A daily summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By Clare Jerrom, Reg McKay and Alex Dobson.

Damilola denied final justice

Police and crown prosecutors faced a barrage of criticism
yesterday for bringing a deeply flawed case to court as two
brothers were cleared of murdering Damilola Taylor.

The unanimous not guilty verdicts returned on the 16-year-olds
by an Old Bailey jury means that no one is likely to be convicted
for the murder of 10-year-old Damilola despite a £2.8 million
investigation by the largest ever murder squad to be assembled in
London, and a trial which cost a further £3.5 million.

Scotland Yard said there were no other suspects for the murder
of Damilola who died on a housing estate in Peckham, south London,
after being stabbed in the leg 17 months ago.

Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, called on the Metropolitan
police authority to conduct an inquiry into the police handling of
the case.

Source:- The Times Friday 26 April page 1

Pensioner shot dead after complaint on drug

A pensioner who complained about local drug dealers was shot
dead in front of his wife just days later, it emerged last

Terry Morgan, 69, was killed by a single shot to the chest near
his home in Rugby on Wednesday night.

Yesterday police began a major inquiry into what they described
as a horrific murder, and it emerged Morgan had complained to his
local councillor about drug dealings going on in a nearby alleyway
just three days before his death.

Detective chief superintendent Steve Hussey of Warwickshire
Police said he was not ruling out any motive for the murder of the
father of five.

Source:- The Times Friday 26 April page 14

Woolf says tough line is right

Young people involved in street violence should receive tough
punishment, according to the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Woolf.

Woolf said young offenders must be made to acknowledge the
suffering they cause.

“Punishment for street violence in particular needs to be
robust,” he told the Michael Sieff Foundation conference in

He added that young offenders should not be jailed with no
attempt to educate and train them.

Source:- The Times Friday 26 April page 14

£66m crackdown on bad behaviour by

English local education authorities with the worst rate of pupil
absenteeism will have regular truancy sweeps, it was announced
yesterday, as part of a £66 million package to improve the
discipline in schools and cut street crime.

Education secretary Estelle Morris said she was disappointed the
national truancy rate remained “stubbornly” too high at 0.7 per
cent, despite the government’s attempts to reduce it over the
past five years.

Around 50,000 young people in England are out of school every
day for no good reason, and are likely to be drawn into crime, anti
social behaviour and eventually unemployment, she said.

Regular police “sweeps” will begin this month, rounding up
youngsters who should be at school in 33 local education

Source:- The Guardian Friday 26 April page 8

Blunkett deeper in ‘swamp’ row

David Blunkett found himself deeper into the row over his
comments that some local schools were being “swamped” by the
children of asylum seekers.

The home secretary found himself under attack from the
Commission for Racial Equality, Gurbux Singh and former Labour
party deputy leader Roy Hattersley.

Singh said he hoped Blunkett regretted his terminology and said
the language used by all public figures was vitally important.

Lord Hattersley accused Blunkett of trying to burnish his
“tough” image and called on him to apologise.

But far from apologising, the home secretary insisted he used
the term deliberately to explain why children of 3,000 asylum
seekers who are to be put up in new home office accommodation
centres will be educated separately from local schools.

Source:- The Guardian Friday 26 April page 10

Downing St retreats over crime pledge

Downing Street tried to water down Tony Blair’s pledge to
bring street crime under control in London and other large urban
areas in England by the end of September.

Officials refused to set a specific target for what would be
achieved in curbing muggings, robberies and other violent offences
in five months’ time.

The prime minister’s official spokesperson said he was not going
to announce particular targets, or say that things would happen by
a particular date.

“The Prime Minister is not saying that come September 1, nobody
will be mugged,” he said.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Friday 26 April page 6

Scottish newspapers

Helping the jobless find work

A delegation of community and business leaders will today try to
gain backing for a radical new scheme to help homeless people in
Glasgow, a city with more than 20,000 unemployed people. The group
hope to persuade officials from the department of works and pension
that the withdrawal of welfare benefits as soon as an unemployed
person finds work removes all financial incentives. Instead, they
seek agreement for a radical pilot which will guarantee full-time
employment to 500 people whose benefits would be reduced gradually
so they see some financial gain from their efforts. The areas to be
involved in the proposed project are Glasgow North, Pollock and

Source:- The Herald Friday 26 April page 12

Nurse to be struck off for nursing home

Heather Clowe, of Cumbernauld, who admitted at Falkirk sheriff
court seven charges of assault against residents of nursing homes
was yesterday struck off the nursing register “in order to protect
the public”. An 89-year-old man, who Clowe admitted headbutting at
Bankview Nursing Home, Banknock, has since died.

Source:- The Herald Friday 26 April page 14

Welsh newspapers

Disgrace: Ex-miner died still waiting for his

Former miner Don Lawrence has died before his claim for
compensation for chest disease could be settled.

He registered the claim in 2000 and hoped that the money he
would be awarded would help his family after his death. He suffered
from a crippling lung condition caused by almost 20 years of
working in the pits in south Wales, but the claim was delayed and
he died not knowing if his family would be provided for.

Despite recent government efforts to speed up compensation
claims, Bleddyn Hancock, the leader of the mining union Nacods,
fears that more ex-miners will fall victim to devastating chest
diseases before they receive their money.

A spokesperson for the department of trade and industry said the
claim would now pass to Lawrence’s widow, enhanced by a
bereavement award.

Source:- South Wales Argus Thursday 25 April page 1

Teachers call for more help in coping with disruptive

Teachers have accused the Welsh assembly of failing to support
their efforts to cope with disruptive pupils.

They are angry that Wales is not getting a share of the
£600 million set aside for referral units in England, where
unruly pupils are taught away from others. But, Jane Davidson,
Welsh education minister, said that she wants to invest in measures
to tackle disaffection, so that fewer schoolchildren will need
special tuition.

Source:- South Wales Echo Thursday April 25 page 26




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