A daily summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By Clare Jerrom, Reg McKay and Alex Dobson.

Mentally ill man shot dead in knife siege

A man with mental health problems barricaded his mother and
girlfriend in a London flat and threatened to kill them before
being shot dead by police, an inquest heard yesterday.

Kieron O’Donnell, who had a history of mental health problems
and had been diagnosed as schizophrenic, believed police officers
who surrounded the flat were IRA terrorists who wanted to kill him,
St Pancras coroners court heard.

O’ Donnell’s girlfriend Fiona Hynes said he had tied
her arms and legs and stabbed her in the side of the head when the
police entered the building in Upper Holloway, north London. But
she told the hearing her partner need not have died had police
handled it differently.

O’Donnell’s mother Catherine O’Connor sobbed
as she told the inquest her son should have received better
treatment before he died.

He had drug and alcohol problems and had taken his mother
hostage in a similar incident 18 months earlier. He was sent to
hospital for treatment under the Mental Health Act, but was
released to live with his mother three months before he died.

The hearing continues today.

Source:- The Independent Tuesday 9 April page

Woman killed by adopted son

An unemployed man admitted the manslaughter through diminished
responsibility of his adoptive mother at her home last

Darren Burr, of Tredegar, South Wales, denied the murder of
Afryl Burr.

He pleaded guilty at Cardiff crown court to the attempted murder
of police officers, and will be sentenced at a later date.

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 9 April page 7

Tenants deliver blow to housing

The government’s plans to regenerate Britain’s
public housing stock received a setback yesterday after tenants in
Birmingham voted overwhelmingly against ending council housing in
the city.

Less than four days after tenants in Glasgow voted to transfer
the city’s 80,000 council houses to a new housing
association, similar projects were rejected in Birmingham by more
than 66 per cent of residents.

The decision could delay thousands of other transfers and could
jeopardise the government’s aim to provide “decent homes for
all” within 10 years.

Steep increases in rent in Birmingham as part of the scheme are
thought to have influenced the vote.

Source:- The Times Tuesday 9 April page 12

Scottish newspapers

Disabled people stranded by lack of taxis

Fewer than 550 taxis are available to people with disabilities
living outside Scotland’s three largest cities leaving
thousands of people stranded, according to the Scottish Accessible
Transport Alliance (SATA).

SATA also found that of more than 8,000 licensed taxis in
Scotland just 3,219 were suitable for use by disabled people. Of
those 83 per cent were based in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen
leaving just 538 for the rest of the country.

Source:- The Herald Tuesday 9 April page 6

Welsh newspapers

Care home crisis tip of iceberg

Experts are warning that the care of older people in Wales will
be a source of major problems for the NHS in the future. The
deepening crisis between local authorities in Wales and care home
owners threatens many services for older people, with a quarter of
the population in the principality expected to be over the official
age of retirement within 10 years.

Robert Taylor, director of Age Concern Wales, said that the
growing proportion of older people had not been planned for by the
NHS, and that when the service was set up it was anticipated that
people would live for 10 to 15 years after retirement.

He added: “But now we have people living as much as double that
and the proportion of older people in the population is generally
climbing too. This is going to cause specific problems for local
authority social services, and the level and cost of home care that
they can provide to older people.”

Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 9 April page 3

Racist who terrorised family due for parole

A former member of the Ku Klux Klan who was jailed for
terrorising an Asian shopkeeper and his family, could be freed this

Alan Beshella was sentenced to three months in prison earlier
this year for racially harassing the family from Maesteg in South
Wales following the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Anti racist campaigners say that they are determined to try to
prevent Beshella returning to the community, and that they plan to
hold a public demonstration next week in a show of support for his

Jeff Hurford of the Bridgend Coalition Against Racism said: “He
is not welcome back.”

Source: Western Mail Tuesday 9 April page 3




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