A summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By Clare Jerrom and Reg McKay.

Second Bulger hearing

A parole board hearing today will decide whether Robert Thompson
can be released after serving 8 ½ years for the murder of
two-year-old James Bulger.

A judge, psychiatrist and independent lay member will meet at an
undisclosed location to hear evidence of the youth’s progress
while in custody. Thompson will attend the informal hearing with a
legal representative.

The hearing follows that of Jon Venables, also convicted for
James’ murder.

The issue to be decided is whether Thompson would be a risk to
the public if released.

Source:- The Times Wednesday 20 July page 2

Labour council’s chief ‘abused

A senior Labour councillor groomed young boys for his own sexual
desires, a court heard yesterday.

Martyn Locklin allegedly assaulted one 15-year-old boy at
Aycliffe Children’s Centre in Co Durham, where he worked, and
later assaulted two other boys in their early teens, after plying
them with alcohol and cannabis.

Teeside crown court heard how Locklin allegedly assaulted the
boys between September 1988 and August 1996.

He denies six charges of indecent assault, two of rape and one
of buggery.

The trial continues.

Source:- The Times Wednesday 20 June page 7

Asylum seekers rowed Channel in stolen boat

Seven asylum seekers stole a boat and rowed the Channel to

The group, thought to be Russian, were arrested yesterday after
stealing a small wooden rowing boat from a beach near Calais. The
boat was reported missing to French police.

French officers spotted the asylum seekers several miles off the
coast and a police launch pulled alongside the boat, and tried to
persuade the seven to give themselves up.

The asylum seekers were accompanied to Britain by the French
police launch, which could not stop the boat, as it was outside
French territorial waters.

The boat was spotted seven miles off the coast of Dover
yesterday morning. A coastguard patrol boat approached them and the
asylum seekers made it clear they only wanted to stop if they were
in English waters.

They were detained by Kent police officers and handed to the
Immigration Service.

Source:- The Times Wednesday 20 June page 7

Lazy nurse killed patient with drug

A care home nurse was convicted of drugging an older patient to
death yesterday, because she was too lazy to look after her.

The court heard how Alison Firth admitted giving a sedative
overdose to Alice Grant, who was in her care at Aidan House
residential home in Gateshead.

Firth claimed she could not remember whether she had been so
exasperated with Grant that she killed her or whether she had hoped
to ease the older woman’s suffering.

Jailing her for life, Mr Justice Bell said she “could not be
bothered” to keep her victim alive.

Firth, was condemned by detectives as “evil and a disgrace to
her profession”.

Source:- The Guardian Wednesday 20 June page 10

Disabled fan sues club over stray shots

A soccer fan is suing a first division club, claiming that
spectators in the disabled area become sitting ducks for off target
shots at goal.

Mary Lang was struck in the face twice from stray balls. She was
knocked unconscious watching Portsmouth at home to Birmingham, when
she sat in the designated disabled area behind the goal.

Portsmouth football club, which has had a £250 compensation
claim rejected, denies liability and is contesting Lang’s

Source:- Daily Telegraph Wednesday 20 June page 11

Urge to reform the public services forces Blair to trim
Queen’s speech

Tony Blair’s determination to put public services at the
heart of his second term in power, means several cherished schemes
will be omitted from the Queen’s speech today.

There will be no plans to modernise the Lords, to outlaw tobacco
advertising or to relax licensing laws to allow 24-hour

A Whitehall source said: “The emphasis will be on crime,
education, health and enterprise. There will be a very strong
reform flavour.”

Source:- The Independent Wednesday 20 June
page 2

Unions to protest at privatisation of public

Tony Blair is facing revolt from union leaders on moves to
increase private sector involvement in public services.

The three largest unions, Unison, the Transport and General
Workers’ Union and GMB will protest at the Labour

The unions have booked their first fringe meeting under the
banner Keep Public Services Public.

Union leaders are determined to ensure Blair’s pledge to
increase the role of the private sector will not lead to widespread
contracting out of public services.

Source:- The Independent Wednesday 20 June
page 6

Inspector attacks youth jails

The ‘disgraceful’ treatment of young prisoners was
highlighted by the retiring chief inspector of prisons

Sir David Ramsbotham, who stands down next month, said the
“appalling rise in the number of (prison) suicides” needed to be
reversed. He also warned of the risk of tuberculosis among inmates
who had been sleeping rough, and said that 60 per cent of new
prisoners were users of class A drugs, who might be carrying

The criticisms of healthcare standards for young prisoners, was
made in a lecture in London, organised by the Prison Reform

Last week, the chief inspector visited a young offenders
institution where 70 per cent of the inmates had a reading age of
eight or under. The neglect of such prisoners, he said, “continues
to be a disgrace”.

Source:- Independent Wednesday 20 June page 10

Revenge Redemption Rhetoric

What we mean when we talk about the killers of James Bulger

Source:- Times 2 Wednesday 20 June page 2-5

Guardian Society

Question of confidence

Government orders surprise probe of charity regulation

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 20 June page 4

The cost of torment

Abused care home residents seek landmark compensation

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 20 June page 5

Primary fears

Why health visitors believe their profession is under serious

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 20 June page 5

Belief in the battle

A profile of Paul Hayes, head of national treatment agency

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 20 June page 11

The therapy that killed

Controversial therapy in the US called rebirthing

Source:- G2 Wednesday 20 June page 6-7

Design counsel

People who depend on care are being involved successfully in
shaping services in Belfast

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 20 June page

Human wrongs

The rights of disabled people are being ignored by the UN

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 20 June page

Scottish newspapers

Child abuse investigation in Glasgow

Police are investigating allegations of sexual abuse against 120
children at two former local authority run children’s homes
in Glasgow between 1974 and 1986. The residential units, Everesley
Children’s Home in Pollokshields and Downcraig
Children’s Home in Castlemilk closed in the 1970s and 1980s
respectively. Three men, aged 43, 45 and 72, have been arrested and
a report sent to the procurator fiscal.

Source:- The Scotsman Wednesday 20 June page 1

Care home hopes raised in Glasgow

The crisis over payments for private residential and nursing
home care took a positive turn yesterday following a meeting with
home owners’ organisation, Scottish Care, and Glasgow Council
yesterday. While no resolution was reached both sides described the
meeting as constructive and hopeful. The two sides are to meet
again next Tuesday.

Source:- The Herald Wednesday 20 June page 9







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