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
    shooting

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

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

    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
    service

    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
    family

    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
    shuttles.

    Source:- Independent Tuesday 24 July page 8

    ‘Forgive the teacher who logged on to child
    porn’

    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
    children.

    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
    crisis

    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
    arrested.

    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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