A daily summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By David Callaghan and Reg McKay.

Climbie inquiry ponders prosecution

The Victoria Climbie inquiry may prosecute the director of
social services in Haringey for failing to provide documents within
the deadline set.

An unnamed source has revealed that Anne Bristow could face six
months imprisonment or a £1,000 fine for failing to comply
with orders from the inquiry chairperson, Lord Laming. He had
already summoned Bristow to the inquiry instructing her to provide
all the files relevant to the death of Victoria.

Haringey’s chief executive David Warwick was also asked to
explain whether his officials were incompetent or were actively
trying to frustrate the inquiry. Warwick apologised, but said he
could not guarantee no further documentation would be found.

A further bundle of evidence was submitted by the local
authority yesterday. Elizabeth Lawson, QC for Haringey, said the
latest set of documents were of “minimal if any relevance”.

But the solicitor acting for Lisa Arthurworrey, the social
worker responsible for Victoria’s case, argued that the late
submission of files was prejudicial to her.

Source: The Guardian Friday 14 December page 6

Longer jail terms call after Sarah verdict

Ministers are said to be proposing a change to the law so that
sex offenders who pose a serious risk to the public will be given a
mandatory life sentence.

The move follows the conviction of Roy Whiting for the kidnap
and murder of Sarah Payne earlier this week. Whiting had a previous
conviction for kidnapping and sexually assaulting a nine-year-old
girl in 1995. He was given a four-year sentence, but only served
two-and-a-half years before being released.

Under the proposals life would be the automatic sentence for
crimes that currently carry a discretionary sentence if the
offender poses a risk to the public. For crimes that do not even
carry a discretionary life sentence offenders would be assessed by
a parole board before they could be released.

Both measures are expected to be contained in a crime white
paper to be published next spring.

Source: The Guardian Friday 14 December page 6

Scottish newspapers

Asylum seeker’s death not racially

The prosecution at the trial into the murder of Asylum seeker
Firsat Dag, advised the jury at Glasgow high court yesterday that
they were dropping the accusation that the killing was racially

On trial is Scott Burrell, who has already been acquitted of
attacking another asylum seeker, Barzan Amini, on March 13 this
year. Burrell remains on trial for the murder of Dag on 5 August
and attacking a German tourist on the same night. Burrell denies
both charges. The trial continues with the judge, Lord Kingarth,
addressing the jury today before they retire to consider the

Source: The Herald Friday 14 December page 3

Rebellion threatens ban on smacking

The controversial proposals to introduce a legal ban on smacking
children aged three years and under is set to face difficulties in
passing through the committee.

Several MSPs on the justice committee have serious doubts about
the proposals contained within the Criminal Justice Bill, as well
as facing protests from parents and Christian groups. Only two of
the seven committee members are committed to backing the ban.
Justice committee convenor, Christine Grahame, said: “I cannot see
how a ban would work.”

Source:- The Scotsman Friday 14 December page 1






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