Friday 31 October 2003

By Clare Jerrom, David Callaghan and Alex Dobson.
Restrictions on legal aid condemned

A group of MPs has condemned the government’s plans to curb
the soaring legal aid for asylum seekers and immigrants, as not
thought through.
The constitutional affairs committee of MPs said that plans to cap
the cost and time lawyers can spend on advising asylum seekers
should be placed “in cold storage”.
The legal aid bill is currently around £174 million, up from
£80 million three years ago.
Source:- The Times Friday 31 October page 2
Foreign prisoners to be freed early and

Foreign prisoners serving sentences of less than four years are to
be released early and deported to free up spaces in Britain’s
overcrowded jails.
Paul Goggins, the prisons minister, said an amendment to the
Criminal Justice Bill will make them eligible for release four and
a half months early.
The move will create an additional 400 spaces in jails in England
and Wales.
Source:- The Guardian Friday 31 October page 6
Tougher penalty for hate crimes
Offenders who target people with disabilities or gay people will
face tougher penalties under proposals announced yesterday.
The range of aggravating factors in “hate crimes” will
be expanded to include sexual orientation and disability with an
amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill.
Source:- The Guardian Friday 31 October page 11
Life for man freed to kill by doctors
A schizophrenic who killed a stranger in an attack after being
released from a secure mental hospital was jailed for life
Paul Khan stabbed Brian Dodd more than 30 times, six years after
slashing a man’s throat in a public library.
He was supposed to be held indefinitely for the library attack, but
was released in August 2000 after a tribunal decided he could be
cared for in the community.
Khan admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished
responsibility at Mold crown court, Flintshire.
Source:- Daily Telegraph Friday 31 October page 11
11-year-olds drinking at danger levels
Government figures show that children aged 11 are drinking
dangerously high levels of alcohol.
Britain has one of the worst binge drinking problems in Europe and
the consumption of 11-year-old children is double that of a decade
ago, the statistics show.
Source:- Daily Telegraph  Friday 31 October page 11
Wives who kill may be spared life sentences
Women who kill violent partners could escape life imprisonment for
murder, under proposals floated today by the government’s law
reform advisers.
In English law, a person who kills after a sudden and temporary
loss of self control may be able to rely on the defence of
If that defence is made out the accused person will be convicted of
manslaughter rather than murder, and the judge will not have to
pass a life sentence.
Source:- Daily Telegraph Friday 31 October page 13
Reid leads way with job axe at health

Health secretary Dr John Reid announced job losses at the
Department of Health and signalled more job cuts in arms length
health and social care bodies.
The number of people employed in the Whitehall based department is
to be cut by 1,400 to 2,200 at a cost of £10 million in
redundancy payments. Further job cuts from the 20,000 total of
people employed in health and social care bodies are to follow, he
Source:- Financial Times Friday 31 October page 2
NHS advances justify billions spent, says PM
Prime minister Tony Blair said the health service was improving to
reflect the billions of pounds of extra investment put in by the
The Conservatives claimed the extra 1 per cent on national
insurance has done nothing to improve health services.
Source:- Financial Times Friday 31 October page 2
Treasury warned on public finances
The government has a 50-50 chance of breaking the “golden
rule” of public finances of borrowing only to invest in the
economy, according to the National Institution of Economic Social
It said the Treasury will have to explain how a possible shortfall
in public finances will be plugged.
The slow down in the housing market was the most serious threat to
the health of the economy, the institution said.
Source:- Financial Times Friday 31 October page 5
Outrage over teens’ hotline to the

A new pilot scheme to help teenage girls access the
morning–after pill more easily has been condemned.
North Tyneside Primary Care Trust is to run the 12-month trial from
December. It will ensure girls who call the hotline, a consultation
with a GP within 24 hours and without their parents’
A spokesperson for Family and Youth Concern said the scheme was a
“seal of approval for promiscuity”.
Source:- Daily Mail Friday 31 October page 41
Scottish newspapers
Big rise in childhood diseases brings new call for MMR jabs
A rise in reported cases of measles, mumps and rubella
last year has prompted a fresh warning to parents yesterday to
immunise their children with the MMR triple vaccination.
Doctors reported a 27 per cent suspected rise in mumps cases, 22
per cent rise in rubella and an 18 per cent increase in measles
among under-15s.
Source:- The Herald Friday 31 October
It’s time to tag the tearaways
The Scottish executive confirmed yesterday that
‘tearaway’ children would be electronically tagged as
part of a controversial crackdown on antisocial behaviour.
A range of tough measures as part of the executive’s flagship
Antisocial Behaviour Bill, were announced by Jack McConnell, first
Parents who fail to control their children will be jailed unless
they attend special classes, and antisocial neighbours face
£100 fixed penalty fines.
Source:- Daily Record Friday 31 October page 2
Welsh newspapers
Ex-bully calls for action
As part of the ‘South Wales Argus’ campaign,
‘Unite Against Bullies’, a former bully tells of her
experiences and what she thinks ought to be done to stop bullying
in schools.
The woman who wants to remain anonymous says that from the age of
eight she physically and mentally hurt other children. She is
horrified by what she did, but said she was a victim of bullying
herself, by older siblings.
She would like to see counsellors in all schools because bullies as
well as their victims are desperately in need of professional
Source:- South Wales Argus Thursday 30 October pages 1 and 3
Children’s champion savages ministers
Welsh children are being failed by mental health systems that are
supposed to support them, said children’s commissioner, Peter
In his annual report he criticised the Welsh assembly for not
allocating and ring fencing funding to implement the child and
adolescent mental health strategy and he said that action must be
taken to address this.
Clarke said that the service for children and young people is in
crisis with poor and patchy provision and a worrying drain of
skilled and professional workers.
The assembly will debate the report on Wednesday.
Source:- Western Mail Friday 31 October page 5
Widow slams ‘experts’ who freed

The widow of a man killed by a schizophrenic said the experts who
discharged her husband’s killer from a mental hospital, are
as much to blame for the tragedy, as the killer himself.
Paul Khan was sentenced to life imprisonment for killing Brian Dodd
in a frenzied attack in March.
Six years ago Khan slashed a man’s throat in Cardiff and was
ordered to remain in a secure mental hospital indefinitely. But he
was released in August 2000 after a Mental Health Review Tribunal
ruled that he could be cared for in the community.
The Welsh assembly has ordered an inquiry onto how Khan’s
mental health was allowed to deteriorate while he was being cared
for in the community.
Source:- Western Mail Friday 31 October page 6

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