Monday 25 November 2002

By Clare Jerrom, Nicola Barry and Alex

Two officers face child sex charges

Two policemen involved in the Soham murder inquiry have appeared
before magistrates on child pornography charges.

The charges against Detective Constable Brian Stevens and PC
Antony Goodridge and indecent assault charges against Stevens were
withdrawn and replaced with others during the hearing.

DC Stevens faced a new charge of indecent assault on a female
aged under 16 added to the two charges of indecent assault. He also
faces five allegations of possessing indecent photographs of
children, and faces two extra allegations relating to child

Goodridge faces 15 charges of possessing indecent photographs of
children, and one of inciting the distribution of indecent
photographs of children.

Both were granted bail. Stevens will reappear in court on 3
January while Goodridge will be in court next Friday.

Source:- The Times Saturday 23 November page 8

Now busy volunteers can just pop in

A new scheme will enable people wanting to volunteer without
having to make a huge commitment to offer their time half a day at
a time.

The ‘GO’ scheme allows volunteers to take part in
team-based social and environmental activities from painting
community centres to organising parties for older people.

The work is done at weekends.

Source:- The Times Saturday 23 November page 12

Blind charity could face cuts after shares

Staff at the Royal National Institute for the Blind are
concerned that a slump in revenue caused by this year’s stock
market collapse will force the board to axe staff and cut

The problems stem from a 15 per cent fall in income from
legacies that has cost the charity nearly £3 million during
the first six months of the year. It attributes the loss to
declining share prices affecting the value of its deceased
donor’s estates.

The RNIB has relied more than most charities on legacy income,
and last year it accounted for 36.4 per cent of revenues.

The board will meet mid-December to decide how to bring income
and spending into balance.

Source:- The Guardian Saturday 23 November page 15

Child killers set to win shorter jail terms after legal

A legal challenge by a female prisoner jailed for murder when
she was a teenager could result in scores of child killers having
their minimum terms in prison reduced.

The challenge follows a House of Lords ruling in the case of
Robert Thompson and Jon Venables. The law lords ruled that
sentences on child murderers should take account of the
prisoner’s welfare and not just the punishment.

In the legal challenge the woman now 28, who was 17 when she
murdered an older woman in 1991, claims the lords failed to take
account of her welfare when he reviewed the cases of nearly 200
child killers following the release of the two killers of James

The woman had a traumatic childhood and suffered from abuse.

The case could lead to the release of dozens of
‘lifers’, who have served more than the minimum tariff
set down by their trial judge.

Source:- The
Independent Saturday 23 November
page 1

Asylum seekers fly in on private jets

Asylum seekers are hiring private planes for thousands of pounds
to smuggle themselves into Britain in a new scam feared by the
government to be run by the Russian mafia.

The home office is investigating how planes flying from
Moscow’s international airport had opened a new route for
asylum seekers from Asia and Afghanistan.

Earlier this month, 16 people claiming to be Afghan refugees
arrived at Heathrow airport in a plane hired at a cost of around
£15,000. It left Moscow at 3am carrying the nine men and seven
women who claimed to have entered Russia after travelling by road
and rail from Afghanistan.

But the Heathrow flight was just the latest in which asylum
seekers have hired private planes to circumvent immigration checks
they would face on scheduled flights or at sea ports.

Source:- The Sunday Times 24 November page 12

More children using cannabis

The number of schoolchildren smoking cannabis in increasing,
according to a survey.

The proportion of boys aged 14 and 15 who said they had tried
the drug rose from 19 per cent in 1999 to 29 per cent in 2001,
according to the Schools Health Education Unit.

The number of girls of the same age who smoked cannabis
increased from 18 per cent to 25 per cent.

Research has shown that people who smoke the drug before the age
of 15 are 11 times more likely to develop schizophrenia later in

Source:- The Sunday Times 24 November page 30

50-year jail term

The man who killed Sarah Payne will serve a minimum of 50 years
in prison, according to home secretary David Blunkett.

Roy Whiting was convicted last year of murdering the
eight-year-old in Sussex in 2000.

Source:- The Sunday Times 24 November page 30

Murder charge

Four people charged with the murder of 14-year-old Adam Morrell,
whose body was dismembered, have appeared in court in

Three men and a 16-year-old girl are also charged with false

Source:- The Sunday Times 24 November page 30

Paedophiles may lose passports

A crackdown on sex tourism could result in up to 18,500
paedophiles and other serious sex offenders having their passports

The home office will target offenders convicted of offences
carrying a sentence of at least five years to stop them travelling
to holiday destinations to abuse children.

