Friday 30 August 2002

By Clare Jerrom, Shona Main and Alex

Carr weeps as she appears in court on jail video

The girlfriend of double murder suspect Ian Huntley, broke down
in tears yesterday when she appeared before a judge via a video
link in connection with the murders of Holly Wells and Jessica

Maxine Carr was seen on monitors at a courtroom in Peterborough,
Cambridgeshire, yesterday via a live link from a video suite in
Holloway prison, north London.

She faces a charge of perverting the court of justice. She
stands accused of giving false information to police investigating
the murder of the two 10-year-old girls from Soham,

Ian Huntley is currently in high security Rampton psychiatric
hospital, charged with murdering the two girls.

The hearing was adjourned until 27 September.

Source:- The Times Friday 30 August page 5

Race killing

A confrontation between asylum seekers and a group of white men
in Sunderland resulted in an Iranian man being killed.

Tayman Bahmani, who had been in Britain for two years, was
fatally stabbed in what police consider was a racially motivated

Source:- The Times Friday 30 August page 2

Porn charges

A senior office clerk at the House of Commons has been charged
in connection with child pornography, according to Scotland

Philip Lyon, of Basildon, Essex, was charged with 10 counts of
making indecent images of children, and was bailed to appear before
Bow magistrates court on 10 September.

Source:- The Times Friday 30 August page 4

Labour ‘refused job to dwarfism

The Labour party discriminated against a disabled woman by
refusing her a job on Tony Blair’s 1997 general election
team, an industrial tribunal heard yesterday.

Helen Garrod, who has dystrophic dwarfism, claimed she suffered
psychological problems after her application was rejected as she
was “unsuitable for any work because she was disabled”.

Garrod, from Helston, Cornwall, said that in January 1997, she
was a deputy editor of ‘Progress’ magazine for Labour modernisers,
and was recommended for a job on the campaign squad.

The hearing is to decide whether Garrod’s case can be
heard, as a discrimination claim must usually be lodged within
three months. She applied for an exemption.

The hearing continues today.

Source:- The Guardian Friday 30 August page 7

Two held after baby injured

A 22-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman have been arrested by
officers investigating an attack in a Bristol park on a
three-month-old baby and her mother that left the child with a
fractured skull.

Source:- The Guardian Friday 30 August page 10

Pupils hit by crisis over staff checks

Thousands of pupils could be turned away from schools next week
because of a crisis in vetting staff, head teachers warned

The Criminal Records Bureau, which checks the suitability of
people in charge of children, has a backlog of 12,000 applications
which needs to be completed before term begins.

Schools are waiting to hear whether teachers, governors and
other staff have passed the vetting. Head teachers face delaying
the start of term because they do not have the staff to supervise

Source:- Daily Telegraph Friday 30 August page 1

Scottish newspapers

Social workers demand action on staffing and

Unison has called on the Scottish executive to act now to tackle
the crisis in social work, and to better resource social work and
social work services.

Unison delegates met in Glasgow yesterday as Glasgow council
launched the ‘Help Us Care For Glasgow’ recruitment
drive. Glasgow’s social work department is Scotland’s
largest, and is currently operating with shortfalls in almost every
social work field.

Stephen Smellie, branch secretary for South Lanarkshire,
welcomed the Scottish executive’s forthcoming recruitment and
retention campaign, but warned that more would need to be done to
ensure the delivery of better social services.

Joe di Paolo, Unison’s Scottish organiser for local
government, said the union was not considering industrial action.
“There is a crisis in social work, and it needs to be addressed
urgently. A root-and-branch review of social work services is
required. Resources have to be found before it is too late.”

The union is now seeking talks with the Scottish executive and
COSLA to discuss the concerns of frontline social worker staff.

A spokesperson for Cathy Jamieson, the minister who initiated
the recruitment and retention campaign, said: “There are currently
two project groups reporting to the minister on recruitment and
professional reforms, and we are pleased that Unison is willing to
be part of that process.”

Source:- The Herald Friday 30 August

Three jailed for abuse of woman with

The men convicted of what Lord Dawson called “a course of
depravity and brutality towards a defenceless and vulnerable young
woman” were sentenced to a total of 24 years at the high court in

James Mercer was sentenced to a 10-year sentence and Alexander
Maber and Ross Douglas were each given seven years.

Their victim, who suffers from severe learning difficulties,
said, “I am relieved, but unhappy that it has taken so long to get
this all sorted out. I have been through hell. All I wish is to be
left in peace to get on with my new life.”

Following the death of her mother in November 2001, the woman
went to live with Mercer, who was described as “on the borderline
of mental handicap”. However, she was made to sleep on the hall
floor whilst he took her benefit money to spend on drink.

Over a period of three months, Mercer repeatedly handcuffed the
woman to a chair and sexually abused her. He also shaved her head
and raped her and, along with Douglas and Maber, tried to set fire
to her clothes at a school playing field. A friend became
concerned, and she was taken to hospital where doctors found that
she had 71 injuries.

Detective inspector John Clark, of Borders police, said: “This
was a horrifying series of crimes, and it is one of the most
serious abuse cases I have been involved in.”

The woman is now reported to have a new life and is being
supported by social work services. Scottish Borders council is
carrying out an investigation into the handling of the case by
social work. The report will be made to the council and to the
Mental Welfare Commission, he added.

Source:- The Scotsman Friday 30 August

Champion for Children

The Scottish Executive has announced the role of the
children’s commissioner.

Cathy Jamieson, the Minister for Education and Young People,
said yesterday that the commissioner would have the powers to
investigate how the rights, interest and views of children and
young people are taken into account, particularly those who live in

Source:- The Daily Record Friday 30 August

Welsh newspapers

Police launch drug crime crackdown

A two-page feature outlining the ways in which police in south
Wales are fighting the growing problem of illegal drug use.

As well details of new police initiatives the article also
contains a breakdown of the way that Communities Against Drugs
(CAD) funding from the home office will be shared among local
authorities in south Wales.

Newport is to receive £150,400 of the latest CAD funding,
while Blaenau Gwent will get £87,200, Caerphilly
£149,600, Monmouthshire £76,800 and Torfaen

The money will be used to step up frontline projects and

Source:- South Wales Argus Thursday 29 August pages

We Can Do It!

The second day of the newspaper’s “Dump The Dealers”
campaign against illegal drug misuse with a special four-page
report looking at the extent of the problem.

Sir Anthony Burden, chief constable of south Wales police,
issues a tough warning to drug dealers and called for better
treatment to help addicts overcome their addiction.

Burden says that drugs and drug-related crime are the biggest
and most serious issues facing valley communities at present.

He added that was a need to move quickly to ensure that adequate
referral services for treatment are available to those who need

Source:- South Wales Echo Thursday 29 August pages 4-5
and 6-7

Pledge made to find new home

Minister for health and social services in the Welsh assembly,
Jane Hutt, has pledged to help a charity providing hospice care a
new home.

The George Thomas Hospice charity provides specialist nursing
care for more than 1,000 people in their own homes in Cardiff and
the Vale of Glamorgan every year.

But the hospice care centre is currently housed in cramped
accommodation in Penylan, and Hutt said that the charity deserved
help so she would assist in any way she could to replace the
existing accommodation.

She said on a visit to the hospice that she was very impressed
with the work that was being done and by the close co-operation
between the hospice and social services. She added that this was
the type of joint working that she wanted to see throughout

Source:- South Wales Echo Thursday 29 August page

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