A summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

Including Saturday and Sunday 12 and 13 May.

By Clare Jerrom and Reg McKay.

People smugglers jailed for 9 years

The ringleaders of the gang behind the smuggling operation,
which led to the suffocation of 58 Chinese illegal immigrants, were
jailed for nine years on Saturday.

A Dutch court ruled that Turkish born Gursel Olcan and Haci
Demir were guilty of criminal negligence but not of

Five associates who helped organise the transit through the
Netherlands and Belgium to the UK, were given jail sentences
between 30 months and seven years.

Dutch lorry driver Perry Wacker was last month convicted of the
manslaughter of all 58 immigrants in a separate trial in the UK,
and was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

Translator Ying Guo was jailed for six years for conspiracy.

In addition to their sentences, the two ringleaders were fined
around £25,000 each.

Source:- The Guardian Saturday 12 May 2001 page 14

Girl’s chatroom abductor jailed

A man was jailed for three years for abducting a teenage girl he
met through an internet chatroom.

The 12-year-old was reported missing by her mother and when
officers arrived at her address, they saw a man dropping her

They made a note of the van’s registration number and
later arrested Richard Wait. He was found to have 13,800
pornographic images on his home computer, 30 of which were of

He admitted abducting the girl and five charges of permitting
indecent photographs to be taken.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Saturday 12 May 2001 page

Voters support Hague’s stand on immigration and
asylum seekers

Gallup’s latest survey finds support for William
Hague’s stand on immigration and race relations.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Saturday 12 May 2001 page

Parents ready for new life with Jodie

The parents of Jodie, the Siamese twin who was separated from
her twin sister Mary last November, have spoken of their joy at
their daughter’s recovery.

Rina and Michaelangelo Attard are Roman Catholics from the
Maltese island of Gozo and initially opposed the operation to
separate the girls, as it would inevitably lead to Mary’s

The 20-hour operation took place last November at St
Mary’s Hospital, Manchester, and the family hope to return to
Gozo next month.

A spokesperson for the hospital said a precise date for
Jodie’s discharge had not been set, and that it is too early
to know if she will suffer long term physical problems from the

Source:- The Sunday Times 13 May 2001 page 6

Rural Britain gets its first asylum influx

Rural counties and market towns are set to receive their first
influx of asylum seekers under the government’s plans to
expand its dispersal programme.

Home office officials are attempting to find 11,000 extra beds
by next March. The move follows rising numbers of asylum seekers in
London and the south-east.

Lincolnshire has been identified as a new destination and others
being considered are Northumberland, Worcestershire and

Critics fear the plans are a result of the failure to process
applications fast enough and could lead to unsuitable

Source:- Sunday Times 13 May 2001 page 10

Immigrant law puts freight at risk

New rules designed to prevent illegal immigration could put the
£40 million a year cross Channel freight operation at

English, Welsh and Scottish railway company (EWS) is being
targeted by thousands of illegal immigrants trying to reach Britain
through the Channel Tunnel.

The first opportunity EWS gets to check the wagons are when they
arrive at Kent. Carbon dioxide sensors enable staff to detect
immigrants and they hand them to the UK Immigration Service.

Since 1998 they have passed on more than 2,000 immigrants, but
under the carriers liability regulations 2001, the company now has
to pay fines of £2,000.

EWS has been fined £338,000 for handing over 169 immigrants
since March. By the end of the year, the company could face a
£5 million bill – considerably more than its operating
profit on the service.

EWS can do little until they arrive in Kent, but home office
officials say it is the responsibility of EWS to bring pressure on
the state owned French railway company SNCF and French government
to ensure immigrants do not board the trains.

Source:- Sunday Times 13 May 2001 page 10

Adult victims of autism are left on jobs

Sufferers of autism and the related Asperger’s syndrome
are among the most vulnerable and socially excluded groups in
British society, discriminated against in employment, further
education and access to social services.

A new report published on Monday finds that fewer than 6 per
cent of adults suffering from an autistic spectrum disorder are in
full-time work.

Those in employment complain of widespread prejudice surrounding
their condition. Almost half still live at home with a large number
of those unknown to social services.

The National Autistic Society says the discrimination has
resulted in a widespread prevalence of mental illness and
depression in 50 per cent of those who were diagnosed after the age
of 30.

The report confirms that despite the prevalence of the
condition, autistic adults become ‘invisible’ after
leaving school.

