Tuesday 10 June 2003

By Amy Taylor, Clare Jerrom and Alex

Soham murder suspect in coma after taking drug overdose
in his prison cell

Ian Huntley, the man accused of murdering Jessica Chapman and Holly
Wells, tried to kill himself by taking a drug overdose
Huntley is in a coma under police guard after taking around 30
anti-depressant pills hidden in teabags.
A Prison Service inquiry is taking place into how he was able to
stash so many pills without detection while on suicide watch at top
security jail Woodhill near Milton Keynes.
Source:- The Times Tuesday 10 June page 1
Mental state may make him unfit for trial
If Ian Huntley lives through his suicide attempt, then his lawyers
may claim that he is too mentally ill to stand trial for the
murders of Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells.
The decision over whether Huntley does stand trial will depend on
his mental state after the drugs overdose.
Source:- The Times Tuesday 10 June page 5
Depression drug may be unsafe for children
The world’s biggest selling anti-depressant could be
dangerous if taken by children and teenagers, the government is
expected to warn today.
Seroxat has been identified by the Medicines and Healthcare
Regulatory Agency as possibly triggering suicidal tendencies and
other side effects in under-18-year-olds.
The body is expected to tell doctors that the drug should be only
be given to adults until further trials on its side effects have
taken place.
Source:- The Times Tuesday 10 June page 2
Heads urged to text parents of truants
An education minister has called on schools to have a database of
parents’ mobile phone numbers so they can send them a text message
if their child does not turn up.
The measure is part of a set of initiatives Ivan Lewis called on
schools to adopt to ensure that they contact parents within an hour
if a child plays truant.
The measures were outlined in a government review of education
welfare services to be conducted over the coming months.
Source:- The Independent Tuesday 10 June page 6
Brutal death of a travelling child
A boy aged 15 is left to die in the middle of a playing field in
Ellesmere Port. His family believe he was killed for ‘being a
Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 10 June page 9
Unison threatens mass strikes in the public sector
The biggest union in Britain will consider organising strikes
across the public sector in part of an attempt to increase its
bargaining power in talks on pay and workers’ rights.
Unison, which represents many workers in local government, health
and education, will discuss possible action at its annual
conference in Brighton next week.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph Tuesday 10 June page 6
Man killed by police near airport ‘was mentally

A man killed by police near Heathrow was suffering from mental
health problems, and was due to meet health workers on the day he
died, his mother said yesterday.
Keith Larkins, aged 33, had missed his appointment with the West
London Mental Health Trust the day before he was shot by police.
Health workers were due to visit him on the day of his death.
His mother, Maureen, said that Larkins was depressed and behaving
strangely and her requests to social services to help him were
turned down. She is now considering taking legal action.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph Tuesday 10 June page 6
Father jailed after baby dies in a drawer
A crack-addicted father who regularly put his seven-month-old baby
in a drawer under the bed to muffle the sound of her crying was
jailed for five years yesterday for cruelty to his daughter.
The court heard how the parents also put socks in the baby’s mouth
to stifle her screams. The baby died in the drawer in January
The manslaughter charge against the father had been dropped because
doctors were not sure of the cause of the baby’s death.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph Tuesday 10 June page 11
Scottish newspapers
Report slams social workers in Miss X case
Social workers in the Borders were blamed for a catalogue
of poor practice and failures in a damning report – which the local
authority is not publishing – into the case involving the sexual
abuse and torture of Miss X. A lack of supervision and
collaboration between social workers, inadequate record keeping and
a failure to respond to serious concerns raised by Miss X’s family
are among the issues in the Black report.
The report, prepared by Edinburgh social work consultant Anne
Black, was commissioned after a previous inquiry concluded that the
suffering of Miss X, who has learning difficulties, could have
ended sooner had social work managers taken appropriate
Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 10 June
Child gang attacks security guard
A gang of youths aged between 10 and 13 have attacked a
security guard at an Edinburgh school and left him critically
The group threw bricks and stones at the man until he fell to the
ground, and then he was set upon with a metal pole.
Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 10 June
Welsh newspapers
Truant turns up – in court

A 15-year-old girl played truant yesterday, to support her mother
who was appearing in court for failing to send her to school.
The girl turned up at a court in Llanelli, and magistrates were
told that she had a 60 per cent absence rate from school over the
last six months.
Sentencing was deferred on her mother and an education welfare
officer was able to speak with the teenager, who said she was
willing to attend school in the future.
Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 10 June page 1
Campaigners’ disappointment at report

Health campaigners are disappointed that crucial points have been
omitted from a list of urgent recommendations made to managers of a
psychiatric hospital.
Earlier this year officials were accused of a cover-up following
criticisms of a report into Whitchurch hospital in Cardiff, and
another mental hospital where six patients died unexpectedly in
less than a year.
Now the mental health user group in the Eastern Vale of Glamorgan
has written to the Commission for Health Improvement (CHI) asking
why a number of important issues have been omitted from a review
report for Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust.

Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 10 June page 5

Isolated village welcomes ‘supernurse’
clinic project

“Supernurses” are being drafted into isolated parts of
the south Wales valleys to make health care more accessible.
The remote village of Fochriw, one of the former mining communities
of the Rhymney valley, will be the first to benefit from the
introduction of nurse practitioner clinics.
The refurbished Fochriw health centre will have regular clinics
hosted by a nurse practitioner, a highly qualified primary care
nurse authorised to carry out treatment and assessment.
Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 10 June page 11

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