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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