Catherine Burkin, director of Prospects, a group for people with
autism or Asperger’s which attempts to place them in work,
says: “The problem is particularly bad as soon as you get outside
London, then the barriers just come down. The problem is a lack of
understanding. People feel threatened because people with autistic
spectrum disorders seem different.”

Source:- The Observer Sunday 13 May 2001 page 10

Elderly gets a care lifeline from 4,000 miles

Doctors on the other side of the Atlantic are set to help
elderly NHS patients via remote control care.

Medical staff in Chicago will be able to care for pensioners
living in their own homes 4,000 miles away in Guilford, Surrey.

The link will enable older people to have conversations with
their virtual carers on a two way video screen.

According to health and council chiefs, who are in talks with an
American medical care firm, the deal will be cheaper and offer
quicker response times than using the NHS.

A Surrey Council spokesperson said: “Help can be summoned in an
instant and it makes economic sense to use people who are alert and
working in daytime in Chicago rather than pay premium rates for
night care.”

The new technology will be piloted initially and, if successful,
will be introduced more widely.

The scheme is a joint venture between Surrey Council, Guilford
Council, Age Concern and Surrey Hants Borders NHS Trust.

Source:- Mail on Sunday 13 May 2001 page 34

Kids may be the future, but for many it’s still

In 1997, Labour pledged itself to change Britain. Now the
country must judge its success. In the first of four investigations
of what Labour has achieved, Nicci Gerrard asks: Has life improved
for our children?

Source:- The Observer Sunday 13 May 2001 page 17

Coronation Street plot to warn of Internet

The home office and Coronation Street have teamed up to warn
parents of the dangers of paedophiles using Internet chat rooms to
lure children.

Officials have informed Granada on patterns of chat room abuse
and the difficulties police face in securing a conviction against
‘grooming’ a child for abuse.

Tina O’Brien will front the campaign. Her character Sarah
Louise Platt was also used by health minister Yvette Cooper’s
campaign to reduce teenage pregnancies.

Source:- The Times Monday 14 May 2001 page 3

Care home woman, 89, launches human rights

An 89-year-old resident of a care home is conducting a legal
challenge under the new human rights act against Birmingham Council
for failing to protect her right to life.

Flossie Hands believes the council’s plans to transfer all
30 care homes to an independently run trust, could endanger her
health as it might require residents to move.

Alistair Wallace, acting for Hands, said: “Evidence shows that
when homes close and residents are moved there is a marked increase
in mortality rates. We’re not saying that the council is
deliberately trying to kill off its elderly residents, but if you
close a care home you have to take account of the fact that elderly
people may die as a result.”

Hand’s case is being backed by a pressure group,
Resident’s Action Group for the Elderly.

Source:- The Times Monday 14 May 2001 page 4

Scottish newspapers

Child sex abuse case thrown out due to

The case against a 16-year-old male accused of sexually abusing
several young girls was thrown out by the court of appeal due to
“unreasonable delays” in the process. The prosecution argued that
the four-year delay was due to the need to work slowly and
sympathetically with the four young victims aged between five and
eight years at the time of the alleged offences. The accused, aged
12 at the time of the offences, was charged with seven counts
including rape, sodomy and indecency. The crown is considering
whether or not to appeal against the law lords’ decision.

Source:- The Herald Saturday 12 May page 1

Looked after children turn against foster

Children in care prefer residential to foster care according to
a new survey by Save the Children Scotland. The report shows looked
after children seeing foster care as too rule ridden, often with
older adults who give their own children preferential treatment.
Residential care is seen as more relaxed, with other young people
and as more stable with less moves than foster care. While
emphasising the study involved a small sample, Save the Children
Scotland conclude that the “surprise” findings merit further
investigation by the Scottish executive.

Source:- The Herald Monday 14 May page 1

Campaign of citizen’s arrests at abortion

The Scottish based militant anti-abortion group Precious Life
has revealed it is planning a campaign of citizen’s arrests at
abortion clinics where they believe the legislation is being
breached. The group claim they will target two to three clinics in
Scotland and the same in England. Jim Dowson, Precious Life
spokesperson, said: “We all know that abortion is being used as
contraception, but that is not facilitated in law.”

The group claim that abortion practice breaches the legislation
by being applied for socio-economic use, often later than the law
allows and with only one doctor’s signature rather than the
two required.

Source:- The Scotsman Monday 14 May page 5

Are we frightened of the children?

The Herald explores the view that it is adults who have
the problem, having fewer relationships with children and becoming
less confident in dealing with them.

Source:- The Herald Monday 14 May page 12




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