Monday 15 March 2004

By Natasha Salari, Amy Taylor, Clare Jerrom and Alex

Shipman case spurs inquest shake-up
Deaths will have to be certified by two doctors in an
overhaul of the coroners’ court system designed to prevent a
repeat of the Harold Shipman killing spree.
The court network will be replaced by a streamlined system run by
trained lawyers drawing on teams with medical expertise. Coroners
will have the power to remove documents from premises, such as
doctors’ surgeries, hospitals or private companies, to
investigate the background to a death.
The reform was ordered by the government after reports into the
crimes of Shipman, the Lancashire GP thought to have murdered 215
older patients, and the scandal at Alder Hey hospital in
Merseyside, where thousands of body parts were secretly
Source:- The Independent Saturday 13 March page 21
Wicked’ wife, jailed for killing

An 81-year-old woman has been jailed for two years for killing her
war hero husband.
Plymouth crown court was told Audrey Hingston had at first
attributed the murder to two burglars she claimed had broken into
their flat at Plympton, Devon, in August last year. When forensic
examinations disproved this she then claimed to have made up a
story to hide the fact that her husband had committed
The crown accepted her plea of manslaughter due to diminished
responsibility following psychiatric reports saying that she was
suffering from depression at the time. She became increasingly
depressed after nursing her husband through lung, prostrate and hip
Source:- The Independent Saturday 13 March page 23
School head admits failing to vet Huntley
The headmaster of the Soham school where Ian Huntley was given a
job has admitted that he failed to check any of the
murderer’s references.
Howard Gilbert, principal at Soham Village College, admitted
breaching government regulations in his failure to follow up
references. They were checked only after Huntley’s arrest for
the murder of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.
Last December, Gilbert said that the school had done
“everything we had to do” during the application
Source:- The Independent Saturday 13 March page 25
More than 25,000 immigrants were allowed into Britain following a
secret decision by officials to drop background checks.
In a written statement, minister Beverley Hughes said 26,000
sell-employed east-Europeans had applied to stay in Britain since
the policy started last September.
More than 25,000 applications were quickly rubber-stamped by
officials without any proper checks, with fewer than 800
The figure is much higher than the Home Office had previously
suggested. Earlier this week, sources had claimed officials had
been trying to clear a backlog of just 7,000 applications.
Source:- The Daily Mail Saturday 13 March page 8
Drug safety agency accused of cover-up
The chief executive of the mental health charity Mind has resigned
from a high profile review of modern anti-depressant drugs.
Richard Brook, who was a lay member of the expert working group on
the class of anti-depressants which includes Seroxat and Prozac,
has accused the British medicines regulatory body of
His resignation was in protest at what he considered a cover-up by
the regulators, after months of pressure on him not to reveal the
review’s findings that Seroxat has for years been prescribed
by doctors in an unsafe dose, and that the regulators had the
evidence in their possession for more than 10 years.
Source:- The Guardian Saturday 13 March page 1
School to pay for excluding boy, four
A school has been ordered to pay damages of £300 to the mother
of a four-year-old boy who was excluded for twice striking a
teacher with a toy.
The judge found that that Verwood First pre-school in Dorset had
broken a contract by not consulting sufficiently with the
boy’s parents.
The boy suffers from Aspergers-type communication problems. His
mother took the pre-school to court after being told of her
son’s exclusion in a note pushed through her door.
A contract had been drawn up stating that, should the child show
aggression, school representatives and the mother would discuss his
Source: The Daily Telegraph Saturday 13 March page 9
You’ll be lucky to reach 60 here. But it’s not the Third World,
it’s east Glasgow
Shettleston’s diet of chips, fags and booze means that life
expectancy is actually falling in one of the most deprived parts of
the UK
Source:- The Observer Sunday 14 March page 14
Women prisoners moved to tackle packed jails

In an attempt to stem the prison overcrowding that threatens to
throw the penal system into turmoil, two women’s prisons are being
converted into prisons for men.
Women are set to be moved from Winchester in Hampshire and Edmunds
Hill in Suffolk as the prison population rose above 75,000 for the
first time ever this weekend.
Source:- The Observer Sunday 14 March page 17
Open door on migrants ‘was ordered by top Home Office

