A summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By Clare Jerrom and Reg McKay.

Holiday mother convicted of cruelty

A mother of four children was convicted of child cruelty
yesterday, after leaving her children with a teenager while she
went on holiday to Tenerife.

Amanda Woods used £250 National Lottery winnings to pay for
the holiday while she left all four children aged under ten with a
16 year old. The arrangement was discovered when a fire broke out
at the home and the children, their 16-year-old aunt and her
boyfriend were rescued by fire crews.

Woods was arrested at Manchester airport and convicted yesterday
at Warrington crown court of four counts of cruelty. She is
remanded on bail and awaits sentencing.

Social services were involved with the family and the children
were on the “at risk” register. Woods had previously been warned
that the babysitting arrangements were unsuitable.

Source:- The Times Tuesday 24 July page 7

Police chief is ‘truly sorry’ over

A chief constable apologised to the family of the man shot dead
by one of his officers before the results of an official

Andrew Kernan, who had a mental illness for 15 years, was shot
dead after allegedly refusing to put down a Samurai sword he was

Norman Bettison, in charge of the Merseyside force, said in a
letter to Kernan’s mother: “I am truly sorry about the sudden
and shocking death of Andrew and sorry too that my force is so
closely involved in the tragedy. I can assure you that I intend to
learn whatever lessons I can for the police service as a whole
arising from the tragic circumstances.”

Source:- Daily Telegraph Tuesday 24 July page 5

MPs investigate private enterprise in public

MPs are launching an inquiry into the involvement of private
businessmen in the delivery of health and education services.

The Commons public administration select committee will
investigate the accountability of individuals responsible for
policy or the distribution of public money.

The moves follow fears from unions about the transfer of power
and the potential for undermining public services ethos.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Tuesday 24 July page 12

Teenagers jailed for ‘disgusting’ torture of

Two teenagers who tortured a family with learning difficulties
were jailed yesterday by a judge who described the case as the most
“revolting and disgusting” of his career.

The Old Bailey was told that Wayne March, Nicholas Cooper, both
17, and 18 year old Robert Davenport had forced a family to endure
a string of depraved acts for their own “amusement”. An earlier
hearing was told how the three teenagers tormented the parents and
two children, all with learning difficulties, for several hours at
their flat in Feltham, Middlesex.

All four family members had curry powder and kitchen cleaner
rubbed in their eyes, and the parents were forced to conduct sexual
acts on each other in front of their children.

Judge Coombe took the unusual step of lifting the ban on naming
the two 17-year old torturers, after berating the “failing criminal
justice system” for limiting his powers of sentencing to a maximum
of two years.

Source:- Independent Tuesday 24 July page 2

P & O stems the tide of migrants

Almost 2,500 illegal immigrants have been caught in Calais
trying to board P&O Stena ferries in eight months, figures
showed yesterday.

Checks introduced last December have resulted in 2,484 illegal
immigrants being caught. A further 62 have been caught at Zeebrugge
where checks were introduced three months ago.

Operators of the Channel Tunnel called for a refugee camp near
Calais to be closed yesterday, because of desperate attempts from
asylum seekers to enter Britain via the Tunnel.

Four illegal immigrants have died trying to board cross-Channel
trains in the past three months. Other asylum seekers have tried to
walk the 31-mile journey.

Eurotunnel said yesterday that the Red Cross-run centre near the
tunnel entrance should be relocated.

P&O Stena, the only company to conduct tests, said stowaways
were gradually getting the message.

“We are delighted with the success of these checks and we have
been proved right to introduce them,” a spokesperson said.

Source:- The Times Tuesday 24 July page 3

Fifteen stabbed in fight at refugee shelter

A fight between Kurdish and Afghanistan immigrants seeking
asylum in Britain, led to 15 people being stabbed at a Red Cross
camp near Calais yesterday.

Three victims were taken to hospital with serious knife
injuries, after French police managed to calm the fight.

The shelter, which houses around 900 immigrants waiting for the
opportunity to enter Britain illegally, is subject to daily
scuffles between Kurds and Afghans. The shelter is just over a mile
from the Channel Tunnel entrance.

Eurotunnel called for the camp to be closed and relocated
yesterday as about 200 asylum seekers a night try to board freight

Source:- Independent Tuesday 24 July page 8

‘Forgive the teacher who logged on to child

A primary school teacher will be allowed back into the classroom
after a judge asked education authorities to forgive him for
logging on to the internet and looking at pornographic images of

Andrew Maddock walked free after pleading guilty to five counts
of possessing indecent photographs of children. He will be forced
to sign the sex offenders’ register.

Judge Bruce Morgan said the teacher posed no threat to children
and hoped he would be allowed back into the classroom.

He said: “What purpose would punishing him have? No one will
come before the court with a finer character and this offence is
right at the bottom of the scale.”

Source:- Daily Mail Tuesday 24 July page 35

The odd couple

After ‘buying’ twins on the net for £8,200 the
Kilshaws became the most vilified couple in Britain. There was talk
of voodoo dolls and black magic. But were they really as strange as
they seemed? And can they really be trying to adopt again?

Source:- G2 Tuesday 24 July page 2/3

Scottish newspapers

Pressure grows for resolution to care

Pressure for a resolution to the mounting dispute over fees for
private residential and nursing home care increased yesterday when
the chairperson of the Royal Commission on Long Term care weighed
into the debate.

Lord Sutherland of Houndwood, as he is now known, said an
interim solution was needed to prevent older people in need of care
having nowhere to go. Lord Sutherland said: “As a civilised
society, we cannot really tolerate that happening.”

The Church of Scotland, the largest provider in the voluntary
sector, also called for an early resolution revealing that
increased staffing and standards had left them with a deficit of
£100 per resident per week – almost double the increase
being sought by Scottish Care, the group representing most of the
private home owners.

Source:- The Herald 24 July page 1

Community in shock

The small town of Blairgowrie, Perthshire was in shock yesterday
following the death of a sheltered housing resident after a minor
act of vandalism. Ninety-one-year old Margaret Farquhar died after
someone smashed the window of her sheltered flat and police are
pursuing the line that the cause of death was a heart attack
brought on by the trauma of the incident. As yet no one has been

Source:- The Herald Tuesday 24 July page 4

Gun claim by boy in serial sex abuse case

An eight-year-old boy yesterday told Edinburgh High Court that a
man accused of sexually abusing him had held a gun to his head and
threatened to murder his mother. The boy’s evidence came in
the 13th day of the trial where he and his 11-year old sister have
alleged that six men sexually abused them between August 1992 and
August 1998.

Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 24 July page 6



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