A daily summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By Clare Jerrom and Reg McKay.

Shotgun farmer wins shorter jail term

The farmer who was jailed for life for shooting dead a teenage
burglar could be free within a year, as his conviction was reduced
from murder to manslaughter yesterday.

Three appeal judges accepted that Tony Martin was suffering from
a paranoid personality disorder when he opened fire at his home in

The fresh evidence meant Martin’s conviction for murder
was quashed and replaced by one of manslaughter on the grounds of
diminished responsibility.

His life sentence was reduced to five years, making him eligible
for parole in a year.

Source:- The Guardian Wednesday 31 October page 1

‘Behavioural problems’ may now be used as a
defence in murder trials

Victims of sexual abuse who cannot form relationships with women
can use the Tony Martin case to justify violence when they feel
threatened, lawyers said yesterday.

Lord Chief Justice, Lord Woolfe was convinced Martin was
suffering from a paranoid personality disorder when he shot Fred

But Malcolm Fowler, former chairman of the Law Society’s
criminal law committee, warned that householders who identify with
Martin could “latch on” by using the case to disproportionate
violence against burglars or others of whom they feel

Lawyers warned the danger of accepting a plea of diminished
responsibility, meant judges may have given the go ahead to lawyers
to present many kinds of behavioural problems as defences to

Source:- The Independent Wednesday 31 October
page 10

Abuse as a child led to killer’s

Tony Martin suffered abuse as a child, which caused him to
develop a paranoid personality disorder – evidence which
yesterday saved him from life imprisonment.

His defence counsel Michael Wolkind QC said the legacy of child
abuse was depression and a paranoid personality disorder that
impaired his judgement.

“In particular, the paranoid disorder meant he is more likely to
have felt his life was in danger than the average person,” he

Dr Philip Joseph, a consultant forensic psychiatrist at St
Mary’s hospital in Paddington, said Martin had a “lifelong
fear of being molested that left him unable to form intimate

Source:- The Independent Wednesday 31 October
page 10

300 migrants storm Channel tunnel

More than 200 illegal immigrants who broke into a freight yard
near the Channel tunnel earlier this week, have been arrested by
French police.

In the largest single mass break in of its kind this year,
around 300 immigrants from the Red Cross camp at Sangatte stormed
the compound, owned by French state railways SNCF, hoping to
stowaway on a freight train.

Police were still looking for 100 immigrants thought to be
hiding at the yard.

The Sangatte centre holds around 1,200 people mainly from
Afghanistan, Iran and Kurds from Iraq and Turkey.

The number of would-be illegal immigrants trying to reach
Britain from Sangatte has fallen dramatically since August when up
to 200 attempted every night.

Eurotunnel has spent £6m on increasing security at its
terminal. The company faces fines of £2,000 for every illegal
immigrant who makes the journey to Britain.

Source:- The Guardian Wednesday 31 October page 12

Cannabis is ‘gateway to heroin

Former drugs tsar Keith Hellawell told MPs yesterday that every
heroin addict he had met had started their drug abuse with

His remarks undermined the government’s proposals to relax
the laws covering cannabis. Last week David Blunekett said it would
no longer be an arrestable offence for cannabis possession, with
the aim being to free police time to concentrate on hard drugs.

Hellawell said he believed cannabis was “a gateway drug” to
harder substances.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Wednesday 31 October page

Child porn raids

Fourteen people were arrested in dawn raids in the UK and Dublin
yesterday, by detectives investigating the distribution of child
pornography on the internet.

Officers from 11 forces took part in Operation Barcela following
a seven-month investigation, according to Scotland Yard.

Four men were arrested in London.

Source:- The Times Wednesday 31 October page 14

The missing

Around 100,000 children run away every year. Many are escaping
abuse or trouble at home, but some just go leaving parents
mystified. One mother’s distraught story.

Source:- G2 Wednesday 31 October page 10

Guardian Society

Merit measure

Voluntary sector called to account

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 31 October page

Coded warning

Charities face a shot across their bows as a government inquiry
is poised to recommend that face-to-face fundraising will boost
public trust.

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 31 October page

Learning curve

For brain-injured people, specialist rehabilitation is vital in
helping them rebuild their lives

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 31 October page

On the run from misery

Research reveals the motives for children fleeing their home

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 31 October page

Scottish newspapers

Heroin addicts failed by health services

Heroin addicts are terrified to seek medical attention because
medics treat them so badly, according to one man’s evidence
to a fatal accident inquiry in Glasgow yesterday.

The inquiry at Glasgow sheriff court is considering the sudden
deaths of 18 intravenous users of heroin in Glasgow last year.
Maxwell McElvanney told the inquiry that his sister Deborah Martin
was “terrified to go to hospital”, and was “horrified they (medics)
didn’t care”.

Martin died one week after being admitted to Glasgow Royal
Infirmary. Dr Craig Urquhart, a senior house officer at Glasgow
Royal Infirmary, said that Martin had been seen within an hour of
arriving at the accident and emergency unit. The inquiry

Source:- The Scotsman Wednesday 31 October page 5

‘Chaotic’ system fails children

Inadequate government support for the most vulnerable youngsters
in Scotland has created an “invisible” generation of children who
have slipped through the net of social care, health and education
services, according to a new report by the executive. The report,
For Scotland’s Children, heralded the creation of a
seven-strong ministerial taskforce – including the ministers for
education and young people, health and social justice – to
push forward an agenda of integrating childcare services across the

The report painted a bleak picture for Scotland’s most
disadvantaged children with one child referred to 23 social workers
in three years being a common finding. The executive will now come
under increased pressure to appoint a children’s commissioner
with the report’s 12 recommendations calling for an
independent person to champion and co-ordinate children’s

Source:- The Herald Wednesday 31 October page 4







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