Thursday 5 June 2003

By Amy Taylor, Clare Jerrom and Alex Dobson.
Beggar gets legal aid to sue over city centre ban

A beggar is to receive legal aid to take Nottingham council to
court arguing that a city centre ban on vagrants is restricting her
freedom of movement.
Margaret Edlin faces jail if she enters a large part of the city
centre or begs in four suburban shopping districts after being
arrested for begging twenty times. She is making her case under the
Human Rights Act 1998.
Nottingham was the first local authority to enforce a banning order
on beggars last year.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph Thursday 5 June page 12
Schoolgirls ‘pressured’ into abortion to meet teen birth

Abortion rates among under-18s have risen steeply since 1988, when
the government introduced a target to reduce teenage pregnancies
prompting criticisms yesterday that the health service is putting
pressure on schoolgirls to have abortions.
MPs and anti-abortion campaigners are concerned that health
advisers have been directing girls towards abortion in an effort to
reduce the numbers of teenage mothers.
Source:- The Independent Thursday 5 June page 10
Foundation hospitals are financial risk, say auditors
The Audit Commission has warned that foundation hospitals
could fail and put billions of pounds of public money at risk if
weaknesses in the way they are assessed are not addressed.
The commission warned that the star rating system used to rank
hospitals were too narrowly based and could fail to pick up serious
flaws in some trusts.
Source:- The Independent Thursday 5 June page 10
Tories’ passport to health aims to cure the ills of the

A new NHS passport system which aims to break down barriers between
private care and the health service, is to be announced by the
Conservatives today.
Under the scheme everyone would be issued with a ‘patient’s
passport’ which would enable them to be treated in either NHS or
private hospitals. If they chose to be treated by the NHS the
treatment would be free but if they opted for private care the
majority of the charge would be paid by the state and they would
make up the difference.
Source:- The Daily Mail Thursday 5 June page 15
Scottish newspapers
Rights challenge over slopping out

More than 1,000 prisoners in Scotland at Perth, Barlinnie and
Saughton are still forced to slop out.
Successive governments have pledged to eradicate the practice, but
the deadline has been forced back each time much to the anger of
human rights groups.
A prisoner is now suing the Scottish executive as he believes the
practice breached his human rights, and deputy first minister Jim
Wallace could be called to give evidence.
Source:- The Scotsman Thursday 5 June
Former monk accused of breaking a pupils arm and giving
another an electric shock

A former monk from a Stirlingshire borstal charged with sexually
physically abusing children there in the 1960s, was yesterday
accused of
breaking a former pupil’s arm and forcing another to eat his
own vomit. Michael Murphy who taught at St Ninian’s List D
School in Gartmore appeared at the high court in Edinburgh accused
of abusing 12 boys in his care at the school during a six-year
Source:- The Scotsman Thursday 5 June
Pay plan for babysitter grandparents
Grandparents who look after their children’s children could
be paid more than £100 a week under proposals from
pensioner’s MSP John Swinburne. He has tabled a motion in
parliament calling on the unpaid army of carers, who are estimated
to look after around 50,000 children, to be paid as foster
Source:- Daily Record Thursday 5 June page 4
Social worker cleared of drug dealing
A social worker was yesterday cleared of supplying two drug addicts
Heroin, at the high court in Kilmarnock.
It was alleged former social worker with East Ayrshire council,
Campbell Valentine had supplied Leigh McLean with drugs between
November 2001 and January 2002, and he was also accused of
supplying heroin to Caroline Harkison.
He lost his job as a result of the allegations and was suspended
from his current job at Edinburgh council pending the court
It took the jury just 10 minutes to find Valentine not guilty by a
majority verdict.
Source:- Daily Record Thursday 5 June page 17
Welsh newspapers
Hospice misses out on funds

A south Wales hospice, which cares for thousands of cancer
sufferers, has missed out on a slice of a £10 million Welsh
Assembly fund.
The St David’s Foundation Hospice in Gwent is now engaged in
urgent talks, which it hopes will secure grant aid to help its work
with terminally ill patients.
In January this year assembly health minister Jane Hutt announced
funding for hospices in the principality that will be made
available over the next three years.
Source:- South Wales Argus Wednesday 4 June page 21
Assembly funds ‘obscene’ website
A Welsh Assembly sponsored website has come under attack from a
Tory assembly member after he found messages posted on it that he
says contained ‘obscene drivel’.
The website – ‘Funky Dragon’ – is part of the
assembly’s commitment to making sure that children and young
people can express their views, but Monmouth AM David Davies, the
Conservatives education spokesperson, said that some of its content
amounted to little more than a graffiti splattered subway
Source:- Western Mail Thursday 5 June page 5
Innocent still face ‘trial by media’ in sex
The acquittal of a Welsh GP accused of sexually abusing
three female patients, has led to renewed calls for defendants in
such cases to be granted anonymity.
Dr Robert Owens, who until last year practised in Cardiff has been
found not guilty of assaulting women in his surgery. A spokesperson
for the Medical Protection Society that represents more than
100,000 health professionals in the UK, said that many doctors
accused of wrongdoing were subjected to trial by media. But when
they were found to be innocent the press was no longer
Source:- Western Mail Thursday 5 June page 6

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