Thursday 11 March 2004

By Natasha Salari, Amy Taylor, Clare Jerrom and Alex

Holly Wells’s father had visions of her in a

The father of Holly Wells had visions of his daughter in an empty
bath before it was even suggested that she had been murdered in Ian
Huntley’s bathroom.
In an ITV documentary tonight Kevin Wells talks about the images he
repeatedly experienced five months after the 10-year-olds Holly and
Jessica Chapman were murdered in August 2002.
During the murder trial Ian Huntley said that Holly had drowned in
the bath when he accidentally killed Jessica by covering her mouth
to stop her screaming.
Source:- The Times Thursday 11 March page 3
Mother of pond boy ‘desecrated

A mother accused of drowning her son in a bath desecrated his grave
days later, a court has heard.
Sallie-Anne Loughran tore up flowers on Thomas Hunt’s grave
after boasting that no-one would prove that she had killed him. The
police and a coroner had originally concluded that the two-year-old
boy died accidentally after he was found in a pond on a country
estate in 1991.
The trial at Nottingham crown court continues.
Source: The Times Thursday 11 March page 3
False abuse claims ‘could destroy childcare

Plans to create an electronic file of personal information about
every child in England will lead to false abuse accusations against
parents and bring the child protection system close to collapse, a
lawyer has said.
Stewart Room, head of the data protection unit at the law firm of
Rowe Cohen, said that the plans were unworkable because a child
would only have to appear at school with two
“unexplained” bruises for a child protection inquiry to
Source:- The Times Thursday 11 March page 4
Street slang makes youths

The use of street slang is costing thousands of youths the chance
of a job because they cannot speak English properly, education and
business leaders have said.
Street slang and text messaging has become so problematic that many
youngsters are now “unemployable”.
Oral skills should be given as much emphasis in the classroom as
reading and writing and teachers should be rigorous in correcting
pupils’ bad use of speech, the Campaign for Real Education
has advised.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph Thursday 11 March page 4
Mother blames truant son for her jailing
A mother has spoken of the bitter resentment she feels towards her
son after she was jailed for failing to send him to school.
Sandra Hayward said she blamed the 15-year-old boy for his terrible
truancy record and criticised her custodial punishment.
Hayward, aged 38, was released from Holloway Prison after serving
half of her 20-day sentence imposed by magistrates in Reading. Her
son continued to play truant from school while she was in prison.
Hayward claimed that Wokingham District Council showed no
willingness to ensure his attendance.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph Thursday 11 March page 4
Minister upbeat on benefit projects
Pilot projects aimed at cutting the cost of housing
benefit have increased the chances that the programme will be
rolled out nationally, the work and pensions secretary has
Andrew Smith said that early results from the programme, which
replaces housing benefit with a rent allowance, have proved
“as good as we dared hope”.
In the nine pathfinder projects housing benefit, which directly
covers rent, is being replaced by a standard housing allowance,
related only to family size, location and income and not to the
actual rent paid. The tenants are given responsibility for managing
their rent rather than having it paid directly to the
Source:- The Financial Times Thursday 11 March page 4
Teenagers react against ‘anything goes’

Young people want a society that frowns on abortions, upholds the
institutions of marriage, takes a hard line on drugs and punishes
criminals, a survey has found.
Two thirds of the 5,000 teenagers interviewed for Bliss magazine
said they thought there were too many abortions, while seven out of
10 said cannabis should not be legalised.
Harsher sentences for adult offenders were backed by more than 80
per cent of the respondents, while eight out of 10 thought
“bogus” asylum seekers should be sent back to their own
More than 90 per cent believed in marriage.
Source:- The Guardian Thursday 11 March page 8
Labour pledges minimum wage rise to £5 an

Labour is planning to make a commitment to raise the minimum wage
to at least £5 an hour at the next general election.
Prime minister Tony Blair confirmed yesterday that the minimum wage
would rise by eight per cent to £4.85 in October.
Government sources hinted that this would pave the way for an
increase to at least £5 an hour on the eve of the general
election, expected in the early summer of next year.
Source:- The Guardian Thursday 11 March page 3
Cruelty shame of lesbian fosterers who made girls drink
washing-up liquid

