Friday 23 April 2004

By Saly Gillen, Lauren Revans, and Alex

Courts face chaos as QCs revolt
A refusal by barristers to sign up to a new legal aid payments
scheme could see judges forced to release defendants accused of the
most serious murders and terrorist offences and put their trials on
The new fee structure, which imposes cuts on barristers’ fees
of up to 50 per cent in some cases, means that solicitors cannot
find defence counsel to represent their clients in the most serious
and complex cases.
Source:- The Guardian, Friday 23 April, page 1
Plan to extend flexible working to cover care for the elderly
The right to flexible working is to be extended from parents of
young children to five million carers looking after elderly or
infirm relatives or friends.
Prime Minister Tony Blair, who has been under pressure to do more
to help those struggling to balance work and home responsibilities,
will confirm the plans today.
Source:- The Guardian, Friday 23 April, page 5
Childminder ‘killed baby in frustration’
A childminder charged with manslaughter and assault causing actual
bodily harm shook a baby in her care when he would not feed,
Liverpool crown court heard yesterday.
Rebecca Wilson, who denies the charges, phoned for an ambulance on
January 8 2003 complaining that five-month old Anil Joshi had
“gone floppy”. He was taken to hospital but died of a
brain haemorrhage three days later.
Source:- The Guardian, Friday 23 April, page 6
Blunkett targets sham marriages and bogus courses
Home secretary David Blunkett has promised new measures to tackle
those who use sham marriages and bogus language schools to evade
immigration laws.
Blunkett, who made the announcement after the second
“immigration summit” since the resignation of Home
Office minister Beverley Hughes, said he would also review industry
quotas in areas such as agriculture for new migrants from the
eastern European countries that will join the EU on May 1.
Source:- The Guardian, Friday 23 April, page 6
Jailed teenager died after being restrained
A 15-year old boy who died on Monday night at Rainsbrook secure
training centre in Northamptonshire was being restrained by three
adult members of staff.
Gareth Myatt, from Stoke on Trent, had only arrived at the centre,
run by Group 4, to start his 12-month sentence four days
Northamptonshire police have launched a full-scale investigation
into how Myatt “lost consciousness” following “an
incident” at the centre.
Source:- The Guardian, Friday 23 April, page 7
Mother says she killed third child
A woman convicted in 1995 of killing two of her children pleaded
guilty at Newcastle crown court yesterday of killing a third child
15 years ago.
While serving a life sentence for the murder of her 19-month-old
daughter and five-month-old son, Maxine Robinson, from County
Durham, confessed to murdering her first child, Victoria Cope, in
1989. Victoria’s death had previously been thought to be a
cot death.
Source:- The Guardian, Friday 23 April, page 8
Disparity over jobs grows
Black and Asian Britons are two and a half times more likely to be
unemployed than their white counterparts, compared with twice as
likely ten years ago.
The survey by the Trades Union Congress also finds that second
generation ethnic minorities are more likely to be out of work than
their parents.
Source:- The Guardian, Friday 23 April, page 8
Blunkett going ahead on ID cards
Home secretary David Blunkett will go ahead with plans for ID cards
despite opposition from his colleagues in the Cabinet.
He said yesterday that legislation providing for the phased
introduction of the cards would be published very shortly.
Blunkett brushed aside worries over the technology needed to set
the system up, promising it would not become a
Source:- Daily Mail, Friday 23 April, page 4
Did drug firms cover up the peril of pills to children
Drug companies may have suppressed evidence that many
antidepressants are unsuitable for children or dangerous for
Researchers from the National Collaborating Centre for Mental
Health, who were compiling NHS prescribing for doctors, said there
were unpublished trials that had shown only Prozac has benefits for
Tim Kendall, one of the researchers, said the negative study may
have been deliberately withheld.
Source:- Daily Mail, Friday 23 April, page 16
Woman, 74, dies in police custody
An inquiry has been launched into the death of a pensioner in
police custody.
Joyce Reid, 74, was arrested on Friday for a minor offence at her
sheltered housing accommodation in Torpoint, Cornwall.
Source:- The Independent, Friday 23 April, page 4
Scottish newspapers
Man in court on internet rape charge
A man will appear in court today charged with raping and indecently
assaulting a teenager he met in an internet chatroom.
The 57-year-old, from Pontypool in Wales, is accused of befriending
the 17-year-old before attacking her.
Source:- The Scotsman, Friday 23 April
Fears over the future of child hearings
Ministers have been urged not to undermine Scotland’s
children’s hearings system as they launched a major
There are fears that the Scottish executive’s drive to cut
youth crime may mean children’s panels will have a reduced
SNP justice spokeswoman Nicola Sturgeon said: “My concern is
this is going to be another step in undermining the system and
replacing the ethos of the children’s hearings with a much
more punitive approach.”
There were calls for more resources, including extra social
workers, to tackle the increasing pressures on the system.
Source:- The Evening News, Thursday 22 April
Hunger-strike asylum seekers to be evicted
Campaigners are appealing to Glasgow Council to stop the evictions
of three asylum seekers who stitched up their mouths and went on a
month-long hunger strike.

They are urging the local authority to reconsider the evictions,
arguing that they will be forced onto the streets.
The council has been forced to follow Home Office instructions
which state that the men, all in their early 30s, must lose their
council-funded homes because their asylum applications have been
Source:- The Herald, Friday 23 April
Welsh newspapers
Teen cancer patients get special cancer unit
Teenagers and young people with cancer are to get their own
specialist treatment centre.
More than 500 patients a year will be cared for in the planned
£2 million unit that is to be built at Cardiff’s
University Hospital of Wales.
At present, many young cancer sufferers in south Wales in the age
group 14 to 23, have to use facilities at cancer units that are
designed for children or older people.
Source:- South Wales Echo Thursday 22 April page 14
Children’s curfew decision deferred
Councillors in Presteigne have deferred a decision on whether to
introduce a curfew that would see young people kept off the streets
at night.
Young people in the town have been accused of anti-social
behaviour, and the council has responded by considering invoking a
200-year-old by-law to ban children from the streets after dark. A
decision on the curfew is now due next month.
Source:- Western Mail Friday 23 April page 6
Children’s champion wasn’t consulted on undermining
The children’s commissioner for Wales has told the Welsh
affairs committee that he was not consulted by children’s
minister, Margaret Hodge before plans were drawn up to create an
English counterpart.
Clarke told the committee that plans to create an English
commissioner, who would have powers over key non-devolved areas in
Wales like the probation service, would undermine his role and
cause confusion.
Source:- Western Mail Friday 23 April page 8

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