Similar restrictions have been imposed on football hooligans in
a bid to prevent them from attending matches abroad.

Source:- The Sunday Times 24 November page 30

Teacher arrested in child porn inquiry

A junior schoolteacher has been arrested over allegations of
downloading child pornography.

The 40-year-old man was questioned in Operation Ore, an inquiry
into the sale of indecent pictures from US websites and given

He has been banned from contact with Horsforth Newlaithes Junior
School in Leeds until the police investigation is completed.

Source:- The Sunday Telegraph 24 November page 2

Jail population to top 100,000

The government will admit this week that the prison population
is likely to rise above 100,000 for the first time in history.

The number of people serving prison sentences over the next
decade will increase by almost 40 per cent, increasing the burden
on Britain’s already overcrowded jails.

The Prison Service will publish the findings on Thursday, based
on an official forecast of prison numbers by home office experts
and the Office for National Statistics.

Source:- Independent on Sunday 24 November page 2

Patients released with no care plan

One in seven mental health patients do not have a written care
plan, and are therefore without the necessary help and support they
need, the government has admitted.

Care plans detail the patient’s condition and future needs
once released into the community and inform patients where they can
go for help, keep them in contact with mental health professionals
and review their progress.

But 15 per cent of mental health patients are still being
discharged without a plan.

Campaigners claim patients are effectively left to fend for
themselves and when care plans do exist, there are not the
resources or staff to carry them through.

Source:- Independent on Sunday 24 November page 10

Paedophile priest’s victim to sue Catholic

A disabled man has spoken out for the first time of the trauma
he suffered at the hands of the Roman Catholic Church.

John, who is in his late 20s and who has spent his life in a
wheelchair, said that 15 year after he was first sexually assaulted
by paedophile priest Michael Hill, he still relives the nightmare
every day.

When he finally plucked up the courage to end the years of
abuse, that consisted of Hill touching him while he slept or
fondling him in the bath, Hill reacted so violently that he raped

John is now suing the Catholic Church for negligence, for
failing to act on the advice in three letters sent to the former
Bishop of Arundel and Brighton, Cardinal Cormac Murphy

Source:- The Times Monday 25 November page 3

Retired bishop accused of protecting child

The former Archbishop of Birmingham is to become the latest
member of the Roman Catholic Church to be investigated by police
over allegations that he protected paedophiles in the West

West Midlands police are to question Monsignor Maurice Couve de
Murville in the next few weeks.

A former resident of the Father Hudson’s children’s
homes in Coleshill, Warwickshire, claims the former archbishop
failed to report allegations of child sex abuse. There have been
persistent allegations over the past 20 years that the Birmingham
Archdiocese knew about paedophile activity at the home, and did
nothing about it.

Source:- The Times Monday 25 November page 3

Blunkett sets 50-year terms for child

David Blunkett has set 50-year minimum terms in jail for four
child killers.

The home secretary set the record sentences for each man shortly
before he is expected to be stripped of his role in setting minimum
jail terms for murderers in a landmark legal ruling today.

The home office confirmed that if Blunkett loses, he will
attempt to reverse the decision by bringing in new legislation in
the current session of parliament.

The cases have been given 50-year terms because they involved
the premeditated abduction, sexual assault and murder of

The four men are Roy Whiting, convicted of the murder of Sarah
Payne and Howard Hughes jailed for life in 1996 for the murder of
Sophie Hook in north Wales.

Brett Tyler and Timothy Morss have also had a 50-year term set.
They were convicted in 1996 of murdering Daniel Handley after
abducting him in east London.

Source:- The Times Monday 25 November page 10

Albanian gangs use Balkan violence to invade

Police fear that Albanian gangsters are about to make violent
inroads into Britain’s underworld.

The gangs already run most of the country’s off-street
prostitution, smuggling hundreds of girls into Britain from eastern
Europe each year.

However, drug investigators believe the Albanians are about to
challenge the Turkish gangsters who run the trade in heroin.

Source:- The Times Monday 25 November page 10

Young make drugs part of everyday life

Young people in Britain have incorporated a regular use of
illegal substances into a work hard/play hard lifestyle, according
to research.

