By Clare Jerrom and Reg McKay.
Police may have ‘contaminated’ vital Sarah
Vital evidence linking the man accused of murdering Sarah Payne
to the eight-year-old may have been contaminated by the forensic
team, a jury was told yesterday.
The forensic scientist leading the team, Raymond Chapman, said
it was “possible” that the red sweatshirt seized from Roy
Whiting’s van could have picked up the 23cm blonde hair at
his laboratories when analysed.
Chapman told Lewes crown court that he was a “little surprised”
to spot a number of hairs stuck to the adhesive seal of two
evidence bags containing hair brushed taken from the family home in
He admitted the sweatshirt material easily attracts hairs and he
did not know how many hairs had been dislodged from the seals on
He said no hair was spotted when the sweatshirt was examined
under a tungsten light before it was bagged the day after Sarah
Whiting denied kidnap and murder.
The trial continues.
Source:- The Times Friday 30 November page 7
Climbie council lapses put many children at
A catalogue of children have been failed by the social services
department in Haringey council, the inquiry into Victoria
Climbie’s death heard yesterday.
They included an 11-year-old boy who complained of his father
hitting him, but who was not seen by social workers for nearly a
year, and a mother and child who were not contacted for two months
after the child witnessed a domestic knife attack.
Victoria died in February last year and 128 separate injuries
were found on her body. Haringey social workers closed the file on
her case the week before the eight-year-old died.
Neil Garnham QC told the inquiry under Lord Laming that evidence
from the north Tottenham social services department was “worrying”,
but the performance at a neighbouring office in Hornsey was
The case continues.
Source:- The Guardian Friday 30 November page 11
Law lords deny woman right to assisted
A woman will got to Europe to seek the right to commit suicide
with the help of her husband after five law lords rejected her
The Human Rights 1998 Act did not give Diane Pretty – who is in
the last stages of motor neurone disease – the right to kill
herself, they ruled.
Immediately after the hearing Pretty said through her husband:
“I want to go on. I feel I have no rights. The law lords
don’t want to admit that the law is wrong.”
Source:- The Times Friday 30 November page 8
Former supermodel claims she was raped by
The former supermodel Karen Mulder has alleged she was
repeatedly raped from her childhood until earlier this year.
A French magistrate is to investigate the allegations that the
Dutch model was raped by a member of the European royal family and
leading figures in the French modelling industry.
Mulder first made the allegations during the recording of a
French television programme called Tout le Monde en Parle (Everyone
is talking about it). The intention was to revisit claims made by a
BBC documentary two years ago that young models were often sexually
exploited by leading figures in the modelling business.
Mulder dissolved into tears and said she had been persistently
abused from her childhood until last April.
Mulder is currently being treated in a private psychiatric
clinic in Paris.
Source:- The Independent Friday 30 November
Biggest hospice wins VAT battle
St Margaret’s in Clydebank, the largest hospice in
Scotland, has won a three-year battle to have £150,000 VAT
returned by HM Customs.
St Margaret’s, which has an annual budget of £2.5
million of which 75 per cent comes from charitable donations, had
been given the bill on after building a new laundry, staff
quarters, conference centre and spa for patients.
Source:- The Herald Friday 30 November page 12
Prison numbers increase
The Scottish prison figures are set to reach record highs this
year. A general decreasing trend since 1990 has been reversed to a
record high of 6,253 for July to September this year, according to
provisional statistics issued by the Scottish Prison Service. Clive
Fairweather, chief inspector of prisons, has warned of the effects
of chronic overcrowding.
Source:- The Herald Friday 30 November page 6