Monday 28 June 2004

By Alex Dobson, Amy Taylor, Shirley Kumar and Sally
Gillen

Blunkett backs down on aid for asylum seekers

Campaigners reached a significant victory when Home
Secretary David Blunkett backed down on his policy of denying basic
food and shelter to asylum seekers who fail to lodge their claim
for refugee status as soon as they arrive in Britain.

The Refugee Council had challenged the section 55 policy as it is
known through the courts. Around 10,000 asylum seekers were state
support because they failed to claim asylum as soon as
practicable.

Source:- The Guardian, June 26, page 4

Climbié Council receives fresh criticism over
toddler’s scalding

The council that bore most of the blame for not preventing the
death of Victoria Climbié has shown similar lapses in a case
involving the recent scalding of a two-year-old.

Haringey council in North London dealt with the boy’s
mother’s mental health problems but failed to alert
colleagues to the child protection issues they might raise.

An inquiry by the area child protection committee found poor record
keeping and lack of communication between the council’s
social service department, GPs, health visitors and police.

Source:-  The Guardian, June 26, page 8
 

Welfare state to cater for under-5s

Labour plans to increase child care options, make the provision of
nursery places more flexible and concentrate more resources on
helping families with young children in poor areas.

The policies are highlighted in the delayed five-year plan for
education to be announced within weeks.
Extra spending on the under-fives will be a key theme in Gordon
Brown’s departmental spending review.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph, June 26, page 1

Couple arrested as sick babies found in squalor

Police found twin one-year-old boys suffering from severe
malnutrition in their neat homes.

The police were called to the home by the emergency services when
one of the parents phoned for an ambulance for one of the boys
saying he had gone limp.

The brothers were taken to Sheffield Children’s Hospital with
three other children a boy of three and two girls aged four and
seven whose conditions were stable.

A man and woman in their 20s are in police custody.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph, June 26, page 7

Women in doomed abuse case sue lawyer

Women whose allegations of rape and sexual abuse by a disgraced
gynaecologist were thrown out of court because of a legal debacle
are to receive cash help from the Law Society to sue their former
lawyer.

Lawyer Jane Loveday, whose practice has since gone into
liquidation, picked up £444,000 in legal fees for pursuing the
sexual assault claims for two years.

More than a dozen of her clients have been hit with legal bills up
to £15,000.

A High Court judge criticised the case saying Loveday exaggerated
client’s statements and in one case altered an allegation of
sexual assault into one of rape.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph, June 26, page 13

Charities ‘failing to give detailed
accounts’

Top charities have come under fire for failing to explain their
expenditure activities.

The Transparency and Accountability study scrutinises 200 leading
voluntary sector organisations with a combined annual expenditure
of £7 bn. It is to cast the spotlight on those failing to give
enough information on their annual reports.

Source:- Financial Times, June 26, page 2

Prosecute me, says GP who helped euthanasia
patients

A retired GP arrested on suspicion of helping a terminally ill
friend to kill himself has advised at least five others to travel
to the Swiss euthanasia clinic Dignitas.

Dr Michael Irwin has challenged the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)
to prosecute him. He said he is willing to face jail for 14 years
in order to test the law on euthanasia in Britain.

Source:- The Independent, June 26, page 20

Immigrant children make learning a richer experience for
all, study shows

Researchers examining the effects of migrant pupils at East Oxford
primary school found pupils with different languages and culture
enrich the classroom.

Around 75 per cent of pupils at the school were from ethnic
minority backgrounds.

The study by Compas, funded by the Economic and Social Research
Council, also looked at pupils in Larkrise and SS Mary and John
School also in East Oxford.

Source:- The Independent, June 26, page 23

Parents accuse Foreign Office of failing to rescue
stolen children

The Foreign Office has set up a child abduction unit because of
recent research showing nearly 400 British children are illegally
taken abroad by a parent.

The number of children taken by a parent to countries which flout
international child custody laws has risen 93 per cent since
1995.

And the number of mothers breaking the is law also on the rise. The
two figures have prompted The Foreign Office to set up a child
abduction unit.

But campaigners accuse the Government of not doing enough. Most
parents are dependent on the host country obeying rules on child
abduction as laid out by Hague Convention.

Source:- The Times, June 26, page 10

Change in UK diets ‘could trigger mental health
crisis’

Scientists are considering whether food should be fortified with
fatty acids in order to prevent a dramatic increase in mental
health problems it was revealed yesterday.

Medical experts said that an increase could be caused by changes in
farming and food over the past two decades that mean that have led
to deficiencies in omega-3 fatty acids.

Source:- The Independent on Sunday, Sunday, 27 June, page
4

Tories will banish unruly pupils to ‘tough’
day units

Unruly pupils will be sent to new day units and teachers will be
able to expel them with no appeals process, under proposals due to
be put forward by the Conservatives this week.

Expelled youngsters will be sent to pupil referral units outside
school and be taught for a full school day. Some referral units
already exist but they are normally based on school sites and
pupils only attend for a few hours.

Source:- The Sunday Telegraph, Sunday, 27 June, page
2

Scandal of 25,000 empty asylum homes

Taxpayer’s money is being used to keep 25,000 homes empty for
an expected wave of asylum seekers that never materialised,
according to a confidential Downing Street memo.

Prime minister Tony Blair questioned home secretary David Blunkett
on the issue at a recent Downing Street meeting on asylum.

The homes are empty due to the number of asylum seekers being
halved in the past 18 months. They cost more than £100m a
year.

