Monday 18 November 2002

By Clare Jerrom, Nicola Barry and Alex

When less can equal more

Single parents on the same income as couples with children can
receive larger state handouts, according to a study published
yesterday by the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

A single parent on an income of £200 per week is entitled
to £61 per week in child-related handouts compared with
£55 per week entitlement for a couple with one child on the
same income. When there are two children the single parents will
receive £101 per week while the couple receives £92.

The disparity exists at all income levels up to £600 per
week, the research found.

Source:- The Times Saturday 16 November page 2

Old Bailey trial for Huntley

The trial of the couple charged in connection with the murder of
Cambridgeshire schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman will
take place at the Old Bailey.

Mr Justice Moses sitting at Norwich crown court ruled yesterday
that the trial of Ian Huntley and Maxine Carr should be moved away
from East Anglia on the grounds that jurors may have links to
strands of the investigation. A date still has to be set.

Huntley is accused of murder and conspiring to pervert the
course of justice. Carr is accused of perverting the course of

Neither has entered pleas, and neither was in court

Source:- The Times Saturday 16 November page 13

Child sex offender is let off lightly

A judge ruled that a paedophile convicted of inflicting injuries
on a four-year-old girl should receive a lighter sentence than the
offence deserved as a result of overcrowding in prisons.

Judge Clarke jailed Matthew Skuse for two-and-a-half years at
Oxford crown court for indecent assault, and said he had to
consider recent comments by the lord chief justice on prison

A paediatrician said the facial injuries on the child caused by
Skuse were the worse he had seen in his 35-year career. The
injuries were consistent with having been held tightly around the

Skuse from Banbury, Oxfordshire, was placed on the sex
offenders’ register.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Saturday 16 November page

Paedophiles may be fitted with electronic

Convicted paedophiles could be fitted with electronic tracking
devices under government plans.

Microchips would be surgically fitted beneath the skin under
local anaesthetic and this would enable officials to follow
abuser’s movements and monitor their heart rate and blood

Source:- The Sunday Times Sunday 17 November page 5

Migrants to get NHS lessons but no history

Immigrants are to receive lessons in how to secure treatment in
the National Health Service and get their children into state

They will learn where to go for help and information, but the
government’s planned test for citizenship will not require
them to learn about Britain’s history.

Critics claim failing to inform immigrants about key facts that
have formed the national character will mean they will never

Source:- The Sunday Times 17 November page 7

Murder charge

A 17-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl have been charged with
the murder and neglect of a three-month-old girl, Heather Homer,
who was found dead in Brierley Hill, west Midlands.

They will appear in court tomorrow.

Source:- The Sunday Times 17 November page 30

Paedophile laws to be tightened

The definition of paedophile behaviour is to be radically
extended this week in a bid by ministers to prevent the “grooming”
of children for sexual abuse.

Home secretary David Blunkett will announce this week that the
proposed legislation will cover internet chatrooms which abusers
use to lure children into sexual encounters, but also “contacts
through the family”.

Actions of friends or relatives, such as buying an ice cream,
which would usually be regarded as harmless will now be classified
as a criminal offence if there is evidence to show that it is part
of a plan to snare the child.

The new criminal offence of “grooming” children for sexual abuse
will carry a penalty of up to five years’ imprisonment.

Source:- Sunday Telegraph 17 November page 2

Children without MMR jab struck off GPs ‘

A number of children have been struck off a doctor’s
register because the practice will lose thousands of pounds a year
if they do not have the controversial MMR vaccination.

The Canbury Medical Centre in Kingston, Surrey, is not meeting
government targets of immunising 90 per cent of children on its
list, and as a result could lose a “vaccination bonus” of

The centres has told parents that their children will be treated
as temporary residents rather than being on National Health Service
lists, and has blamed the decision on the NHS body that pays the
vaccination bonus, the Primary Care Agency.

Source:- The Sunday Telegraph Sunday 17 November page

On the brink of madness

Six months ago The Independent on Sunday began to
highlight the appalling plight of people with mental health
problems. Carers and professionals joined the campaign to make the
government rethink its draconian proposals to
‘modernise’ the law. Jeremy Laurance and Jo Dillon look
at why the bill was dropped and how it is likely to be redrafted.
On the following pages campaigners give their views.

Source:- Independent on Sunday Sunday 17 November page
23, 24 and 25


Weather a dampner for skilled immigrants

Skilled foreign workers are discouraged from moving to Britain
because of the climate, a government funded study found.

Of more than 300 highly skilled migrants working in Britain, 60
per cent said the weather had discouraged them for coming.

