By Clare Jerrom, Reg McKay and Alex Dobson.
Climbie worker ‘hopeless’
A senior social worker involved in the care of Victoria Climbie
demonstrated “completely hopeless” judgement and was incapable of
giving evidence to the inquiry into the girl’s death, a court
was told yesterday.
Carole Baptiste, a former team manager in Haringey social
services, north London, fled in hysterics when a summons to attend
the inquiry was served on her while she was attending a mental
health clinic as an outpatient.
Private detective David Chambers told Camberwell magistrates
court that he confronted her with the summons at Lambeth Clinic,
south London, on 27 November, 2001, six months after the inquiry
first asked for her co-operation.
Peter Herbert, for the defence said that the summons was not
properly served because the detective did not identify himself and
it was inappropriate to serve papers at a clinic. Baptiste’s
psychiatrist, Irechukwu Azonye, insisted that she had been fit to
attend the inquiry.
Baptiste, who is the first person to be tried for deliberately
breaching an inquiry summons, faces up to six months in prison and
a fine of up to £1,000 if found guilty. She denies the
Victoria Climbie died in February 2000 after months of abuse by
her great aunt and her boyfriend who are both serving life
The hearing continues.
Source:- The Times Friday 16 August page 10
Child porn sentencing guide
Sentencing advisers proposed a new table of child pornography
offences yesterday, to help judges to determine sentences for
The report from the Sentencing Advisory Panel rejected automatic
prison sentences for anyone collecting or viewing child
pornography. The panel reserved the maximum 10-year sentences for
“very serious examples”, and said it did not accept that child
pornography cases should automatically be treated as being of equal
seriousness to child abuse.
The panel suggested a new five point scale system ranging from
“nude or erotic posing” in level one to images of sadism or
bestiality at the most serious level five. Offences at the lower
end of the scale would be dealt with by a sentence of up to six
Source:- The Times Friday 16 August page 12
A woman is being held on suspicion of attempted murder after
allegedly trying to strangle a 15-month-old child with seaweed,
Sussex police said.
A source close to the inquiry said the woman drove her car off
Selsey Bill and on to a beach, where she and the child were found
Source:- The Times Friday 16 August page 12
Future workforce ‘will cope with growing
Government research has found the number of people aged 80 and
over in the UK will more than double over the next 40 years, while
the number of children under 16 will fall.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics predict that by
2040, there will be 4.9 million people aged 80 and over, compared
with 2.4 million in 2000.
But there was no evidence to suggest that a shrinking workforce
would struggle to support its elders. Figures showed the number of
people of working age should rise from 36.9 million in 2000 to 40.8
million by 2021.
Jane Falkingham, of the London School of Economics, said: “The
number of pensioners tripled in the last century – from
around 6 per cent in 1902 to 18 per cent in 2001 – and we
coped with that without imploding.
“What will cost more than pensions is the health and social care
with the doubling of the 80-plus population, particularly given the
changes in family structure,” she added. “People who will be over
80 in 2040 grew up in the consumer boom of the 60s and will be
vocal about how they want to be treated.”
Source:- The Guardian Friday 16 August page 5
Anti-crime plan for urban youth under
A £3 million government project aimed at preventing
vulnerable inner city teenagers from becoming adult criminals is at
risk, just as ministers sanction an identical sum to stop similar
young people leaving home and drifting into trouble.
The Youth Justice Board is fighting to protect its youth
inclusion programme (YIP) in 70 urban estates from falling victim
to financial restraints on home secretary David Blunkett’s
“Preventative programmes are not very glamorous and get scant
attention whoever is in power. They have a habit of slipping
through the cracks,” a Youth Justice Board spokesperson said last
night, after YJB chairperson Lord Warner raised his concerns on
Channel 4 news.
But as Lord Warner tries to save the £3 million annual YIP
budget and try to expand it to £12 million and take in 300
high crime estates, ministers in another department have conceded a
similar sum to tackle teenage homelessness.
Deputy prime minister John Prescott’s office announced
£3 million funding a year under the new Homelessness Act
targeted at 16 or 17 year olds who are about to leave home or be
Source:- The Guardian Friday 16 August page 8
Boy, 12, detained for killing elderly man in car crash
while drink driving
A 12-year-old boy was given a year’s detention for killing
on older man after crashing his car into him while drunk on
The 61-year-old man suffered a fractured skull, fractured right
leg and fractured ribs when the car hit him when he was crossing
the road in Pendleton, Salford.
The boy, from east Manchester, who cannot be named, spent a
month in hospital.
At Salford crown court yesterday he admitted dangerous driving
and driving without a licence or insurance.
Source:- The Independent Friday 16 August page 4
‘Blind eye’ turned to vice
The government is failing to tackle the problem of human
traffickers forcing women into prostitution in Britain, according
to the head of the London vice squad.
Chief superintendent Simon Humphrey said he failed to understand
why such exploitation of women, the majority of whom were from
eastern Europe, was not being treated with the “utmost seriousness”
at a political level.
In an interview on BBC World Service’s Assignment
programme, to be broadcast tomorrow, Humphrey urged the government
not to turn a blind eye to these “crimes against humanity”.
Source:- The Guardian Friday 16 August page 7
‘Boot camp’ battle bound for
Campaigners opposing the opening of a residential centre for
young offenders in their village of Braidwood in Lanarkshire are to
ask justice minister, Jim Wallace, to hold an inquiry. The project,
managed by Airborne Initiative, is designed to give up to 22 young
offenders, aged 18 to 25, a last chance as an alternative to
prison. The villagers, who are supported by Scottish Conservative
leader, David McLetchie, claim that the centre will attract drug
dealers to their village and is to be based too close to a local
school. The Airborne Initiative was set up by former paratroopers.
The organisation currently runs a similar project near the village
of Abington in Lanarkshire and claim its service users pose no
threat to the community.
Source:- The Herald Friday 16 August page 8
Care chief cleared of 3 charges
A residential home manager was cleared of three charges of
occasioning actual bodily harm to a woman in her care
But Kay Piateck, 41, still faces four counts of common assault and
of assault occasioning actual bodily harm to 31-year-old, Helen
Davies has severe learning difficulties and the charges relate to a
between September 2000 and August 2001 when Piateck was manager of
Uplands House residential home in Newbridge, south Wales.
The court heard that Davies was “difficult and demanding” to care
for and had
the mental ability of a two-year-old and that she suffered from
ears that resulted in the regular build-up of wax.
Workers at the home had given evidence earlier in the week that
used a metal hairgrip and her fingernails to clean Davies’s
The case continues.
Source South Wales Argus Thursday 15 August page 6
Social Services under fire as critics go public on their
A joint review report due out later this year into the running
social services is expected to be one of the most critical ever
Social services in Cardiff have been hit by a number of scandals
in the last week senior social worker, Neil White has been sacked
that he would not discipline a woman who blew the whistle on abuse
residential home for older people in the city.
Councillor, Jayne Cowan, conservative chief whip and spokesperson
families and health said that the upcoming report was expected to
critical and that staff morale was very low and employees feared
losing their jobs for blowing the whistle on bad practice.
Source Western Mail Friday 16 August page 5