A daily summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By Clare Jerrom, Reg McKay and Alex Dobson.

Judge’s sorrow as baby killer mother gets

A woman was given a life sentence yesterday for murdering two
sons despite her claims that they were cot deaths.

Angela Cannings was convicted of smothering Jason,
seven-weeks-old, in June 1991 and Matthew, 18 weeks, in November
1999. Charges over the death of a third child Gemma, who died aged
12 weeks in 1989, were dropped before the trial.

Mrs Justice Hallett expressed regret that she had no option but
to impose the mandatory sentence as she sentenced Cannings to life
imprisonment for each murder.

“There was no medical evidence before the court that suggested
there was anything wrong with you when you killed your children. I
have no doubt that for a woman like you to have committed these
terrible acts that there must have been something seriously wrong
with you,” she said.

She concluded that it was not her decision when Cannings would
be released, but said she would let it be known in her remarks that
Cannings would not be a threat to anyone else.

Source:- The Times Wednesday 17 April page 3

NHS set for huge funding rise

Today’s Budget will see NHS spending rise from £65
billion to £90 billion over five years of spectacular growth,
it emerged last night.

Gordon Brown was said to be set to abandon five years of fiscal
caution when he delivers his sixth budget statement to the Commons
this afternoon, though Whitehall refused to confirm

It could mean as much as 7 per cent real terms growth in “catch
up” health spending every year for the next five years. The lift
would bring UK health spend near to the EU average.

Much of the extra cost will be met by higher national insurance

Source:- The Guardian Wednesday 17 April page 11

Young petty offenders to be taken into

The home secretary announced plans that would see children as
young as 10 who are charged with petty offences being taken into
protective care of foster homes.

They will be removed from their families for up to nine months
and placed with foster parents who will provide a highly structured
daily regime for the child.

Blunkett told a conference organised by the Youth Justice Board:
“Until we can secure them and work with them, we are not going to
make progress and change their behaviour.”

The new measures to deal with young offenders are expected to be
published in the criminal justice white paper this summer.

Source:- The Times Wednesday 17 April page 10

Rose, 102, fights to save care home

A 102-year-old woman yesterday urged ministers to reassure her
that the care home where she lives will not be sold to

Rose Cottle took her fight to Westminster where she spoke to
health minister Jacqui Smith. From her wheelchair outside the
Commons she insisted she would keep returning until she received
the assurances she needed.

Cottle thought she had won a reprieve for Borehamwood Care
Village in Hertfordshire after handing a petition in to Downing
Street. But weeks later a planning application to demolish the home
and replace it with flats had still not been withdrawn.

Assured Care Centres, which owns the home, said it has lost
£3 million in 10 years, and has urged the government to
provide more money through the local authority to help it

Source:- The Times Wednesday 17 April page 10

Arguing couple abandon baby

A couple were being hunted by police yesterday after abandoning
a four-month-old baby in a town centre following a heated

After the boy was taken into care by the police, a photograph of
a couple was found in the pushchair. However, the couple in the
photograph were different to the couple who were seen abandoning
the child in Gillingham, Kent.

“The incident is most peculiar,” a police source said yesterday.
“We are used to teenage girls abandoning newborn babies but this
lad is well cared for.”

Last night police said a man had claimed to be related to the
baby, who detectives have called Charlie.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Wednesday 17 April page 8

Guardian Society

Survival tactics

Lottery cash to cover charity expenses

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 17 April page 4

Withdrawal of a lifeline

Respite care centres in Oxfordshire to close after funds cut

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 17 April page 4

Dangerous practice

Charity fined over negligence in care of young man

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 17 April page 4

Streets ahead

A scheme that circulates details about violent attacks on
prostitutes is also helping the police to identify and catch

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 17 April page 6

Risky view

Many psychiatrists say people with severe personality disorder
who commit sexual and violent offences are untreatable. But is that
true? A controversial pilot scheme aims to find out.

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 17 April page

Inside stories

Pat Evans on a creative project to help men in prison become
better fathers to the children they barely know

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 17 April page

Caught in no-go areas

‘Inaccessible’ healthcare services impede disabled

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 17 April page

Going the whole way

Touch of humanity can ease mental health problems

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 17 April page

Scottish newspapers

MSPs warned of impact of closure of sex offenders

A former governor of Peterhead Prison, Bill Rattray, has warned
MSPs that extreme care will be required if they close the sex
offenders unit at that jail and transfer it elsewhere.

Rattray, governor of Peterhead for six years, said that the
Scottish Prison Service had never had to undertake such a sensitive
task before, and great care would be required “to ensure
continuity”. Rattray was referring to the recent announcement by
Jim Wallace, justice minister, that Peterhead would close, and its
sex offenders unit be transferred to the central belt where most of
the inmates originate.

Source:- The Herald Wednesday 17 April page 7

Law lord calls for domestic abuse courts

One of Scotland’s most senior judges, Lord Carloway, has
called for specialist courts to deal with allegations of domestic

Lord Carloway made his comments at a conference organised by
Strathclyde Police. He said that matters of domestic abuse were
often extremely complex, and dedicated courts working within the
sheriff court system, but spanning both criminal and civil
proceedings, could be the answer. Lord Carloway called on the
Scottish executive to consider primary legislation to carry out
major reforms in the way domestic violence is dealt with by the

Source:- The Herald Wednesday 17 April page 5

Welsh newspapers

Hanged girl had complained of school

A 13-year-old schoolgirl found hanged at her home near Cardiff
had complained of being bullied at school.

Laura Kilibarda was ‘unsettled and troubled’ at her
comprehensive school in Cardiff in the weeks leading up to the
tragedy. She was found hanged from a strip of cloth in the bedroom
of her home. Inspector Gary Sullivan of south Wales police said it
was a tragedy, and that the police were looking into her school and
social life, and asking friends to come forward with

Source:- Western Mail Wednesday 17 April page 1

‘A-level bribe offered to buy silence for John

A 17-year-old girl was offered the guarantee of an A-level if
she dropped her complaint of sexual abuse against her former drama
teacher John Owen, a witness told the Clywch Inquiry yesterday.

The inquiry chaired by children’s commissioner for Wales, Peter
Clarke, was told by the girl’s mother that she had been offered a
‘bribe’ by a senior education official in return for silence about
the activities of the former teacher and television

The inquiry is looking the circumstances surrounding alleged
abuse by Owen while he worked at Rhydfelen Comprehensive in
Pontypridd in south Wales.

Source:- Western Mail Wednesday 17 April page 1

Protect Innocents – Protect Innocence

A two-page special report looking at the problems of protecting
children from abuse, and highlighting the issues raised by police
‘trawling’ for evidence during investigations.

The report summarises criticism of the methods used by police in
Northumbria during Operation Rose, and prints readers reactions to
a campaign to clear five men from south Wales who are serving
prison sentences for abuse.

A 47-year-old abuse victim describes his experiences while he
was at Headlands approved school in Penarth near Cardiff, which was
the subject of an investigation by south Wales police during
Operation Goldfinch that looked at child abuse of children in

Source:- South Wales Echo Tuesday April 16 page 4 and





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