Monday 14 March 2005

By Maria Ahmed, Lauren Revans, Clare Jerrom, Amy Taylor
and Derren Hayes

Gangs cash in on disabled car badges

Disabled drivers are increasingly falling victim to the soaring
demand for their parking badges, with a record 6,000 stolen last
year, according to the Disabled Driver’s Association.

Source:- The Times Saturday 12 March 2005 page 13

Tormentors of drowned boy jailed for his

The father of a boy who drowned after being pushed off a bridge
said yesterday that the sentences imposed on two teenage bullies
were disgusting and insulting. After a two-week trial at
Bournemouth Crown Court the 17-year-olds were convicted of
manslaughter of

David Berry, 16. One of the boys, who denied the charge, was
detained for 18 months. His accomplice, who had pleaded guilty at a
hearing in November, was detained for eight months.

Source:- The Times Saturday 12 March 2005 page 27

Life for pizza killer

A 14-year-old boy was given a life sentence at the Old Bailey for
stabbing Noor Kasimi, a London pizza shop worker.

Source:- The Times Saturday 12 March 2005 page 27

Labour sees rise in public sector workers

The number of public sector workers has risen by more than 500,000
since Labour came to power in 1997, according to revised figures
from the Office of National Statistics, including the Probation
Service and housing associations.

Source:- The Financial Times Saturday 12 March 2005 page

Threat of biggest one-day strike since 1926

Ministers face a strike by more than one million government workers
three weeks before the expected official launch of the general
election campaign.

Source:- The Financial Times Saturday 12 March 2005 page

Councils hit back at shift on gypsies

Gypsies and travellers no longer have to be on the move in order to
claim rights as a minority group, the government has decided. The
new definition recognises that gypsies can stop travelling, either
permanently or temporarily. Local government leaders warn that the
definition will increase the numbers of people who can be
classified as a gypsy or traveller.

Source:- The Financial Times Saturday 12 March 2005 page

Life for abused boy who raped teacher

A 12-year-old boy who was raped as a child was detained for life
yesterday for raping a special needs teacher as she tried to help
him one-to-one sessions. The child with severe learning
difficulties will be held in secure accommodation for at least 21
months but was warned by a judge that he could face a much longer

Source:- The Guardian Saturday 12 March 2005 page 7

Anger as addict gets jail for Asbo breach

A fuel sniffer has been jailed for breaching an antisocial
behaviour order that banned him from petrol station forecourts in
north-east England.

Brian Taylor received the Asbo last month after he was caught on
CCTV slashing a fuel line at the Asda petrol station in South Bank,
Middlesbrough, inhaling the fumes and dancing around the

Source:- The Guardian Saturday 12 March 2005 page 9

Third of children in north-west live in poverty

Almost one in three children in the north-west of England living in
poverty, according to figures released yesterday. The latest
statistics from End Child Poverty coalition show that 450,000 of
the 1.5 million children in the region are living below the

Source:- The Guardian Saturday 12 March 2005 page 11

Body of baby in canal

The body of a two-week-old girl was pulled from a canal off
Longford river, Feltham, west London. A woman in her 30s is in

Source:- The Guardian Saturday 12 March 2005 page 13

143,000 ‘teachers’ are really dinner ladies and
town hall staff

New figures reveal that 143,000 would-be teachers are in fact
dinner ladies, school psychologists and town hall

The workers, now reclassified by the Office of National Statistics
as administration staff, had previously been counted by Labour as
part of its 1.45m-strong army of teachers and classroom

Source:- Daily Mail Saturday 12 March page 8

Gypsies are wising up to their ‘human

Local Government Association chair Sir Sandy
Bruce-Lockhart has warned that appeals against council decisions to
refuse planning permissions for gypsy and traveller encampments are
soaring – largely thanks to new human rights laws.

Source:- Daily Mail Saturday 12 March page 10

Eighty per cent of hospitals in the red despite extra

Hospital trusts have run up debts of almost £500 million
according to a survey by the Daily Mail.

The figure is despite spending on the NHS more than doubling from
£33bn to £69bn between 1997 and 2005.

Source:- Daily Mail Saturday 12 March page 20

Ethnic groups back clamp on migrants

A study by YouGov pollsters has revealed that 55 per cent of
non-white Britons favoured stricter controls on immigration.

The survey, commissioned by Channel 4 for its Immigration on Trial
programme, reveals that this figure rose to 71 per cent for
respondents of all backgrounds.

Source:- Daily Mail Saturday 12 March page 24

Children of the damned

It is the child sex case that shames a nation: 45 innocents sold
for abuse – many by their own parents. What sort of society
could have spawned such depravity?

Source:- Daily Mail Saturday 12 March page 39

Demonised by the media, travellers lead a lonely life on
the margins of society

Fury was heaped on gypsy encampments last week after
deputy prime minister John Prescott advised local authorities that
travellers and gypsies should be treated with the same cultural
sensitivity as other ethnic groups when making planning

Source:- The Independent Saturday 12 March page 11

MPs told how to deal with fears about encampments

The deputy prime minister’s office has issued Labour MPs with
a nine-point briefing note to answer criticism from the public over
gypsy planning rules after The Sun newspaper claimed John Prescott
had suspended laws for travellers.

