Monday 20th December 2004

By Shirley Kumar, Maria Ahmed and Derren

Harsher penalties for drug offences

The government is to force drug addicts into treatment as well as
introducing tougher sentences to punish dealers as part of the new
drugs bill.

Under the proposals, police will be able to test suspects for Class
A drugs such as heroin and cocaine before they have been

Source:- The Financial Times Saturday December 18 2004
page 5

Mother jailed over ‘home-alone’ children

A mother was jailed for six months after admitting she left her two
children, aged 12 and six, at home on their own in Birmingham while
she went on holiday with her boyfriend.

Source:- The Independent Saturday 18 December 2004 page

Teenage vandals stab man to death

A man was stabbed to death after an argument with a gang of youths
who vandalised his front door.

The man, who has not been named, was attacked while chasing the
vandals from his home on a Brixton estate in south London.

Source:- The Independent Saturday 18 December 2004 page

Latvian father of four critically ill after raciest
stabbing by gang of 20 teenagers

A Latvian father of four is on a life support machine after being
attacked by a gang of up to 20 teenagers.

Sergejs Pacejs was stabbed in the head with a screwdriver two weeks
ago in Manchester. Police believe he was targeted because he was
overheard speaking Russian.

Source:- The Independent Saturday 18 December 2004 page

Couple deny killing ‘zombie’ adoptee

A husband admitted calling a three-year-old boy whom he and his
wife had hoped to adopt a “vegetable” and a
“zombie,” when he could not cope with the child’s

Ian Gray and his wife Angela of Halesowen in the West Midlands are
accused of murdering Christian Blewitt because he failed to meet
their expectations.

The couple deny the charges of murder or manslaughter and child
cruelty. The case continues at Worcester Crown Court.

Source:- The Guardian Saturday 18 December 2004 page

Inquiry lifts lid on racism at Feltham

Prison officers showed high levels of racist abuse and
discrimination following the racist murder of Zahid Mubarek at
Feltham young offender institution.

Previously confidential documents, released to Mubarek’s
inquiry in central London, revealed ethnic minorities were
stereotyped as “violent and aggressive,” and made up
nearly 80 per cent of those in the segregation unit despite only
accounting for half the population.

Source:- The Guardian Saturday 18 December 2004 page

Maxine Carr to seek lifetime anonymity

The former girlfriend of Soham murderer Ian Huntley is to apply for
an order next year banning all reporting of her new life.

High Court judge Justice Eady will decide whether Maxine Carr
should be given complete anonymity, in a two-day hearing in

Source:- The Times Saturday 18 December 2004 page 7

Millions face cut in winter fuel payouts

The government has refused to rule out major cutbacks to winter
fuel payments for millions of pensioners after the election.

On current spending plans, it is believed, the winter fuel budget
will drop by nearly £1 billion in the first full year after
the general election expected in May.

This means payments as high as £300 for the oldest pensioners
would collapse to a flat rate of £150 in two years.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Saturday 18 December 2004
page 1

Gipsy site plans rejected

A gipsy family has had an application for planning permission on a
site turned down after they had already built septic tanks and a
temporary road.

The group appeared overnight in North Curry, Somerset, but Taunton
Deane Council has served notices requiring them to restore the land
to its former state.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Saturday 18 December 2004
page 10

Boy accused of trying to murder nine-month-old baby with a

An 11-year-old boy has appeared before magistrates court
in Grimsby to face a count of attempted murder. The baby was found
bleeding from an abdominal injury caused by a kitchen knife at a
house in Immingham, north east Lincolnshire, last Wednesday

The boy was remanded into local authority care to face a youth
court this week.

Source:- The Observer Sunday 19 December 2004 page 5

Severely disabled, mentally ill: little by little, the
truth about Broadmoor ‘terrorist’ emerges

A north African man known as ‘P’ is in a mental ward in
Broadmoor secure hospital, one of four men arrested as suspect
terrorists since September 11 who have suffered a severe mental

Source:- The Independent on Sunday Sunday 19 December 2004
page 4

Sikhs storm theatre to demand closure of play that
‘violates’ their sacred place

More than 400 Sikhs from all over Britain held demonstrations
outside Birmingham Repertory Theatre protesting against the play
Behzti that depicts sexual abuse and murder in a Sikh temple.

The author of the play, Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti, a Sikh woman, has
condemned the protests and warned against “blatant

Source:- The Independent Monday 20 December 2004 page

Scottish news

Volunteering in crisis over new safety checks

Volunteers with groups working with children are leaving the field
because tougher new background checks are overly bureacratic and
draconian, experts say.

People are leaving because under new anti-paedophile legislation
which comes in from January they will have to send off personal
documents to facilitate checks.

Source:- Sunday Herald Sunday 19 December

Europe’s changing…but does the face of Islam

Angus Roxburgh examines whether the continent is open to all after
Turkey was given the go-ahead to negotiate joining the EU. It has
led to some to argue that soon Europe will have a Muslim majority,
with a large number of asylum seekers being Muslim.

Source:- Scotland on Sunday Sunday 19 December

Festive pressure threatens to overload NHS 24

NHS 24 has admitted it will be relying on hospitals and GPs to help
handle its workload if the telephone health advice service comes
under too much pressure at Christmas.

NHS24’s associate medical director said if the network was
overloaded it would route calls to doctors’ surgeries and
hospitals, even though that will add to the burden on medical
professionals it was set up to assist.

Source:- Scotland on Sunday Sunday 19 December

Community health staff ‘failed by bill’

The Emergency Workers Bill is failing to protect healthcare staff
adequately from attacks, doctors, nurses and midwives’
representatives said this week. The groups are calling for an
amendment to the bill to address its “significant anomalies”.

Source:- The Scotsman Monday 20 December

Fish fights dementia

Scottish researchers have discovered that people who eat
more oily fish or fish oil supplements are less likely to suffer
from dementia or early signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers from Aberdeen and Edinburgh universities found
omega three oils slow the brain’s aging process by two

Source:- Daily Record Monday 20 December


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