A summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By Clare Jerrom and Reg McKay.

Four teenagers charged with Damilola murder

Four teenage boys have been charged with the murder of
10-year-old Damilola Taylor, who was stabbed on his way home from

The boys, aged between 14 and 16, will appear before magistrates
today. They were arrested at their homes in north and south London
yesterday, and are being held in separate police stations.

They will be taken to Hammersmith youth court this morning.

The youths were arrested after lawyers from the Crown
Prosecution Service studied a police report and consulted a senior
Treasury counsel.

Damilola was attacked on his way home from an after school
computer class at Peckham library in November last year.

He was stabbed and left to bleed to death in a stairwell.

Source:- The Times Wednesday 27 June page 1

Bulger juror condemns releases

The decision to release James Bulger’s killers was condemned
yesterday by the jury foreman in the trial.

Alan Barry said last night that Robert Thompson and Jon Venables
should serve another seven years in an adult prison.

Barry said: “What they have had up to now is more of a reward
than a punishment. They have got more out of their lives than they
would have done if they had not committed the murder.”

Source:- The Times Wednesday 27 June page 11

Straw puts case for jailed aid worker

The disabled British man who insists he has been wrongly
imprisoned, was helped by Jack Straw yesterday.

The foreign secretary intervened in the controversy over his
case, and had a “very frank and hard hitting” meeting with Indian
officials about Ian Stillman.

Straw wants assurance that Stillman, who is deaf and has an
amputated leg, is helped with his special needs in prison.

The charity worker insists he does not use cannabis, though
police have accused him of carrying 20kg of a high quality cannabis

Source:- The Times Wednesday 27 June page 15

Sex abuse victims awarded payments

High court damages ranging from £5,000 to £47,000 were
awarded to 13 victims of abuse at children’s homes in north
Wales, yesterday.

The awards totalling £300,000 were made to former residents
of five children’s homes run by Bryn Alyn Community, a
private company that liquidated in 1997.

The money was to compensate for the physical and sexual abuse
the victims suffered at the hands of staff between 1973 and 1991,
according to Mr Justice Connell.

The company played no part in the proceedings, but its insurers
Royal and Sun Alliance contested each claim.

In the ruling, Judge Connell found 13 out of 14 claimants had
suffered negligence from the children’s home.

The judge said all 13 were “very needy children” who had been
through a “traumatic series of damaging experiences” before they
were taken into care.

They were then “let down badly and their trust was betrayed” by
the cruelty of the staff, he added.

Former managing director of the company John Allen was jailed
for six years in 1995 having been convicted of six offences of
indecent assault on residents.

Source:- The Independent Wednesday 27 June
page 2

VAT on care homes bill

Older people in care homes were threatened yesterday with VAT
charges that could increase their weekly bills by £100.

A decision by the VAT tribunal means that for the first time,
older people in nursing and residential homes could be faced with
the prospect of paying 17 ½ per cent on top of their current

Care home industry experts yesterday described the move as
‘alarming’ and ‘potentially

It poses fresh problems to ministers dealing with the “care home
trap” that leads to tens of thousands of middle class people being
forced to sell their homes each year to afford places in older
people’s homes.

Making the elderly pay VAT could wipe out all the benefits that
the government has promised to ease the plight of families.

The VAT threat follows a decision by the London VAT tribunal
over a case involving a company called Kingscrest, which runs two
homes for adults with Down’s Syndrome.

The tribunal’s ruling in favour of Kingscrest could mean
that up to 20,000 privately run homes whose care services are
currently VAT exempt, will now have to pay it.

Source:- The Daily Mail Wednesday 27 June page 1

Guardian Society

Pushed to the limits

Benefits threat to workers with learning disabilities

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 27 June page 4

Wheels in motion

Top award for charity that solves breakdowns in Africa

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 27 June page 4

Testing times

Genetics debated by disabled people

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 27 June page 4

Safe haven

When family relationships break down, where can a teenager
escape to? Carol Davis reports on a pioneering scheme that provides
a home from home.

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 27 June page 5

Firing line

The rise in the number of violent attacks on aid workers has
prompted improved training for staff in safety and security.

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 27 June page 10

Out of the dark

An advocacy service that is helping patients with dementia to
communicate their needs

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 27 June page 12

Feeling wanted

Southwark council is successfully targeting people who assumed
they were unsuitable to adopt

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 27 June page

Measures of success

Councils praised for improving quality of services

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 27 June page

Waiting and hoping

Mental health groups look for further debate on new act

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 27 June page

Scottish newspapers

Carstairs’ plans u-turn

Protestors were claiming victory last night as the Greater
Glasgow Health Board conceded that its plans to locate a unit of
the State Hospital Carstairs in Stobbhill Hospital, Glasgow, would
not go ahead. The decision followed an intensive appraisal of all
available options looking at six sites in the city. Stobbhill came
fourth on the list and will no longer be considered. The outcome is
a major setback to the Scottish executive’s plans to locate
the £12.5 million, 76 bedded medium secure unit in the city.
As yet the health board has announced no alternative site.

Source:- The Herald Wednesday 27 June page 7

Big brothers and sisters can help

A charity which has been championed by two American presidents
has launched its first Scottish branch. Big Brothers and Sisters, a
US-based organisation, aims to help youngsters from troubled
backgrounds by introducing another adult into their lives who will
act as mentors. Such has been the success of the organisation that
in the USA it has received public support from presidents Clinton
and George W Bush as well as a raft of international stars. The
Glasgow branch was launched yesterday and will aim to help children
aged six to 16-years-old.

Source:- The Scotsman Wednesday 27 June page 4


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