A daily summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By Clare Jerrom, Reg McKay and Alex Dobson.

Hundreds of child abusers to get convictions

Hundreds of people jailed for child abuse are to have their
convictions re-examined amid growing concern that they were found
guilty in the absence of any objective evidence.

The Criminal Cases Review Commission announced yesterday it had
set up a working party to look for flaws in cases of child abuse
and rape, where individuals had been convicted solely on the word
of the victim.

The commission’s legal adviser, John Wagstaff, said:
“There may well be miscarriages of justice…where, with very
little corroboration, one person’s view has been taken
against another’s.”

The decision comes amid controversy about police methods in
child abuse prosecutions and particularly in relation to the
practice of ‘trawling’ children’s homes and prisons for
complaints against care workers.

Source:- The Independent Thursday 25 July page

British people smuggler jailed for ten

A British man detained by the Greek coastguard four days ago for
trying to smuggle 72 asylum seekers into the country, was jailed
yesterday for 10 years and fined £275,000.

Michael Wood, from Morecambe, said he was forced to do it and
that he was conned.

Prosecutors sought a two-year sentence, but the presiding judge
ruled that the offence deserved 10 years, the maximum sentence.

Many of the immigrants were thought to be Kurds from Iraq and
Syria, who had paid up to £12,700 for passage from Turkey to

Source:- The Times Thursday 25 July page 1

World watches as disabled athletes win

An experiment to treat disabled and able-bodied competitors at
the Commonwealth games as equals is being closely watched by
organisers of the sporting event.

For the first time medals won by disabled competitors will count
towards the countries’ final totals.

Disabled competitors will join the procession of national teams,
they will reside in same village and their events will be staged at
the same stadium at peak times.

Disabled groups are hoping that their leading role in
Britain’s largest sporting event will persuade other
countries to do likewise.

Source:- The Times Thursday 25 July page 3

Woman arrested in case of dead boy

A woman was being questioned yesterday over the death of a
toddler found drowned in a rock pool on a beach in west Wales.

The 32-year-old black woman was arrested at Carmarthen railway
station earlier this week, several hours after the body of an
Afro-Caribbean boy aged around two-years-old, was found by walkers
at Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire.

Police refused to identify the woman or to confirm whether she
was the child’s mother, but both are said to have come from
the Midlands.

Source:- The Times Thursday 25 July page 5

Asylum seekers see Iron Lady as figurehead

Asylum seekers are more likely to be influenced by the legacy of
Margaret Thatcher when deciding to come to Britain than by
Britain’s immigration laws or welfare benefits, according to
home office research.

The study, which looked at why asylum seekers chose Britain,
said few knew about Britain’s asylum policy or had any
in-depth knowledge about the benefit system.

Instead the report by the migration unit at the University of
Wales, in Swansea, found their images of Britain were a more
important factor in their choice of destination.

The British figure they were most familiar with was Margaret
Thatcher. They cited Manchester United football club as evidence
that they saw Britain as a rich country and the Beatles and Spice
Girls contributed to the idea that the country was progressive and

Source:- The Guardian Thursday 25 July page 5

Lawrence case suspects are found guilty of race

Two suspects in the Stephen Lawrence case were in prison last
night after being convicted of racially abusing a black

The incident in Eltham, south London, in May last year, occurred
half a mile from the spot where Lawrence was stabbed by white
youths in 1993.

Dc Gareth Reid was off duty and walking home when Neil Acourt
approached in a car. The passenger, David Norris, shouted “nigger”
and hurled a container of drink at the officer while Acourt drove
at him. The car then sped off.

Prosecuting Ian Darling told Woolwich crown court that the men
had been motivated for “one reason and one reason alone: his

The jury took two hours to convict Norris and Acourt of racially
aggravated harassment.

Judge Michael Carroll remanded them in custody for reports to
determine the length of sentence. They could face up to two years
in jail.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Thursday 25 July page 6

Ministers ‘fear councils’

MPs criticised ministers yesterday for being unduly frightened
of giving local councils greater independence.

The Labour dominated committee on transport, local government
and the regions made the comment in a report on the draft Local
Government Bill.

The bill is intended to change the relationship between central
and local government by giving more freedom to councils that
provide good services.

The committee said: “Central government seems to be terrified of
trusting local authorities and allowing them their

Source:- Daily Telegraph Thursday 25 July page 12

Scottish newspapers

Top judge warns against closure of Peterhead’s sex
offenders’ unit

Lord Cullen, Scotland’s most senior judge, has warned the
executive against closing Peterhead Prison and moving its
world-renowned sex offenders’ treatment unit.

In an unprecedented move, Lord Cullen has written to Jim
Wallace, justice minister, expressing his concern at the
executive’s plans, and warning that there should be no
“adverse effect on the sex offenders’ programme”.

Lord Cullen reminds Wallace that the programme “exists for the
protection of the public”. The letter was apparently sent to
Wallace about three months ago. Wallace has faced severe criticism
since he announced the executive’s plans to close Peterhead
Prison, and move the sex offenders’ treatment unit to
existing prisons in the central belt.

Source:- The Herald Thursday 25 July page 1

Welsh newspapers

NHS in Wales doomed to failure

The NHS in Wales is doomed to failure as there is not enough
money in the budget to pay for care, politicians have warned.

The service currently exists on a shoestring as millions of
pounds earmarked for treatment is lost. Clinical negligence bills
and overspending by NHS trusts have plunged the service into a
“financial quagmire”, they say.

Welsh politicians are warning that the NHS will continue to
struggle to meet the demands of Wales’ ageing and ailing
population, unless the country can renegotiate a better deal with
the Treasury.

Dafydd Wigley, chairperson of the audit committee at the Welsh
assembly, said that the health service is living on a shoestring,
and increasing demands from the demographic age block mean that
there will be increasing cost demands placed on the health

He added that even if Wales was to get all the money from the
comprehensive spending review it would not be able to keep up, and
that what is needed is a more sensitive funding formula.

Source:- Western Mail Thursday 25 July page 9





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