Tuesday 13 August 2002

By Clare Jerrom, Reg McKay and Alex Dobson.

Woman dies in explosion and fire at sheltered home for
elderly people

One woman died and a man was left critically injured yesterday
after an explosion at an older people’s home.

Mary Delworthy was found dead after the blast, which caused a
fierce fire at around 6.30 am in her ground floor flat in John
Tucker House in Milwall, east London.

Terence Dodson, who lives in a neighbouring flat, was taken to
the Royal London Hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.
Thirty-four residents were evacuated.

Source:- The
Independent Tuesday 13 August
page 4

UK immigration officers to check Brussels

British immigration officers are to check the travel documents
of passengers boarding Eurostar trains in Brussels in a bid to
prevent illegal immigrants entering Britain.

As part of the drive to tighten security against migrants at
cross-Channel ports, immigration officials will also be based at
Ostend and Zeebrugge.

The move is aimed at preventing migrants from moving to Belgium
to try to enter Britain after France shuts down the Sangatte
refugee centre near Calais.

Source:- The Times Tuesday 13 August page 10

Blunkett faces Lotto challenge

The home secretary was urged yesterday to come up with reasons
for denying national lottery funding to a group that helps asylum
seekers to contest deportation.

David Blunkett and culture secretary Tessa Jowell have raised
questions over grants from the Lottos’ Community Fund to the
National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns, calling for an
investigation to ensure the group is operating within the law.

Jowell said yesterday: “First, is lottery money being used for
political purposes? Secondly is there any evidence that this
organisation encourages people to break the law?”

Spokesperson for the Community Fund, Gerald Oppenheim, said it
was unable to withdraw the latest £340,000 grant unless
serious allegations were proved.

“We are going to write to David Blunkett requesting a meeting
with the home office because there have been some serious
allegations,” he said.

Source:- The Times Tuesday 13 August page 10

Woman kills herself in prison

A woman was found hanged just 36 hours after being remanded in
custody by Stafford crown court to await sentencing for breaking a
community punishment.

Nissa Smith was found hanged in her cell on Saturday at Styal
women’s prison in Wilmslow, Cheshire. Officers tried to
resuscitate her, but she was pronounced dead two hours later.

Smith from Birmingham was to have been sentenced for breaching a
rehabilitation order imposed in March after a conviction for
handling stolen goods, possessing a controlled drug with intent to
supply and possessing cocaine.

Source:- The Times Tuesday 13 August page 10

Police pilot spot fines for ‘yob’

Four police forces began a pilot scheme yesterday that could
lead to fixed penalty fines for anti social behaviour.

The initiative gave police officers the power to issue £40
and £80 tickets for offences such as threatening behaviour,
wasting police time and being drunk and disorderly. Offenders can
pay their fine by post or challenge it in court.

Critics claims the scheme allows police officers to be judge and
jury for minor offences.

West Midlands police has begun a one-year trial and it is also
being tested in Essex, Croydon in south London and by British
Transport police in the West Midlands. A scheme in north Wales is
due to start next month.

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 13 August page 7

Scottish newspapers

Questions raised over sex abuse inquiry

An independent inquiry into the sex abuse, imprisonment and
torturing of an adult woman with learning difficulties has been
called into question when it emerged that the head of the
department under scrutiny at Borders council is a former colleague
of the man leading the investigation.

The woman victim had been held naked in a flat and abused by
three men over a period of months. Her former social worker, Clive
Purnis, had raised concerns over the woman’s welfare when he
could not gain access to the house.

When the abuse emerged, Purnis was suspended though later
re-instated. Now the lawyer representing Purnis has called for the
inquiry leader, David Stallard, to be replaced. Stallard is a
former assistant manager in Highland council where he worked as an
assistant to Frances Stuart when she was an area manager.

Now Stuart is head of community care at Borders council, and it
is her department which will face most scrutiny in the
investigation. Philip Gibson, acting director for lifelong care at
Borders council, said they were aware of the former link and had
complete confidence in Stallard’s appointment.

Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 13 August page 2

Young offenders ordered to apologise to their

More young offenders in Scotland are to be ordered to apologise
to their victims as a result of an executive decision to extend
restorative justice community orders as alternatives to prison

The £2 million scheme is part of the executive’s
wider strategy to combat youth crime. A spokesperson for the
executive said that though not every crime committed by a young
person will fit this category the restorative justice approach had
proven to be effective in turning young people away from an
offending lifestyle.

Source:- The Herald Tuesday 13 August page 1

Glasgow to join cash fight for social

Glasgow council, Scotland’s largest local authority, is
set to join the nationwide poaching war for social workers.

Up until now, Glasgow has avoided the cash incentives, golden
hellos and extra holidays being offered by other local authorities
to attract new graduates and retain long term staff to address the
national shortfall in social workers.

Glasgow has an acute problem with social work vacancies which is
worsening with increases in five of the six social work fields
since December, and now proposes to increase salaries.

Source:- The Herald Tuesday 13 August page 9

Welsh newspapers

Hospital should not be used for refugees

People living near an almost disused hospital in the Vale of
Glamorgan have reacted angrily to the prospect of it being used as
a home for asylum seekers.

Residents say that Hensol castle and its 155 acres of grounds
should be used to provide housing for local people.

The hospital was formerly used to provide accommodation for up
to 500 people with learning difficulties, but now only 60 patients
remain and the site is up for sale.

A Welsh assembly source confirmed that there was “no doubt” that
Hensol was being considered as a possible home for hundreds of
asylum seekers, but the home office has declined to comment.

Source:- South Wales Echo Monday August 12 page 2

Care home manager ‘made woman’s ears

A residential care home manager appeared in court yesterday
accused of causing actual bodily harm to a woman with severe
learning disabilities.

Kay Piateck denies four counts of actual bodily harm between
September 2000 and August 2001 on Helen Davies, who was a resident
at Uplands House, a care home in Newbridge, south-east Wales.

According to two care workers Piateck had held Davies in a
headlock, before using a metal hairgrip and her fingernails to
remove wax from the patient’s ears. Davies has a brain injury
that makes her ears very sensitive and the procedure made her ears
bleed, Cardiff crown court was told.

The case continues.

Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 13 August page 5

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