Tuesday 2 December 2003

By Amy Taylor, Clare Jerrom and Alex Dobson.

Pensioners in ‘benefits trap’ claims Letwin
The average older person would have to save over £180,000 on
top of their state pension during their lifetime to avoid being
penalised by means tested state benefits, Oliver Letwin, the shadow
chancellor said last night.
Letwin said that under the Treasury’s new pension credit, which was
introduced in October, state aid is reduced in line with the value
of people’s savings or assets.
Research by Mercers, a firm of actuaries, found that an average
older couple living in a rented home would need to save
£180,000 on top of the state pension in order not to lose out
in the benefit trap.
Source:- The Independent Tuesday 2 December page 2
Charities attack second increase in fees
Charities have condemned a decision to increase the charges for
Criminal Records Bureau checks for job applicants for the second
time in less than a year.
The checks, which are mandatory for some employees such as teachers
and care workers, are to increase from April by £4 to £28
for a standard check from April and to £33 for an enhanced
Source:- The Financial Times Tuesday 2 December page 2
Murder accused ‘wishes he could turn back the

Ian Huntley admitted he was responsible for the deaths of Jessica
Chapman and Holly Wells at the Old Bailey yesterday, but said that
he never meant to kill them.
Speaking about the events leading to the 10-year-olds’ deaths
he said: “I wish I could turn back the clock. I wish I could do
things differently. I just wish none of this had ever
happened…I accept I’m responsible for the deaths of Holly and
Jessica, but there’s nothing I can do about it now. I sincerely
wish there was.”
Source:- The Financial Times Tuesday 2 December page 6
Family fights to keep orphan in Britain
An orphan who was taken out of a Ukrainian orphanage and
cared for by a family at their home in Wiltshire, has lost her
battle to stay in this country.
Inna, now 19, has had her appeal to remain with Mark and Melanie
Haville at their home in Sevenhampton rejected. She had lived with
the couple for the past three years, and said that the rejection
meant she would have a future of “abject poverty and
The Home Office minister Beverly Hughes has told the couple that
Inna has “no legal basis to remain in this country”.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph Tuesday 2 December page 11
Ministers at odds over domestic violence

Behind new domestic violence legislation published today lies an
unresolved clash between David Blunkett and Harriet Harman over
whether a “provocation” defence should be abolished in domestic
violence murder cases.
The bill also contains a proposal for a “stay-away” order under
which perpetrators must keep away from their partners or face a
prison sentence of up to five years, which may be imposed even if
the defendant has been acquitted.
Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 2 December page 1
Scottish newspapers
Racism affects third of Scots children, survey says

More than a third of Scottish pupils are victims of racial abuse,
according to a survey carried out by the Children in Scotland
The online survey found that 58 per cent had witnessed verbal abuse
about a person’s race, and 35 per cent had experienced verbal
abuse themselves.
Nearly 14 per cent suffered physical violence, 21 per cent had seen
racist graffiti about themselves and almost half of all respondents
had experience of some form of racism.
Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 2 December
Fifth of three year olds are obese
More than a fifth of Scottish children aged three-and-a-half are
overweight, obese or severely obese, according to statistics
published by the NHS Quality Improvement Scotland.
Dorothy Moir, chairperson of its clinical outcomes group, described
the figures as “alarming”.
Source:- The Herald Tuesday 2 December
Parents nativity video ban
Parents will be banned from filming their children’s nativity
plays for the second year running.
Edinburgh Council chiefs banned video cameras last year, saying
they feared the images could end up in the hands of sex offenders.
They eventually did a u-turn following a storm of protest from
However, this year, they have told schools to make their own rules
about the use of cameras.
Dean Park primary school at Balerno imposed an immediate ban and
Gracemount primary school said it would act if there was just one
Source:- Daily Record Tuesday 2 December
Welsh newspapers
School head charged

The headteacher of a Welsh primary school has been charged with
causing unnecessary suffering to a child.
Maurice Flynn was bailed to appear before magistrates in Barry,
south Wales, following an alleged incident involving a
four-year-old boy at St Joseph’s RC school in Penarth.
The incident is said to centre on the way that the boy was punished
after he had flooded a school toilet, but did not involve physical
chastisement. The National Union of Head Teachers has spoken of its
astonishment at the charge.
Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 2 December page 1
Why older people resent being portrayed as victims
Over half of older people in Wales believe that the media
portrays them inaccurately, according to research from Age Concern
A new study by the charity found that many articles and news items
in print and visual media portray older people as victims of
society. Age Concern Cymru said that while the coverage showed
concern about issues affecting older people, it was often
accompanied by dismal warnings about growing old.
Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 2 December page 2
Esti’s dad walks free, seven months on
A Welsh father who was jailed for abducting his daughter has been
released, after a seven-month ordeal.
Simon Clayton sparked an international hunt after disappearing with
his four-year-old daughter Esti, who lives with her mother in
Clayton was supported during his time in prison by the pressure
group Fathers4Justice, which said the case highlighted the double
standards that apply to the detriment of fathers in abduction
The group’s founder Matt O’Connor said that if the
roles had been reversed it was unthinkable that a mother would have
been treated in the way that Clayton had.
Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 2 December page 5

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