A daily summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By Clare Jerrom and Alex Dobson.

Teenager ‘from hell’ is exposed by

A 16-year-old girl was exposed yesterday as being one of the
country’s most prolific young offenders.

Police dub Maxine Jeans the “child from hell”. She started her
criminal career at 11 and went on to threaten and assault
neighbours, police and shop workers.

At Portsmouth magistrates court, Jeans was named by district
judge Lorraine Morgan yesterday, as she was placed under an
anti-social behaviour order for five years.

The girl is now banned from visiting her local high street,
threatening residents, assaulting police and encouraging others to
threaten or harass. If she fails to comply, she will be taken back
to court and could face two years in jail.

Source:- The Times Thursday 16 May page 4

‘Yob’ boy fights for anonymity

An 11-year-old boy, accused of vandalism and abusing neighbours,
began a high court action yesterday to prevent media branding him a

The case is the first of its kind and raises the issue of
whether children should be identified when anti-social behaviour
orders are made against them. The order was placed on the boy,
known as T, last November after evidence proved he was “a living
nightmare” for neighbours at Woodhall in Hertfordshire.

An appeal hearing at St Albans crown court in January ruled his
identity could be revealed.

Yesterday T’s lawyers said the order was obtained under
civil proceedings, and under a criminal charge in a youth court his
identity would have probably been protected.

Judgement will be given later.

Source:-Daily Telegraph Thursday 16 May page 4

Mother ‘used epileptic drugs to murder son,

A mother was accused of murdering her son yesterday by poisoning
him with drugs that were prescribed after she falsely claimed he
suffered epileptic fits.

Michelle Dickinson deliberately inserted drugs into her
sons’ lungs through a naso gastric tube after convincing
doctors he needed the drugs, Liverpool crown court was told.

By intentionally administering excessive doses, Dickinson caused
her son, Michael, to contact pneumonia, it was alleged.

The jury was told the boy died from the illness after spending
months on a life support machine at a Midlands hospital.

Alistair Webster QC for the prosecution said: “Michael’s
death was the culmination of a long period during which his mother
seriously and knowingly damaged his health.”

A computer seized from her home shows Dickinson researched
pneumonia before her son contracted the illness.

She denies murder and five counts of cruelty to her son dating
from December 1996.

Source:- The Times Thursday 16 May page 5

Judge refuses bail for mother of truants

A judge yesterday refused to grant bail for a woman serving a
prison sentence for permitting her children to play truant.

Lawyers for Patricia Amos asked that she could be allowed home
on bail to care for her daughters Emma, 15, and Jackie, 13, prior
to her appeal against her sentence to be heard next Wednesday.

Amos was sentenced to 60 days imprisonment last week, and became
the first parent to be jailed in Britain for failing to ensure her
children attended school.

Amos’ lawyer Stephen Warrington said that Amos would
promise at her appeal to ensure the girls attended school

Source:- The Guardian Thursday 16 May page 5

Benefits should go to the ‘responsible’
minister suggests

Plans to cut housing and child benefit from disruptive families
could be extended across the social security system, Alistair
Darling suggested yesterday.

The work and pensions secretary said there was no bar to using
the benefits system to promote social objectives, as controversy
over cuts in payment to criminals and disruptive families

Darling told members of the parliamentary press gallery: “I
believe there is no unconditional right to benefit. It’s entirely
consistent with our beliefs that we should give people rights and
support when they need support, but say that in return that people
behave responsibly in relation to other citizens.”

Source:- The Independent Thursday 16 May page

Scottish newspapers

Women on HIV alert over doctor

Highlands health board wrote to 116 women yesterday offering
them a blood test, after it emerged they received treatment from a
doctor who is HIV positive.

A total of 600 women across the Highlands and East Yorkshire
were informed they were at risk of infection from the doctor, who
worked in the obstetrics and gynaecology department at Raigmore
Hospital in Inverness.

The doctor, who cannot be named for legal reasons, left
Inverness over two years ago and he now works in Hull.

Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust wrote to 500 women
warning that a health care worker had been diagnosed as HIV

Although doctors stressed the dangers of infection were minimal,
it set up a helpline for those women who had concerns.

Source:- The Herald Thursday 16 May 2002

Welsh newspapers

Assembly’s care plans for the elderly ‘will
only work with right funding’

The Welsh assembly will today agree in principle to give free
personal care to the elderly.

The decision though is unlikely to have any effect on the lives
of older people in Wales because the assembly lacks the power to
give the measure practical effect.

The Royal College of Nursing and charities involved with older
people in Wales welcomed the move, but warned that the announcement
today would be pointless without the money to back it up.

Source:- Western Mail Thursday 16 May page 9

Russell Orders Shake-Up

Council leader Russell Goodway has ordered a shake-up in the way
that Cardiff social services operate.

An action plan is to be drawn up to address problems that will
be highlighted in a report by Welsh social services inspectors, due
out in the summer.

There has been criticism of the way that children’s
services in the capital have been handled and also of the running
of a home for the elderly in the city.

Goodway said: “We have a lot to do in terms of our social

Source:- South Wales Echo Wednesday 15 May page 9
















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