Monday 9 December 2002

By Amy Taylor, Shona Main and Alex Dobson.

Inmate dies of overdose after riot

A prisoner at Lincoln jail was found dead in his cell from a
suspected drug overdose, 36 hours after inmates broke into the
prison pharmacy during a riot.

More than 20 others were taken to hospital suffering from
suspected drug overdoses after police quelled the eight-hour riot
at the jail on Wednesday.

The man, who has not yet been named, was found dead in his bed
and was not among the inmates taken to hospital.

The riot started after a small group of prisoners attacked a
prison guard and locked him in a cell.

A “cocktail of drugs” was stolen from the pharmacy. A home
office pathologist was due to carry out a post mortem examination

Source:- The Guardian Saturday 26 October page 7

Stabbing boy gets five years

A teenage boy who stabbed a 15-year-old Somali refugee to death
in Harlesden, north west London in March, has been sentenced to
five years in detention .

The boy, who cannot be named, was found guilty of manslaughter
at an Old Bailey trial.

Source:- The Guardian Saturday 26 October page 10

Couple first to win ‘human rights’

A severely disabled woman and her husband became the first to
win damages against a public authority under laws that enshrine the
European Convention on Human Rights in UK law.

Dulcie Bernard and her husband Eston, from Edmonton, north
London, were awarded £10,000 by a high court judge for the
“deplorable” treatment they received from Enfield borough, which
failed to provide suitable accommodation, social care or
adaptations to their home.

Source:- Independent Sunday 26 October page 4

Benefits lure for hyperactivity drug usage

Thousands of parents could be pushing for their children to be
put on the controversial drug Ritalin because of the promise of
generous state handouts, according to teachers and support

As many as a third of children have been diagnosed as suffering
from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in some schools.

Teachers, ADHD support groups and academics believe disability
benefits worth up to £53.55 a week could be contributing to a
sharp increase in children being diagnosed as suffering from the

The number of children prescribed Ritalin to calm them has
virtually doubled to almost 200,000 over the past three years.

Source:- The Sunday Times Sunday 27 October page 17

Black leader heads field for race job

One of Britain’s leading Labour politicians has emerged as
favourite to be the next chair of the Commission for Racial

TV executive and chair of the London Assembly Trevor Phillips
has been approached by head-hunters to fill the £110,000 post
following Gurbux Singh’s resignation last summer over a
drunken row with a policeman outside a cricket ground.

Although a number of figures want Phillips to take over, critics
have voiced concern over his closeness to senior labour figures
such as Peter Mandelson, Charles Clarke and David Lammy.

Source:- The Observer Sunday 27 October page 5

Blair: grave concerns on mental health bill

The prime minister has privately told ministers and senior
Labour MPs that he has grave concerns over the proposed mental
health laws.

Tony Blair acknowledged that the government needed to
“disentangle” measures to detain indefinitely people with dangerous
personality disorders from other proposals to improve mental health

Mistakes had been made in drafting the Mental Health Bill, Blair
told MPs at a meeting of the Parliamentary labour party, according
to government sources. More time was needed to rethink the

He is understood to have responded to a question from Dr Doug
Naysmith, a member of the health select committee, about the
Bill’s progress.

Source:- Independent on Sunday Sunday 27 October page

Gifted refugee is sent back to Slovakia

A gifted teenage asylum seeker has been deported by the home
office despite promises from David Blunkett to reconsider her

A refugee campaigner has accused the government of concentrating
on “soft targets” following the removal of Nikola Garzona and her
family, who fled from Slovakia to escape persecution by

The home secretary said the family’s application would be
treated “fairly, properly and impartially” after Nikola made a
direct appeal to be allowed to stay in Britain.

However, immigration officials arrived at the family’s
home without warning last week, handcuffed Nikola’s father
Duscan and put the family on an aircraft bound for Slovakia.

Nikola arrived in Britain two years ago speaking no English but
within six months was placed on a special register for gifted

Source:- Independent on Sunday Sunday 27 October page

Gay priest resigns after first fostering

A gay priest has resigned from his post after revelations that
he was the first homosexual clergyman in Britain to foster a

The priest, who asked not to be named to protect the
child’s anonymity, surrendered his right to take church
services to Dr Williams, currently Bishop of Monmouth, on

The priest and his lover of 22 years became the child’s
official foster parents two weeks ago.

He had been helping to care for the boy, who has severe learning
and behavioural difficulties, for ten years by taking the boy into
his home for long periods to relieve the strain on his mother.

Source:- The Times Monday 28 October page 7

Tories to sink gay adoption reforms

Plans to allow same sex couples to adopt children are almost
certain to be defeated next week after Iain Duncan Smith refused to
change his party’s opposition to the proposal.

The Shadow Cabinet rejected pleas from more liberal front
benchers to allow a free vote on the issue and imposed a three line
whip to ensure maximum discomfort for the government.

The decision is a blow for Tory modernisers who wanted the party
to demonstrate a more tolerant approach shown at the annual
conference when party chair person Theresa May and Duncan Smith
said the Tories had to change their image to have any hope of
winning the next election.

Source:- Independent Monday 28 October page 4

Police are blamed for drug deaths in

In nine out of ten drug related deaths in custody, police
officers failed to notice the prisoners were ill, according to a

The research also discovered that in a significant number of
cases involving fatal overdoses, prisoners were able to smuggle
drugs past police and take them while in custody.

Head of research at the independent Police Complaints Authority
blamed the “poor” and “inadequate” training of custody officers for
the high number of deaths.

Source:- Independent Monday 28 October page 4

Scottish newspapers

Young offender schools near breaking point as innocent children
locked away

The number of young people in Glasgow being sent by the courts
to secure accommodation has nearly doubled since 1997, according to
a Glasgow City Council Report.

It states that all of Scotland’s cities are encountering
high demand for secure places, largely due to problems relating to
drug misuse and prostitution. However, the suitability of placing
vulnerable young people in secure accommodation is being
Joan Elliott, Glasgow’s deputy director of social work, said the
increase was placing strain on the system whilst creating a burden
on council finances. The council is looking to improve
community-based services so fewer children require secure

Source:- The Sunday Herald 8th December page 4

The unsung army whose duty knows no bounds

A funding crisis is threatening the future of the charity Carers
The charity is struggling to cope with demand for support groups
and their national advice line in addition to the work they do
lobbying for carers. Its main source of income is a £105,000
grant from the Scottish Executive.

Over 650,000 Scots care for a relative or partner, including
6,500 children who care for their parents.

Source:- Scotland on Sunday 8th December page 11

Mental health bill at risk from time limits

Concern is growing that proposals to overhaul Scotland’s
mental health laws may not be completed before next years May
elections, causing them to be abandoned.

It is understood that the executive intends to table over 800
amendments to the Mental Health Bill. These amendments alone will
takes the committee months to consider.

Margaret Smith, the convener of the health and community care
committee, said: “It is certainly very worrying that we are hearing
reports of several hundreds of amendments from the Executive, and
there will be amendments coming forward from members of the
Scottish Parliament as well. This raises the question whether the
work can be done effectively within the time left in parliament.
But if the bill is not passed, then we are back to square one.”

Source: – The Scotsman Monday 9th December page 1

Welsh newspapers

See you down the “teenage socialisation skills

Teenagers using bus shelters as social clubs have been a feature
of towns across Wales for many years.

Now a welsh local authority has come up with a novel solution to
the problem by providing teenagers with purpose built shelters.

Flintshire county council has put up the first of what it calls
“teenage shelters for socialisation skills” at Sealand, Deeside in
north Wales.

Source:- Western Mail 28/10/02 page 6





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