Source:- The Independent Saturday 12 March page 11

How an angelic-looking child turned into a psychopathic
racist who murdered a cellmate

Four months’ of evidence in the inquiry into the death of
Zahid Mubarek at Feltham Young Offender Institution came to a close
yesterday. However, his killer Robert Stewart has remained 48 miles
away at Woodhill Prison throughout, serving life for the
19-year-old’s death.

Source:- The Independent Saturday 12 March page 24

The Saturday profile: Charles Clarke

Blair’s bruiser takes the punches

Source:- The Independent Saturday 12 March page 40

Child Trust Fund Providers to take candy from your

There are worrying signs that, with less than a month to go before
the government finally introduces Child Trust Funds, many families
may not get a good deal from the new scheme.

Source:- The Independent Saturday 12 March Save &
Spend page 3

Better time-off deal is cold comfort for new parents

Maternity leave reform is criticised for not going far enough

Source:- The Independent Saturday 12 March Save &
Spend page 4

Call for law to ban illegal gypsy camps

The leader of Kent Council and chair of the Local Government
Association has called on the government to introduce criminal
penalties to stop illegal sites being set up by gypsies.

Sir Sandy Bruce-Lockhart also proposed giving statutory powers to
councils to prevent utility companies from supplying illegal sites
with electricity, water and gas.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Saturday 12 March page
Double killing remand

A man appeared at Thames magistrates court over the killing of a
mother and her six-year-old daughter yesterday.

Mark Nicholas was charged with the murder of Nicole Batten and her
daughter Ukleigha Batten-Froggatt.

Source:- The Observer Sunday 13 March page 6

Alarm as postnatal depression soars

One in five women has postnatal depression during the weeks and
months after they give birth.

Experts have warned that the fact that many women only stay in
hospital for short periods afterwards is likely to be making the
problem worse.

Source:- The Observer Sunday 13 March page 12

Children as young as three should be told the truth about
their sperm-donor fathers

Children as young as three should be told that their fathers were
sperm donors or risk mental health problems when they are older,
according to new research.

The study carried out by university of Huddersfield and the Open
University will be presented to fertility experts at the Human
Fertilisation and Embryology Authority annual conference.

Source:- The Independent on Sunday Sunday 13 March page

Police cancel raid on migrants to ‘avoid embarrassing

The police held off from arresting 25 suspected illegal immigrants
at the last minute to stop the government from being embarrassed,
immigration sources have told the Mail on Sunday.

Police and officials from the immigration service identified the
group of Africans after their national insurance numbers did not
match they had given to a housing department.

Source:- The Mail on Sunday Sunday 13 March page 18

School sued by expelled boy’s parents over
‘libellous’ letter

Parents of an expelled pupil are planning to take libel action
against the school after a headmistress told them the reasons
behind the exclusion in a letter.

The parents claim Jill Judson, headmistress of Cherwell School,
Oxford’s comments are defamatory.

They say lawyers have told them that they have an “actionable

Source:- The Mail on Sunday Sunday 13 March page 39

Expertise of highly qualified refugees ignored, says

The wealth of expertise from many highly qualified refugees and
asylum seekers is being ignored causing gaps in vital areas of the
economy, according to a leading charity.

The Council for Assisting Refugee Academics estimates that there
are around 1,500 refugee doctors, dentists and other health
professionals in the UK yet only a minority are employed here  at
the same level as in their country of origin.

Source:- Financial Times  Monday 14 March page 4

Overwhelmed police force wants to farm out its murder

The chief constable of one of Britain’s largest forces has
admitted that officers cannot cope with the level of violent

Steve Green, chief constable at Nottinghamshire police force, said
current financing arrangements left his force unable to cope with
the number of murders which have overwhelmed his officers.

Source:- The Times  Monday 14 March page 6

Missing persons charity faces closure

The National Missing Persons Helpline is set to close this month
due to a lack of funds.

Police chiefs fear the charity’s closure will force the Home
Office to start its own operation from scratch.

Source:- The Times  Monday 14 March page 16

Childcare pays

Children of full-time working mothers do better at language skills,
reading and maths if they have paid childcare rather than being
left with relatives or friends, according to a study to be
published in the Royal Economic Society’s Economic

Source:- The Times  Monday 14 March page 22

Unmarried couple in line for divorce rights

Unmarried partners who separate are likely to win new rights to
make divorce-like claims for financial support if Labour is

A new legal protection for the four million people living together
may be introduced as ministers are concerned about the lack of
safeguards for couples who do not formalise their

Source:- The Guardian Monday 14 March page 1

Minister intervenes in row over drugs to treat

Stephen Ladyman has intervened in the growing row over plans by NHS
advisers to stop the routine prescription of four drugs to treat
Alzheimer’s disease.

The health minister wants to ensure the advisers recognise the
social implications of withdrawing official support for the

Source:- The Guardian  Monday 14 March page 8

Prisons inquiry to take in suicide

The case of a man who killed himself while on suicide watch is to
be included in a review of inmates’ treatment at segregation
units by the chief inspector of prisons.