Sydney rivals London for attracting the best workers, according
to the study. Among those who had considered going to Australia, 73
per cent said the sunny weather was the reason.

Source:- The Times Monday 18 November page 9

Expelled boys take their case to Lords

A case that will start in the House of Lords today will decide
whether teachers can prevent violent pupils from returning to

Two students, who were expelled from comprehensives in London
and Hertfordshire, but reinstated on appeal, are challenging a
court ruling that teachers were allowed to refuse to teach

Cherie Booth QC is representing one of the boys in the Lords.
Neither can be named for legal reasons.

Source:- The Guardian Monday 18 November page 10

Justice Bill deludes the public, says Labour

A Labour peer has described the government’s plans to
reform the criminal justice system as a “confidence trick”.

Baroness Helena Kennedy said the ministers were planning to do
something “quite frightening” to civil liberties by “tinkering”
with fundamental tenets of the legal system.

The public was being “deluded” into thinking that the changes
would help limit crime on the streets when in fact they would
disturb delicate balances built into the system, she told
GMTV’s ‘Sunday Programme’.

The bill, at the centrepiece of the Queen’s Speech last
week, is to reform sentencing arrangements, scrap the double
jeopardy rule and restrict the right to trial by jury. It would
also allow juries to hear details of previous convictions of

Source:- Daily Telegraph Monday 18 November page 10

Scottish newspapers

More councils set to restrict free care for

The Scottish executive’s flagship policy on care of older
people, is running towards trouble in at least five councils,
according to an extensive survey.

Two local authorities are considering a shift towards giving
care to those on a priority list, undermining the whole point of
free care for everybody.

Last week, Highland council raised the fear of a budget crisis
and possibly rationing care to the neediest patients.

Source:- Sunday Herald  17 November page 8

Report reveals child victims of crime become

Child victims of crime tend to become criminals themselves, a
study has revealed.

An Edinburgh University professor has found an overwhelming link
between those who have been victims of crimes such as assault or
vandalism, and delinquent behaviour.

Source:- Sunday Herald 17 November page 10

Staff warn drug courts policy is in crisis

The Scottish executive’s policy of US-style drug courts is
in “crisis” due to staff shortages, unrealistic workloads and
plummeting morale.

The courts have been successful in helping addicts off drugs and
in reducing crime, but social workers are not able to deal with the
workload of court cases.

Source:- Scotland On Sunday 17 November page 13

Chisholm denies problem with free care

Ministers last night hit out at suggestions that the
executive’s flagship policy was running into trouble.

Health minister Malcolm Chisholm pledged that older people
qualifying for free personal care will not have to wait for the

Source:- The Scotsman Monday 18 November page 9

Piper Alpha survivors still haunted by

Scientists have produced the first comprehensive study of the
psychological devastation caused by the Piper Alpha disaster 14
years ago.

A team from the Aberdeen Trauma Research Unit have found that
almost half the survivors of the disaster still suffer from severe
psychological problems.

Source:- The Herald Monday 18 November page 7

Former moderator calls on congregations to help freed

Prisoners should receive help from church congregations when
they are released from jail, according to the new chief inspector
for Scotland’s prisons.

The Very Rev Andrew McLellan, a former Moderator of the Church
of Scotland, described the moment a prisoner was released as
“critical”, and that support at this time could reduce levels of

Source: – The Herald Monday 18 November page 8

Hundreds homeless after flood

Some 300 people in Elgin, Moray, were forced to abandon their
homes after the worst floods in living memory.

The majority have found temporary shelter with friends or
relatives, but 100 people had to be found accommodation by the

Source:- The Scotsman November 18 page 5

Welsh newspapers

Report reveals drug menace

A report published today will reveal the scale of the drugs
problem in south Wales.

Chief constable of south Wales police Sir Anthony Burden, will
unveil the findings, which paint a grim picture of the extent of
drug abuse in valley communities.

According to the new report there are 8,750 drug addicts in
south Wales, and they are responsible for more than half of all the
crimes that are committed in the region.

Source:- Welsh Daily Mirror Monday 18 November page

Family shops on constant watch for danger around the

People running corner shops and convenience stores in Wales are
faced with violence and racial and verbal abuse on a regular

A recent survey published by the trade magazine, ‘Independent
Retail News’, found that nearly a third of retailers in Wales had
been victims of violent crime.

The Ali family, who run a grocery store in Cardiff, have been
the victims of violence, racial abuse and vandalism.

One member of the family said it was not possible to predict
what would happen, and that sometimes they were fearful of further
attacks, but that life had to go on.

Source:- Western Mail Monday 18 November page 9

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