales Echo Monday July 8 page 4

Coma victim’s family able to visit son more now he
is nearer home

Health officials are to meet the father of coma victim to
discuss the next stage of his son’s treatment.

Stan Bowen mounted a two-day hunger strike protest outside the
Welsh assembly building in Cardiff last month, after two hospital
appointments for his son Peter, to be assessed for surgery at
Morriston Hospital in Swansea, were cancelled due to lack of

The family has also been told that other treatment for Peter
would also have to be cancelled because of lack of funds.

Following his father’s protest, health officials from
Swansea NHS Trust agreed to move Peter from a unit in Bath to
Morriston Hospital, Swansea and Stan Bowen will now meet officials
today to discuss the next stage of his treatment.

Peter Bowen was attacked in Swansea city centre in June 2000
leaving him in a coma and in need of extensive facial

Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 9 July page 7







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