Anne Owers told Pauline Day that nothing could bring back her son
Paul but she hoped the review to be expected later this year might
“save lives in future”.

Source:- The Guardian  Monday 14 March page 11

Refugees could cut skills shortages and pay £100m

The skills and experience of up to 5,000 foreign academics seeking
refuge in this country could be worth more than £100 million
to the economy.

Source:- Independent  Monday 14 March page 1

Comic Relief and a £100,000 grant to gipsies

Gypsies and Travellers were given £100,000 in grants by Comic

The fund gives gypsy groups grants of £3,000 each to help with
basic rights including legal advice.

Source:- Daily Mail  Monday 14 March page 29

Scottish news

£2m for disabled

Nearly £2 million is to be spent on extra staff and equipment
for Scotland’s five wheelchair centres to speed up allocation of
wheelchairs for those that need them. Deputy health minister Rhona
Brankin said waiting times for wheelchairs were

Source:- Daily Record Saturday 12 March

Carstairs fence holds key to £3m legal bill

Health chiefs at Carstairs mental hospital are considering a plan
to move the perimeter fence to house less dangerous patients
outside to avoid a £3 million compensation bill. The move is
being considered to counter the introduction of the new Mental
Health Act in 2006 which will allow patients to contest being held
in excessive security if their mental health has improved. Up to
100 patients at the unit are eligible for release to less
restrictive conditions, but a lack of available spaces in other
hospitals prevents them from moving on.

Source:- Scotland on Sunday Sunday 13th March

Muslim miscarries in cell after grilling at airport

The Sunday Herald claims that a Muslim woman detained for hours by
officials at Glasgow Airport suffered a miscarriage in an
immigration cell.

Marina Miraj claims the stress of the interrogation and detention
contributed to the miscarriage and is now considering legal

Miraj had flown into the UK from Toronto to make plans to settle in
Glasgow with her husband.

Source:- Sunday Herald Sunday 13th March

Tell IVF children truth of their conception

Children conceived with donated eggs or sperm are facing an
“unexploded bomb” of problems if they are not told
about their origins, an expert in the field has warned. New
research to be presented this week at a conference on human
embryology reveals that children conceived with donated eggs or
sperm will avoid psychological problems in adulthood if they learn
the truth about their origins at an
early age. Olivia Montuschi, co-founder of the Donor Conception
Network, believes families who don’t reveal the history of
their children’s conception are risking potential
psychological complaints for the future, despite traditional advice
to parents who have had IVF treatment not to tell their

Source:- Sunday Herald Sunday 13th March

Drugs expert warns: cannabis as dangerous to society as

Scottish drug workers have reacted angrily to claims by a leading
Scottish drugs researcher that cannabis could be as big a danger to
society as cocaine and heroin. In a Sunday Herald comment piece,
Professor Neil McKeganey, of the Centre for Drugs Misuse

Research at the University of Glasgow, warns the government and
drug workers should put the focus of enforcement back on cannabis
because it can lead to harder drug taking. But David Liddell,
director of the Scottish Drugs Forum said poverty and deprivation
is more likely to be the gateway into problematic drug use.

Source:- Sunday Herald Sunday 13th March

Teaching primary kids about depression could cut

Kay Jamison, professor of psychiatry at John Hopkins School of
Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, and an authority on manic
depressive illness, will tell Scottish mental health professionals
this week that teaching primary school children about depression,
its symptoms and treatments could prevent many suicides among the
young. Too often the victims of depression, their parents and their
teachers fail to spot the signs that can show someone is on a
downward spiral to taking their own life, she said.

Source:- The Herald Monday 14 March

Housing crisis may prompt suspension of right to buy

Council tenants in parts of the Highlands could become the first in
Scotland to have their right to buy suspended, in an effort to
tackle a housing crisis. Skye and Lochalsh councillors on Highland
Council are expected to back an application for “pressured area
status” – which would mean all council and housing association
tenants who took up tenancies after September 2002 having their
right to buy suspended for five years. Advocates of the move say it
would help to ensure that social rented housing remained available
in areas of short supply.

Source:- The Scotsman Monday 14 March

Welsh news

Pupils in drug raid escape charges

None of the five boys arrested for possessing cannabis resin at a
school in Wales are to be charged by the police. The year nine
pupils were arrested at Cowbridge Comprehensive in the Vale of
Glamorgan. All five have been reprimanded under Home Office

Source:- Western Mail Saturday 12 March

Average Welsh council tax rise less than one pound

Council tax rises in Wales are likely to be less than £1, a
Wales on Sunday survey has revealed. The study covered every
council in Wales. It is thought that the rises for 2005-6 could be
the lowest ever.

Source:- Wales on Sunday Sunday 13 March

Postcode lottery of health care quality in Wales

There are not enough good quality management people available to
staff the 22 local health boards in Wales, doctors have

The local health boards replaced the old five health authority
structure two years ago.

Doctors made the comments after the Local Medical Committee
conference in Usk on Saturday.

Source:- Western Mail Monday 14 March


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