A lesbian couple who fostered two girls were yesterday convicted of
cruelty at Minshull Street crown court in Manchester.
Lesley Broughton and Lynne Sheridan beat the two sisters and gave
them military-style punishments, one of which was to make them
drink washing-up liquid until they were sick.
The couple were vetted by Bolton Council’s social services
department in May 2000. The court heard how social workers who
monitored the girls’ progress described the set up as an
“excellent placement”.
Judge Barry Woodward said while he was satisfied the couple had set
out to provide a loving home, the punishments they handed out could
not be condoned.
Sheridan was ordered to complete 240 hours of community service
while Broughton was ordered to undertake 150 hours after both
admitted cruelty and administering a noxious substance.
Source:- Daily Mail Thursday 11 March page 19
Condom deal scrapped
A magazine for teenage girls has scrapped plans for a sponsorship
deal with a condom firm.
Sugar planned to promote Durex condoms in a feature on sexual
health in its May edition.
But the company has cancelled the sponsorship deal following
protests from family campaigners, who claimed it could encourage
girls to experiment in under-age sex.
Source:- Daily Mail Thursday 11 March page 41
Blair ‘consigning 2,800 to blindness for the sake of

Conservative leader Michael Howard accused the prime minister
yesterday of failing to explain a six-month delay in the
introduction of a new treatment for blindness.
The treatment, which uses a laser and chemicals to block
capillaries in the retina, can slow the progress of age-related
macular degeneration.
Howard said the delay had resulted in 2,800 people losing their
sight. At £900 a time, the bill for treating 2,800 patients
would be just £2.5 million.
Tony Blair disputed the figures, provided by the Royal National
Institute for the Blind, and said the extra six months was
necessary to build up capacity and was not related to cost.
Source:- The Independent Thursday 11 March page 2
Inquiry into internet porn accuses 41

Forty one police officers face disciplinary action after an inquiry
into internet pornography by Lothian and Borders Police in
Although there was no evidence of staff accessing illegal sites,
several officers are likely to be given warnings and offered
counselling after spending hours on X-rated websites, a force
spokesperson said. Others were found to have sent explicit messages
or jokes by email.
Source:- The Independent Thursday 11 March page 2
Patient takes job as pole-dancer
A mental health trust helped a patient get a job as a pole-dancer
at the Spearmint Rhino club in London as part of a support
programme to help patients return to employment.
Mental health charity Mind said it supported patients’ rights
to take the job of their choice.
Source:- The Independent Thursday 11 March page 7
Scottish newspapers
Youth gets 18 years as social work slammed

A teenage killer was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment yesterday
by a judge who slammed a social worker’s suggestion that he
should receive a fine or probation.
Lord Hardie said the murder committed by Thomas Shields had been
“vicious, brutal and unprovoked”. It had involved him
jumping on his victim’s head.
However, during the preparation of his background report, Shields
had been asked if he would agree to abide by conditions of the
probation. Lord Hardie described the social worker’s approach
as absurd and a waste of public money.
At an earlier trial, the 16-year-old was convicted of murdering
James Herd in March last year.
Source:- The Scotsman Thursday 11 March
Nursery nurses win back pay
Nursery nurses in one of Scotland’s largest local authorities
will have their pay rises backdated to the beginning of 2002, it
emerged yesterday.
Aberdeen Council was the first to settle a local deal with nursery
nurses which resulted in their average pay increasing from
£13,800 to £17,000 a year.
Yesterday, the council’s own appeal committee agreed to union
demands that the pay deal should be backdated to January 2002, when
the pay claim was first lodged.
The ruling could cost more than £1 million and would have
serious ramifications for the current strike over pay and
conditions involving 22 councils.
Source:- The Scotsman Thursday 11 March
Youth hangs himself in playground after joking with

A teenager hanged himself in the playground of a primary school
just minutes after joking with friends.
Ross Stewart had been listening to music and chatting with friends
in a car at a community centre behind Balmerino Primary School in
the village of Gauldry, North Fife.
But minutes later shocked friends found him hanging from a
drainpipe at the school.
Police said he had made some comment about hanging himself, but his
friends thought he was joking.
Source:- The Scotsman Thursday 11 March
Ned law is a step nearer
Plans to give police powers to disperse groups of youths came a
step closer to becoming law yesterday when MSPs passed the general
principles of the Antisocial Behaviour Bill.
However, ministers were forced to defend the scheme from claims
that it threatened freedom and police arguments that the powers are
Source:- Daily Record Thursday 11 March page 2
Welsh newspapers
Pupils, 15 tell of drugs offers in schools

Almost half of 15-year-olds in the UK, who have been offered drugs,
claim that the offer took place in school, according to new
The survey was carried out among 5,000 young people aged 12 to 18
by teenage magazine Bliss, which claims it is the most
comprehensive research of its kind.
Source:- Western Mail Thursday 11 March page 5
Treatable patients dying because of waiting lists
A retired doctor has claimed that Welsh patients are dying
from treatable conditions because of long waiting across the
Dr David Griffiths, a former GP in Swansea, believes that
patients’ conditions are not being investigated as quickly as
they should be and are causing unnecessary deaths.
Source:- Western Mail Thursday 11 March page 8

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