Sharon Shoesmith seeks compensation for sacking over Baby P
The children’s secretary, Ed Balls, was improperly influenced by political and media pressure when he unlawfully removed Sharon Shoesmith, the council official at the centre of the Baby Peter case, from her job, the high court heard today.
Lawyers acting for Shoesmith said she was the victim of a “flagrant breach of the rules of natural justice” that ruined her career, left her penniless and led her to thoughts of suicide.
Daughter sees father jailed for three decades of sexual abuse
A man who sexually abused his daughter for more than three decades, fathering two children by her, was jailed for 12 years yesterday for incest, rape and indecent assault.
The 68-year-old from Harlow, Essex, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was described as depraved and wicked by the judge.
Scots could get pay rise while England freeze
Almost 500,000 public sector employees in Scotland could be given a pay rise in 2011 at the same time as their colleagues in England are enduring a wages freeze, a senior shadow Conservative minister admitted yesterday.
The anomaly could arise because public sector pay north of the Border is devolved to the Scottish government and it would be up to Scottish ministers whether they could afford a pay increase.
Mother of suicide girl Neve Lafferty speaks about her loss
The mother of one of the teenage girls who jumped to her death from a bridge in Scotland in a double suicide has said there are “no words in the universe” to describe the family’s loss.
Neve Lafferty, 15, and Georgia Rowe, 14, leapt 125ft from Erskine Bridge into the River Clyde just hours after spending a “happy” weekend with relatives. Witnesses said that the two girls were holding hands as they plunged into the river at the notorious suicide spot on Sunday night.
Tories pledge booze tax to stop antisocial drinking
The Tories have set out plans to increase taxes on super-strength beer, cider and alcopops, amid complaints from shadow ministers and prospective parliamentary candidates that the party has retreated to knee-jerk populism on law and order.
Chris Grayling, the shadow home secretary, said yesterday that the cost of a four-pack of high-strength lager would rise by £1.33 and a large bottle of alcopop would cost £1.50 more.
Read more on this story in The Times
Errors by NHS staff led to 5,700 deaths in six months
More than 5,700 patients died or suffered serious harm as a result of staff errors in the NHS over a six-month period, figures showed today.
Figures from the National Patient Safety Agency showed that 459,500 patient safety incidents and near misses occurred in England between last October and March.
This is a 12% increase on the previous six months but the agency, which collects and monitors safety data in the NHS, said that better reporting was fuelling the rise.
Millions of pensioners will go cold as energy prices soar
Five million people will avoid switching on their heating to keep warm this winter as they struggle to afford higher fuel bills, according to new research.
Polling of pensioners by the charity Age Concern found that 38 per cent were cutting back on gas and 41 per cent on electricity this year because of fears that they could not afford the prices. With 13 million pensioners in the UK, the charity’s findings suggest that 5.2 million people over 60 will go cold at some point this winter.
Woman teacher exposed as ‘predatory paedophile’ who sexually abused young children
An apparently respectable woman teacher has been exposed as a ‘predatory paedophile’ who sexually assaulted children 100 times.
Carole Clarke, 46, has told police that she systematically attacked boys and girls over a 17-year period by following them into public toilets.