Paedophilia blamed on teacher’s medication
A former headmaster who amassed thousands of indecent images of children on his computer walked free from court yesterday, after a judge ruled that the drug he had been taking to treat his Parkinson’s disease was responsible for his crime.
Phillip Carmichael, 58, pleaded guilty to the offences, but received an absolute discharge – escaping any form of punishment – after claiming that the pills he had been taking turned him into a paedophile.
Producers may pass on costs of energy
The government’s vaunted £1bn energy efficiency package was called into question last night when the energy producers said they would have to pass on much of the cost to consumers, and industry sources said fewer than 150,000 extra homes could be insulated by this winter as a result of the new money.
Another important plank of the package – a commitment to increase funding for the government’s Warm Front programme by an extra £74m over two years – does not restore spending this year to the levels planned before a £55m cut imposed on the programme last year.
Let NHS patients pay for drugs – King’s Fund
The NHS should no longer deny treatment to patients who pay privately for unapproved drugs, the King’s Fund, an influential health thinktank, said yesterday.
Niall Dickson, the chief executive, intervened in an argument that is splitting the health service over whether better-off cancer patients should be allowed to top up their NHS care by buying life-saving or life-prolonging drugs that could not be afforded by the poor. Under the current rules, patients may lose the right to free NHS care if they pay privately for drugs rejected by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence as not cost-effective.
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