A summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By Clare Jerrom and Reg McKay.

School for deaf accused of catalogue of child

Police and the NSPCC have disclosed “an appalling catalogue of
child abuse and neglect” at a leading school for deaf children,
after a year-long investigation.

The Royal School for the Deaf in Cheadle Hulme, Greater
Manchester faces allegations including pupils suffering broken
bones and lost teeth, while others were subjected to unwarranted
restraining procedures.

Some of the school’s 78 pupils have physical and emotional
difficulties, and the NSPCC has also investigated claims that
children were punched, tied up or doused with water hoses.

Stockport social services department’s senior staff have met to
discuss the report’s findings. Four members of staff were
under suspension while the investigation was undertaken.

The NSPCC said yesterday that fundamental child protection
procedures had been undermined at the school, but there had been no
allegations of sexual abuse.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Thursday April 12 2001page

Coroner to report failings of Feltham after prison

A report by a coroner into the death of a teenager at Feltham
young offenders institution will highlight failures in
communication to the Home Office, and the identification of at-risk
prisoners at Britain’s largest youth jail.

A jury returned a verdict of suicide for 17-year old Kevin
Henson, which has prompted west London coroner Allison Thompson to
report her concerns about Feltham. Henson, who suffered from
alcohol problems since the death of his mother, was found hanging
in his cell in September last year. He had been refused bail on a
charge of wounding the previous day.

The three-day inquest exposed numerous failures at Feltham.
Exposed pipes – like the ones Henson hung himself from – were
evident in some cells, medical records highlighting Henson’s
alcoholism and severe anxiety were not passed on to reception staff
at the jail and despite being seen by three health care workers,
Henson was not reported as being at risk of self harm.

Director of the prison service Martin Narey said £8 million
would be channelled into the prison service in a bid to drive down
prison suicides. The governor of Feltham Nick Pascoe said the
remaining exposed pipes would be boxed in by the end of next

Source:- The Guardian Thursday April 12 2001 page 4

Paedophile jailed for 10 years may have abused

Hundreds of children could have been abused by a swimming
instructor who has been jailed for 10 years, police claim.

William Hook was the first to be prosecuted following a police
and local authority investigation into care homes in London and
south east England. He admitted 26 charges of serious sexual
assault and indecency against six boys, four of whom have attempted
suicide. He was jailed at Kingston Crown Court yesterday.

Detective Superintendent Andy Kay, who has been overseeing the
investigation, said there were certain to be other victims as Hook
came into contact with hundreds of young boys in care.

Detectives are investigating the sexual abuse of up to 200
children in care homes in south London between 1974 and 1994. Nine
men and two women have also been arrested and further arrests are

Source:- The Times Thursday April 12 2001 page 3

Nurseries seek power to expel toddlers

Teachers have urged for new powers to exclude troublesome
three-year-olds from nursery schools yesterday, claiming children
entering their classes were violent and demonstrated disturbed

Delegates at a teachers union conference in Torquay backed “zero
tolerance” for unruliness. Currently, children below the statutory
age for school cannot be excluded unless their reception class is
attached to a primary school.

According to Susan Gokova, who works at Clairemont Primary and
Nursery School in Nottingham, as many as one in 10 toddlers in some
inner city areas demonstrated signs of disturbed behaviour. She
blamed parents for not showing their children how to act

“It is not unusual for children to come into school with low
self-esteem, lack of confidence, showing aggressive behaviour. They
kick. They bite. They scream. They might target other children to
hurt them, or they hide and this kind of behaviour needs one-to-one
help,” Gokova said.

Source:- Independent Thursday April 12 2001 page 4

Hoax trip ‘led to man killing his

An alleged “dirty tricks” campaign at a computer firm could have
prompted a business man to kill his 12-year-old daughter.

Phillip Hall, who had a history of mental problems, stabbed his
daughter Emma last June. The marketing manager had returned home
from a business trip in India.

Hall was allegedly sent to New Delhi to meet a non-existent
customer after hoax emails came from a rival computer company,
Cardiff-based AB Biomonitoring.

The stress endured from the trip caused his illness to worsen,
and he became obsessed that he must kill his own family and commit
suicide to save 15 other families from death.

Hall was found not guilty of Emma’s murder due to insanity
last December, but Swansea Crown Court ordered him to be detained
indefinitely at a secure psychiatric hospital.

Gwent police confirmed that detectives are investigating the
dirty tricks and have interviewed employees of AB

Employees of the firm could face allegations of forgery and
actual bodily harm to Hall via the Internet, the harm being mental
rather than physical trauma.

Source:- The Guardian Thursday April 12 2001 page 8

Scottish newspapers

Former Carstairs inmate freed

Noel Ruddle, who successfully won his appeal against
incarceration at the State Hospital Carstairs in 1999 forcing the
Scottish executive to pass their first legislation to close the
legal loophole, has been freed by Guildford Crown Court after
threatening to kill a priest.

Ruddle was sent to Carstairs in1992 having admitted shooting a
neighbour in Glasgow with a Kalashnikov rifle. He pleaded insanity,
saying that “evil voices” had told him to commit the murder, and
was sent to Carstairs. Last year, he successfully appealed against
his detention on the grounds that he was no longer being treated.
As a result, the Scottish executive passed legislation introducing
public safety as a consideration in detention in psychiatric

Following his release, Ruddle returned to his native Surrey
where he sought and obtained voluntary psychiatric help. In October
last year he telephoned his social worker, Mary Fricker, and
threatened to murder a local priest. He was immediately arrested
and held in prison. Yesterday at Guildford Crown Court his
solicitor described Ruddle’s actions as “a cry for help”.
Judge Christopher Critchlow placed Ruddle on a three-year community
rehabilitation order which will require him to maintain weekly
contact with a team for mentally disordered offenders.

Source The Herald 12/4/01 page 2



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