A summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

    By Clare Jerrom and Reg McKay.

    Fugitive paedophile back in jail after 10-month chase
    ends on a French farm

    A fugitive rapist and paedophile has been tracked down by the
    police, working as a farm hand in the south of France.

    Trevor Masters absconded from a trial at Cardiff crown court
    last August. He was described by police as “a danger to all
    women”.

    Masters vanished while a jury was deliberating at the end of a
    three-week trial.

    He was convicted of rape, three counts of causing actual bodily
    harm to a woman, two indecent assaults and two serious attempted
    sexual offences against a child.

    Masters was sentenced in his absence to 12 years.

    The breakthrough came after an appeal on BBC’s Crimewatch, which
    prompted 60 phone calls.

    He is being held in France while a decision is made on whether
    extradition proceedings are necessary to return him to Britain.

    Source:- The Independent Tuesday 12 June 2001
    page 4

    Girl asks Blair for bullying inquiry

    A teenager has urged the prime minister to create a
    children’s commissioner to look into the problems of
    bullying, having been bullied herself for almost 10 years.

    Joanne Geldart has recorded incidents of verbal and physical
    assaults, which she claims started at primary school, in a
    diary.

    Geldart is now attending weekly counselling sessions and
    self-esteem classes to help her cope.

    The girl, who is being supported in her approach to Tony Blair
    by her mother, a residential home manager, and her father, said: “I
    would really like Tony Blair to think seriously about having a
    children’s commissioner to concentrate on bullying in
    schools.”

    Durham council has its own anti-bullying service. It will hold
    its second annual Happier at School week from July 11.

    Source:- Daily Telegraph Tuesday 12 June 2001 page
    7

    Boy found hanged after teacher took Pokemon
    cards

    The family of a school boy found hanged after his exclusion from
    school, demanded an independent inquiry into his death
    yesterday.

    Jevan Richardson had become increasingly depressed after an
    argument over confiscated Pokemon cards in April last year.

    Jevan was discovered by his father suspended by a nylon stocking
    from a shower rail at his home in Forest Hill in February.

    His mother Carol Edmund claimed he had threatened suicide after
    his cards were confiscated by a teacher.

    Jevan was excluded from school after his mother had charges of
    racial harassment against her from the school’s head teacher
    Carmelita Winston.

    A Southwark coroner recorded an open verdict yesterday. Family
    members started a “Justice for Jevan” campaign, and pledged to take
    action against the school, police and local education
    authority.

    Barry Quirk, chief executive of Lewisham Education Authority,
    said that an inquiry into the boy’s death had been
    commissioned.

    Source:- The Times Tuesday 12 June 2001 page 8

    World’s first floating abortion clinic heads for
    Ireland

    The world’s first floating abortion clinic set sail from
    the Netherlands to Ireland yesterday, as protesters claimed its on
    board medical staff were not licensed to terminate pregnancies.

    The converted fishing boat, headed by Dutch doctor Rebecca
    Gomperts, is expected to arrive in Dublin on Thursday. It will
    offer abortions under Dutch law to Irish women who have
    traditionally travelled to Britain to evade Ireland’s ban on
    abortions. If the trip to Ireland is successful, the Women on Waves
    Foundation intend to sail to other parts of the world where
    abortion is illegal or frowned upon, such as Portugal and South
    America.

    The ship slipped unnoticed out of Scheveningen harbour, as
    campaigners converged at another Dutch port, brandishing placards
    reading ‘abolish abortion’ or SOS.

    Gomperts previously estimated the ship will be able to carry out
    5,000 abortions a year.

    Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 12 June 2001 page 3

    Blunkett plans UK green card

    The new home secretary plans to allow a limited amount of
    skilled and unskilled workers into Britain, in an attempt to
    undermine the criminal gangs who smuggle economic migrants.

    Under proposals from David Blunkett, people would have permits
    to enter Britain legally rather than having to pay thousands to be
    smuggled in by lorry or boat.

    Blunkett said: “We will look at connecting the work permit to
    ensure that it supports the needs of the economy, providing a
    controlled legal route for people who seek work to fill skills
    shortages.”

    Source:- The Times Tuesday 12 June 2001 page 12

    Scottish newspapers

    New controls for violent sex offenders

    New measures for the control and supervision of violent sex
    offenders were released yesterday as Jim Wallace, justice minister,
    launched the Violent and Sexual Offenders white paper.

    The new proposals follow on from the MacLean inquiry into the
    legislation which reported last year. The main changes include
    lifelong supervision, 24-hour surveillance, electronic tagging and
    the creation of a risk management authority to help with extremely
    difficult offenders. The authority will comprise of experts drawn
    from social work, the police and health and is expected to deal
    with 15 to 20 violent offenders every year at a cost of £5
    million.

    Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 12 June page 2

    Fostering campaign launched

    A recruitment drive for foster carers was launched by North
    Lanarkshire Council yesterday. The council’s social work
    department is hoping to take advantage of recent research
    indicating that Scots are twice as likely as other UK residents to
    be interested in fostering.

    Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 12 June page 7

    Women’s prison a casualty station

    Scotland’s only women’s prison, Cornton Vale, was
    described as a “casualty clearing station”, psychiatric ward and
    addictions clinic as well as a jail in an independent inspection
    report. Clive Fairweather, chief inspector of prisons in Scotland,
    found that the prison was dealing well with those challenges in
    spite of caring for a record number of inmates. The prison, plagued
    by a series of suicides over recent years, was described by
    Fairweather as being “transformed almost out of all recognition”,
    but he warned that needy state of prisoners had not improved at
    all.

    Source:- The Herald Tuesday 12 June page 8

     

     

     

     

     

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