The secret policy of waiving checks on thousands of Eastern
European immigrants was decided on by senior Home Office mandarins
in London, the civil servant at the centre of the row claimed last
Steve Moxon said that colleagues had told him how a high-ranking
civil servant based at the headquarters of the Immigration and
Nationality Directorate (IND) had decided on the policy.
However, Immigration minister Beverly Hughes says that the regional
staff at a branch office in Sheffield made the decision.
Source:- The Mail on Sunday 14 March page 11
I felt sick as the lesbians boasted how they force-fed
their foster girls washing-up liquid…I knew then that I had
to expose them

Neighbour who befriended gay couple to reveal their cruelty tells
how, even after she compiled a damming file, she ran into a wall of
political correctness.
Source:- The Mail on Sunday 14 March page 22
Minister mislead Commons on immigration
Immigration minister Beverly Hughes is facing fresh criticism that
the policy of fast-tracking “self-employed” Eastern European
migrants also applied to thousands of other including those wanting
to marry or study in Britain.
Hughes said that the waiving of checks for the “self-employed” was
a one off failure by a small number of civil servants.
However, two emails from officials involved in the work show that
an estimated 15,000 immigrants are being allowed into the country
by taking part in sham marriages. This is ten times the declared
Another email reveals that checks on migrant students, who are
applying for courses at bogus British colleges, have also been
Source:- The Sunday Times 14 March page 1
Irvine will attack new asylum bill
Lord Irvine, the former Lord Chancellor, will attack the home
secretary’s bill removing asylum seekers rights to appeal
Irvine will speak at the second reading of the asylum bill in the
House of Lords today.
Source:- The Sunday Telegraph 14 March page 3
‘Pay female addicts not to have children’
A leading academic has called for female drug addicts to be paid to
take contraception to stop them having children.
Neil McKeganey, a professor of drug misuse research at Glasgow
University, said the move would prevent unwanted pregnancies and
reduce child abuse.
He also said that parents who are drug addicts should be given a
year to try and get off drugs or face having their children put up
for adoption.
Source:- The Sunday Telegraph 14 March page 5
Do not resuscitate – and don’t bother consulting the

After five years, Carol Glass has won a ruling that she should have
been consulted about her son’s treatment
Source:- The Sunday Telegraph 14 March page 23
Brown backs low-cost housing
Chancellor Gordon Brown will use Wednesday’s budget to
promote an expansion of affordable housing after a
Treasury-sponsored report confirms that up to £1.5 billion
needs to be spent each year to double the number of low-cost houses
being built.
The study by Kate Barker into the supply of housing in the UK, due
to be published on budget day, has found that the lack of decent
homes for low-income families is exacerbating crime, drug abuse,
poor health and educational underachievement.
Source: The Guardian Monday 15 March page 2
Teenagers to help tackle under-age drinking
Undercover squads of teenagers are to be sent into pubs, clubs and
supermarkets to identify those selling alcohol to under-age
After a four-year review of policy, the government will publish a
national alcohol strategy to combat an epidemic of binge drinking
costing the £20 billion a year.
The home office minister Hazel Blears, will call on the drinks
industry to clean up its act by halting “irresponsible
promotions” such as happy hours when prices are cut.
Manufacturers will be told that they face a statutory clampdown if
they do not reform voluntarily.
Source: The Guardian Monday 15 March page 10
Ministers to drop plans limiting asylum seekers’ right to

Ministers are to drop plans to remove asylum seekers right to
appeal in court after a stream of strong criticism from the
Lord Falconer is expected to abandon the clause in a debate in the
House of Lords today.
He said that a streamlined appeal process needed to be been
overseen by the courts yesterday.
Source:- The Financial Times Monday 15 March page 2
Autism fears over NHS whooping cough jab
A jab used to protect children from whooping cough, diphtheria and
tetanus may make them six-times more susceptible to autism,
scientists warned yesterday.
The concerns are over thiomersal, a mercury-based substance used as
a preservative in the vaccine.
The jab has already been phased out in America and much of the
developed world.
Source:- The Daily Mail Monday 15 March page 41
Scottish newspapers
Electronic tagging plan for rape and murder suspects