Young people in their twenties are making recreational drug use
part of their everyday life. They are also challenging assumptions
that drug users are unemployed and unemployable people who could
only fund their habit through crime, according to the research by
Howard Parker and a research team at Manchester university.

Source:- The Guardian Monday 25 November page 11

Homeless branch out into Christmas tree

Homeless people are to sell Christmas trees as part of a scheme
to earn money and reduce the number of people sleeping rough over
the festive season.

The Crisis project will see people paid £4.91 an hour (the
agricultural standard wage) to cut down trees at Snowgreen farm in
Kesgrave, Ipswich.

Volunteer drivers will take the trees to selected Safeways
supermarkets, which have agreed to let them be sold in their car

All money made from the scheme will pay the workers’ wages
with any additional project going to help Crisis’ other
homelessness projects.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Monday 25 November page 11

Companies get advice on domestic violence

A government-backed initiative will urge every company in
Britain to appoint domestic violence counsellors for their

The project is intended to capitalise on the fact that for many
women, the workplace is one of the few places they can seek help
without being detected by their partners.

The advice recommends firms consider moving women in abusive
relationships from roles in which they meet the public, changing
working hours and helping with childcare arrangements.

Source:- The
Independent Monday 25 November
page 4

Scottish newspapers

Archbishop Conti tells victims to forgive

Scotland’s most senior Catholic churchman has told victims
of paedophile priests and care home workers to forgive their

It is the latest in a series of comments by Archbishop Mario
Conti to have angered victims, many of whom are suing church-run
homes after suffering years of abuse.

Source:- The Sunday Times 24 November page 3

Hush Little Baby

After the Orkney and Ayrshire scandals, are social workers too
afraid to ask children questions, even when they should?

Source:- The Scotsman Monday 25 November page 6

Crisis of system open to abuse

The review of how Scotland takes care of its vulnerable
children, makes chilling reading.

It shows children suffering “serious levels of hurt and harm”,
children suffering “chronic neglect”, and children remaining at
risk despite having been the subject of a range of referrals.

Source:- The Herald Monday 25 November page 12

Shock increase in cannabis use by teenage

The number of boys in their early teens who smoke cannabis has
rocketed in just two years.

Twenty nine per cent aged 14 and 15 said last year they had
tried the drug, compared to only 19 per cent who admitted using it
in 1999.

Source:- Daily Mail Monday 25 November page 19

Keep addicts out

Villagers have attacked plans to house a drug clinic next to a

More than 1,000 people from two communities in the Stirlingshire
area fear the proposed clinic will attract drug users or dealers to
the playpark.

Source:- Daily Record Monday 25 November page 15

Scots autism sufferers in “zombie risk”

Autism victims in Scotland are being turned into zombies after
having their condition wrongly diagnosed.

Psychiatrists are reportedly mistaking sufferers’
disturbed behaviour as signs of schizophrenia or psychosis.

Source:- Daily Record Monday 25 November page 4

Welsh newspapers

Parole for priest appals victim

The possibility that a priest imprisoned for paedophilia may be
granted an early release has been condemned by one of his

John Lloyd was jailed for eight years in 1998 for abusing two
altar boys and a 23-year-old woman, and raping a 16-year-old girl
while a priest in the Archdiocese of Cardiff.

He may now be eligible for parole next month and his victim says
he believes that Lloyd could still prey on vulnerable young people
if released early.

Lloyd’s conviction and that of a second priest, Joe
Jordan, in 2000, for sexually abusing two nine-year-old boys, were
scandals that rocked the Catholic Church in Wales.

Source:- Western Mail Monday 25 November page 3

Panic buttons for battered wives

Victims of domestic abuse are being offered panic buttons by
Dyfed-Powys police in a bid to crack down on violent partners.

Wales’s largest police authority is offering
‘lifeline phones’ to those most at risk as part of
scheme to break the chain of repeated violence.

Launching the new awareness campaign in eight towns in the
county, Detective Inspector Steve Hughson said that the units would
allow victims to contact the police without alerting an aggressive
partner. He said that in domestic incidents the telephone was often
the first thing to be ripped out of the wall if the victim tried to
call for help.

The special phones allow the victim to press a panic button
without alerting the attacker, and the police could monitor the
incident while they respond.

Source:- Western Mail Monday 25 November page13

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