By Amy Taylor, Shona Main and Alex Dobson.
‘Unfair’ trial system let Damilola down
Damilola Taylor was let down by a criminal justice system that
is unfairly balanced in favour of defendants, and by mistakes in
the police enquiry that meant the case could not be properly
prepared before trial, a report into the murder investigation
The 54-page review by a panel headed by the Bishop of
Birmingham, the Right Rev John Sentamu, said that the decision to
redeploy most of the officers away from the investigation once the
suspects had been charged severely damaged the case.
Source:- The Guardian, Tuesday 10 December, page 1
Scepticism rules on Peckham estate
The north Peckham estate where Damilola Taylor was murdered
appears to have changed dramatically in the two years since his
death due to part of a £280m regeneration budget.
However residents still complain of the presence of muggers,
drug dealers and gangs and are unconvinced that the police are
Source:- The Guardian, Tuesday 10 December, page 4
Cold ends blanket ban for homeless
A ‘blanket exchange’ for homeless people in Nottingham is likely
to be agreed after the cold weather ended an unofficial ban on
distributing camping equipment.
Organisers will meet with Nottingham council on Thursday to
agree a compromise over emergency bedding for the 20 to 30 people
who sleep rough in the city.
The meeting was called after volunteers from for Open Hands, the
social action arm of Nottingham Christian Centre, rebelled against
an informal agreement not to give out blankets on a late night run
because they may pose a health hazard.
Source:- The Guardian, Tuesday 10 December, page 8
Record prison population on track to pass
The prison population in England and Wales, already at a record
72, 500 inmates, is set to reach 100,000 within four years and
could even get to 110,000 before the end of the decade, according
to Home Office projections published yesterday.
Official research shows the explosion in prison numbers has
occurred because of the Government’s 2001 manifesto delivery target
to ensure more offenders being brought to book.
Source:- The Guardian, Tuesday10 December, page 10
1 in 10 women in jail is a Jamaican drug
Jamaican ‘drug mules’ account for one in ten women in British
prisons, figures published yesterday by the Office of National
Almost 20 per cent of the female prison population have been
convicted of drug smuggling and half of them come from Jamaica.
Source:- The Daily Mail, Tuesday 10 December, page
Black culture ‘holding pupils back’
Black pupils are falling behind at school because they think it
is ‘uncool’ to work hard according to a leading academic
Dr Tony Sewell said youngsters are held back by an
Afro-Caribbean youth culture that does not encourage academic
Source:- The Daily Mail, Tuesday 10 December, page
£100,000 for lifer ‘let down’ by
A man serving a life sentence for holding a prison officer
hostage has been awarded almost £100,000 damages because a
council ‘failed to give him a suitable education’.
Lawyers for Marvin Pomfret, 23, claim that their client would
have been prevented from leading a life of crime and delinquency
had he been to a special residential school.
But senior staff at Bolton council, Greater Manchester, did not
follow the advice of experts and as a result he spent most of his
youth in care homes.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph, Tuesday 10 December, page
Clarke promises nursery places for all
Nursery places will be provided next year for every
three-year-old whose parents request one, under spending plans
announced yesterday by Charles Clarke, the education secretary
Clarke said that £300m would be transferred to local
education authorities to create 250,000 new childcare places.
Source:- The Times, Tuesday, December 10, page 2
Crisis over homeless
Homelessness in Cardiff has reached almost crisis point.
Next year the number of homeless people in the Welsh capital is
set to rise by as much as 48 per cent.
Speaking at the third annual housing conference at the All
Nations Centre in Cardiff, Sarah McGill, the council’s
operations manager for housing management said the two main reasons
for the crisis were in the increase in priority cases and changes
in the housing market.
Source:- South Wales Echo, Monday 9 December, page
Bed-blocking fines ‘will cause endless
Government plans to fine local authorities over bed blocking,
would cause chaos if introduced in Wales.
Plaid Cymru’s shadow health minister, Dr Dai Lloyd said
the plan announced in the Queen’s speech would lead to
endless disputes between councils and hospitals.
He said that the plans would lead to disputes between local
authorities and hospitals over who is responsible when things go
wrong and that there would be chaos with patients passed from
pillar to post to avoid expenditure.
Source:- Western Mail, Tuesday 10 December, page 2
Inspector backs pupil
Head teachers have been warned to do
more to try to keep both unruly and also disabled pupils in
HM Inspectorate of Education’s
report on inclusion rebutted objections by teachers that they do
not have the necessary skills to work with disabled children or
those who have challenging behaviour.
Graham Donaldson, the senior chief
inspector welcomes some schools “quite striking and dramatic
improvements” to integrate pupils but admitted that ordinary
schools may not suit all children with special needs. However, he
argued that alternative provision “should have strong links and
routes back into mainstream provision wherever possible”.
Source:- The Scotsman,
Tuesday 19 December, page 8