Suspects accused of rape or murder could be electronically tagged
as a condition of bail, under Scottish executive proposals.
Ministers claim offering judges and sheriffs the option of tagging
those charged with serious crimes would enhance public
Under current arrangements, accused persons are either remanded in
custody if they are deemed to be a public threat or bailed with an
accompanying set of conditions.
Source:- The Scotsman Saturday 13 March
Capital is hit by social work staffing

Child protection specialists in Edinburgh’s social work
department have to deal with almost two thirds more cases than
recommended in the wake of the death of Victoria Climbie.
The city care workers have to deal with an average of 21 vulnerable
children each, when the work level established as good practice
following the Climbie tragedy was just 13.
A report to go before councillors next week reveals that 553
children either legally required to be allocated a social worker or
assessed as needing one, have not been.
Source:- Evening News Saturday 13 March
MMR jabs for teens in mumps

More than 100,000 young Scots are being urged to get the triple MMR
vaccination to protect themselves from an outbreak of mumps
sweeping the country.
So far this year, there have been 400 cases in the Greater Glasgow
Health Board area, making it the worse outbreak for 20 years.
Source:- Scotland on Sunday 14 March
Police bid to keep sex pest suspects’

Thousands of potential sex offenders would have their DNA stored on
a national register, even if they have not been convicted of a
crime, under proposals by Scotland’s most senior police
officer in the field.
Thousands of potential sex pests are escaping having their genetic
details registered with the police because of a number of legal
loopholes, according to Ian Gordon, who handles DNA issues for the
Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland.
Justice minister Cathy Jamieson is said to be taking Gordon’s
proposals “very seriously”.
Source:- Scotland on Sunday 14 March
4,000 crimes committed on bail
A government study to be published this week will reveal that one
quarter of people released on bail in Scotland commits a crime
while awaiting trial.
The group was responsible for around 4,000 crimes in the country
last year, according to the report commissioned by justice minister
Cathy Jamieson.
Source:- Scotland on Sunday 14 March
Plan to give drug addicts contraceptives
Ministers are considering plans to give female drug addicts
long-term contraception.
The Scottish executive has said it is examining plans which would
see drug users given long-lasting contraceptives such as injections
and coils to prevent them having unwanted pregnancies.
Source:- Scotland on Sunday 14 march
City is UK capital for refugees
More asylum seekers live in Glasgow than in Wales,
Northern Ireland and the east and south-west of England put
together, according to government statistics.
Around 5,565 refugees also live in Glasgow, which is home to more
than twice as many asylum seekers per head of population than
London, according to Home Office figures.
The figures have prompted calls for other Scottish councils to play
their part in easing the pressure on Glasgow and the west of
Scotland, where more asylum seekers live than in any other region
of the UK.
Source:- The Scotsman Monday 15 March
Crime threat if GPs quit addicts scheme
Thousands of heroin addicts across Scotland could be left without
methadone treatment when new GP contracts are introduced next
month, which could create an upsurge in crime by users stealing to
fund their habit.
Senior health sources have warned that addicts denied their
prescription for the heroin substitute will turn to crime to feed
their dependency.
The contracts, which come into force in April, will allow GPs to
opt out of providing methadone programmes.
Source:- The Scotsman Monday 15 March
Disability laws threaten venues
Disability laws could force venues at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
out of action.
The third stage of the Disability Discrimination Act, which becomes
law in October, demands that all physical barriers for disabled
people in public buildings are removed.
The fringe faces a dilemma because many venues are theatres for
just three weeks and the laws could render six of the venues
Source:- The Scotsman  Monday 15 March
Welsh newspapers
‘Shameless’ young Welsh women shun drink

Increasing numbers of young Welsh women are ignoring advice on the
dangers of binge drinking, according to a new TV documentary.
The programme looks at a range of women, from students to
professional women, and focuses on their drinking habits.
Dewi Owen, of the Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs, said
that the old stigma associated with women drinking heavily no
longer existed, and that women do not now feel guilty about getting
Source:- Western Mail Monday 15 March page 1
Silver surfers at home on the web
Older people are proving that the internet is not just the domain
of the young.
A group of older people have set up Wales’ first internet
café in a residential home and daycare centre at Ty
Waunarlwydd, Swansea.
Favourite activities include keeping in touch with family and
friends and the café is soon to be linked with a web cam so
that residents can share major events like weddings and
Source:- Western Mail Monday 15 March page 9

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