Source:- The Sunday Times, 27 June, page 1

Foster father in Billie-Jo murder appeal names new
suspect

A man accused of killing his 13-year-old foster daughter is
launching a new appeal against his conviction this week.

Sion Jenkins’ appeal argument will state that the key suspect
in the murder of Billie-Jo Jenkins, is a mentally ill man who was
sited in the vicinity by several witnesses.

Source:- The Sunday Times, 27 June, page 11

Soham father’s plea rejected by
Blunkett

Home Secretary David Blunkett will press ahead with legal action to
remove Humberside Chief executive David Westwood despite pleas from
the father of Holly Wells.

Kevin Wells defended Westwood saying he shouldn’t be singled
out after the Bichard inquiry into the murders of Jessica Chapman
and Holly Wells by Ian Huntley, was found to be the result of a
series of police blunders.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph, June 28, page 2

Crime pays for drug users desperate for access to
treatment

Drug users are committing crimes in order to get access to drug
treatment in areas of Britain where drug treatment services are
poor, according to new research.

The study, by the social care charity Turning Point, found that
almost a third of drug-using offenders from such areas said that
they had offended to get help.

Source:- The Guardian, Monday, 28 June, page 6

OFT to investigate care home charges

An inquiry into the way care homes charge elderly residents for
their services is set to be launched by the Office of Fair
Trading.

It is a response to the Consumers’ Association warning that
many residents were getting a bad deal from care home operators who
don’t give families reliable information.

However, the inquiry will not look at the association’s
largest complaint which was that private care home residents were
often made to pay up to £100 a week extra to make up for
inadequate local authority funding.

Source:- The Financial Times, Monday, 28 June, page
4

Prison officers ignore drug abusers in
‘dirtiest’ jail

Prison officers are ignoring drug dealing and drug abuse in an
overcrowded jail, according to a new report.

The Independent Monitoring Board calls for urgent action to tackle
the problems at the Mount jail near Hemel Hempstead,
Hertfordshire.

It also found that increasing numbers of prisoners were using drugs
and that staff were having difficulty dealing with mentally ill
prisoners who are disruptive.

Source: The Independent, Monday, 28 June, page 18

Scottish newspapers

Parents let five kids live in filth

Five children were left to starve in squalor while their well-fed
parents watched DVDs in a neat living room. One of the children was
fighting for life with chronic malnutrition.

The parents called an ambulance for one of the children and are now
facing child cruelty charges. Walls and floors around the house
were covered in human waste. An investigation is now underway by
Sheffield social services.

Source: Daily Record, page 11, 26 June 2004

Child porn cops arrest art teacher

A teacher faces trail after police raided his school and home in a
worldwide internet paedophile hunt.

Detectives sealed off the art department of Gerard Gray’s
School and seized computers. Gray, 50, was suspended on full pay
and made a first appearance at Paisley Sheriff Court, where he
pleaded not guilty.

Source: Sunday Mail, 27 June 2004

Huntley rap for Blunkett

Home secretary David Blunkett should take some blame over
the failure to keep records on Soham murderer Ian Huntley, a chief
constable said yesterday.

North Wales police chief Richard Brunstorm said the Bichard inquiry
highlighted the Humberside force’s failure but criticised the
Home Office’s ‘lack of leadership’.

Source: Sunday Mail 27 June 2004

OAP invited killers to watch game

A Scots pensioner was stabbed and strangled to death at
his sheltered flat in Lancashire, as he watched Euro 2004.

Police believe James Fleming, 70, must have invited the killers in
to watch the match on Thursday night. Police in Fleetwood,

Lancashire, want to trace two men seen at the Warrenhurst housing
complex. Thirty detectives are working to track down his
killers.

Source: Daily Record, page 7, 28 June 2004

Dead tot inquiry

Police are investigating the death of a 10-month-old boy,
who died in the care of deaf and mute father. The death happened in
Whiteinch, Glasgow, a fortnight ago and it is feared the infant may
have been a victim of shaken baby syndrome.

Source: Daily Record, page 28, June 2004

Anguish as Blind Oaps’ Home Shuts

Scotland’s only residential home for elderly deaf and
blind people is to close.

Residents and their families say they are devastated at the
decision to shut Craigholme in Bearsden, near Glasgow. The closure
was blamed on high running costs and the dwindling number of people
being referred.

Source: Daily Record, page 23, 28 June 2004

Welsh newspapers

Doctors demand end to discrimination in careers

Doctors are calling for a zero-tolerance approach to
discrimination which they say blights many careers.

They said the widespread discrimination that includes sexism,
racism and homophobia comes from patients, employers and health
professionals.

The chairman of the British Medical Association’s equal
opportunities committee, Dr George Rae speaking at the BMA’s
annual conference in Llandudno, said that such discrimination was
no longer acceptable.

Source: Western Mail Monday 28 June page 1

Race body demands explanation from Labour about anti-Gypsy
leaflet

Race equality leaders have demanded an explanation from Welsh
Labour over a campaign leaflet that has been branded
shocking.

The leaflet distributed in the Llanedeyrn and Pentwyn wards urges
people not to vote for the liberal democrats because of their
support for a permanent traveller site in Cardiff.

Source: Western Mail, Monday 28 June page 2

Wait on lists is ‘unacceptable’

The British Medical Association is calling on the Welsh
Assembly to take action to cut waiting lists in Wales.

The BMA says that the waiting lists which are twice as long as
those in England are partly the result of under-funding and
bureaucracy.

Source: Western Mail, Monday 28 June page 5

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