Tuesday 23 March 2004

By Natasha Salari, Amy Taylor, Clare Jerrom and Alex

Children’s author ‘raped girl fan and molested seven

A children’s author is alleged to have raped one girl and sexually
abused seven others, Teesside crown court heard yesterday.
William Mayne’s victims were aged from 8-16 and he met many of them
through his writing.
Mayne, aged 76, wrote the trilogy Earthfasts, Cradlefasts and
He is alleged to have assaulted the girls over a 15-year period. He
denies the charges.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph Tuesday 23 March page 6
Government will track ID card use
The pattern of use of identity cards will be logged and kept on a
central computer to allow abuses to be investigated, a senior Home
Office official has indicated.
Stephen Harrison, the head of the Home Office’s identity card
policy, said there were also plans to introduce mobile electronic
fingerprint and eye scan units to allow older and infirm people in
rural areas to register for identity cards without travelling long
The details of the proposed national identity card scheme emerged
in advance of the publication of the draft legislation setting out
how the scheme will operate.
Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 23 March page 6
Ministers step up home loan scheme
The government will expand its scheme for housing aid for key
public sector workers in the south east.
Deputy prime minister John Prescott and health secretary John Reid
will extend the £230 million starter homes initiative fund
launched three years ago. The loans help key public sector workers
to get onto the housing ladder, but will no longer be limited to
first-time buyers.
The current scheme gives priority assistance for teachers, police,
nurses and other essential health workers, but these groups are
likely to be extended.
Source: The Guardian Tuesday 23 March page 6
UN refugees arrive in Britain
The first of 500 refugees to be offered protection in
Britain under a new scheme run by the United Nations and the Home
Office arrived yesterday.
The 19 refugees, who have been living in camps in Guinea, include
some who fled Liberia during the 1989 civil war after surviving
torture, rape and the murder of family members.
It is expected that about 500 refugees a year will come to Britain
under the scheme.
Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 23 March page 10
£100m more for research
An extra £100 million is to be ploughed into medical research
into Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, diabetes and mental
Health secretary John Reid has told MPs that this would bring
government spending in the field to £1.2 billion. The NHS will
get an extra £25 million a year above inflation for four years
as well as extra funds expected to be made available by the Medical
Research Council.
The extra funding would also be used to help three paediatric
research centres to speed up the development of drugs for
Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 23 March page 10
Judge criticises delay tactics by refugees
A top judge echoed David Blunkett’s concerns over asylum seekers
stringing out their claims with numerous legal challenges.
Mr Justice Collins criticised asylum seekers’ “unfortunate habit”
of launching high numbers of court applications, which he said was
often an attempt to delay their removal.
Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 23 March page 11
Scottish newspapers
We won’t allow system to fail another child –

No child should ever die again because of structural failings in
services for vulnerable children, Jack McConnell pledged
The first minister unveiled a new framework of standards for
Scotland’s child protection system, and said reforms would
ensure young people were not let down by a lack of
Political opponents said the plans were “too vague”,
and said additional resources were needed to tackle the
Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 23 March
Labour split threatens social work overhaul
A radical overhaul of the city’s social work
department is hanging in the balance after three Labour councillors
joined a move to publicly condemn the plan.
Edinburgh’s Labour group remains deeply divided over the
controversial restructuring plan backed by city leader Donald
Anderson and local authority chief executive Tom Aitchison are
backing plans to scrap the social work department and replace it
with a new “children’s services” arm, which would
include functions ranging from education to child protection.
Source:- Evening News Monday 22 March
Peace hope in nursery strike
Edinburgh Council leaders claimed that they were hopeful of
agreeing a local pay deal with striking nursery nurses in a bid to
end the industrial action.
The city’s education chiefs said they would be willing to
offer “broadly similar” deals to those already agreed
by 11 local authorities in Scotland.
Source;- Evening News Monday 22 March
Shoppers stranded by wheelchair yobs
Older and disabled shoppers have been left stranded after youths
stole wheelchairs from a city shopping centre.
There is just one remaining wheelchair at the Sainsbury’s
store in Cameron Toll shopping centre after all the others were
The thefts have forced older people to abandon shopping trips after
finding they had no means to get round the store. The supermarket
has blamed the thefts on local youths.
Source:- Evening News Monday 22 March
Lightning strike against the fear of crime
The public’s perception of crime is so great that police
forces are to tackle it by comparing the chances of being a victim
to other likelihoods such as being struck by lightning.
Police forces plan to collate comparative figures about pubic
safety in Scotland to reduce the country’s fear of crime,
according to a report published by the police inspector.
Source:- The Herald Tuesday 23 March
Welsh newspapers
‘Don’t send me back to Kosovo’

A Kosovan teenager fears that his life will be in danger, if he
returns to his troubled homeland.
Edward Pone, aged 19, was ordered to return to Kosovo by the
Immigration Appellate Authority last summer, but immediately
appealed. He is due to hear the outcome of the appeal on 28 April,
but he said that he is concerned that Kosovo is on the brink of
civil war again, after troubled flared last week.
Source:- South Wales Argus Monday 22 March page 13
Priest is guilty of sex abuse charges
A priest who abused three schoolboys has been found guilty of seven
counts of indecent assault.
John Kinsey abused the children, while training to be a monk at
Belmont Abbey in Hereford. He is said to have groomed his victims
who are now in their thirties, and gave them gifts to maintain
their silence.
The offences occurred between 1986 and 1990, and the court was told
that in the past Kinsey had been treated at a clinic specialising
in sexual addiction.
Source:- South Wales Echo Monday 22 March page 6
At-risk children: more to be done
NHS bodies in Wales needs to do more to ensure that at-risk
children are given the care and protection they need, according to
a new report from the Commission for Health Improvement
The report, ‘Protecting Children and Young People’,
found that not all staff that came into contact with young people
were appropriately trained in child protection. It also found that
some organisations failed to vet temporary staff or volunteers with
the Criminal Records Bureau.
Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 23 March page 5

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