Thursday 20 February 2003

By Amy Taylor, Nicola Barry and Alex

Court rules that Blunkett asylum policy is

The high court yesterday ruled that home secretary David
Blunkett’s new rules on asylum, which force asylum seekers to claim
asylum the minute they arrive or forfeit benefits, as inhumane.

It heard how the new rules were denying refugees of food and
shelter and ruled this illegal.

The home secretary made clear that the government disagreed with
the ruling and would be appealing, with a date of 3 March having
already been fixed.

Source:- The Times Thursday 20 February page 8

Britain may opt out of human rights

The high court ruling against the government’s new rules on
asylum have increased the case for the prime minister to opt out of
the European Convention on Human Rights.

Conservatives are calling for Britain’s withdrawal from
the treaty. “This confirms our view that the entire asylum system
needs to be scrapped and replaced with a quota of genuine
refugees,” Oliver Letwin, the shadow home secretary, said. He added
that this would require a renegotiation or a withdrawal from the

Source:- The Times Thursday 20 February page 8

Boss ‘demoted for blowing the whistle on illegal

A tribunal heard yesterday how a restaurant manager was made to
leave his job after informing bosses that a staff member was a
suspected illegal immigrant.

Ibrahim El-Hoshi said he was demoted to working in the kitchen
at Café Pasta in High Holborn after telling the bosses about
his suspicions. He added that he was told that employing illegal
immigrants was common practice in the Café Pasta chain

El-Hoshi refused to take up his new position and went on stress
leave. He is now suing Café Pasta’s owners Pizza Express for
constructive dismissal.

Source:- Daily Mail Thursday 20 February page 4

Big payout in race row

A member of staff who claims he was victimised by other
employees at the Prince of Wales’s charity, The Prince’s Trust,
because he is black, has been awarded a large payout after a court

Former Manchester City striker Darren Beckford, from Burnage,
began working for the charity in Manchester in 1998 to head a
project for young black and Asian men, but felt he was being
mistreated within weeks. He was then made redundant after 14

Source:- The Guardian Thursday 20 February page 9

Justice for blunder victims

A report into the costs of long term care by the health service
ombudsman yesterday called on the NHS to look at the cases of
thousands of older people suffering from long term illnesses to see
if health authorities had wrongly refused to pay for their

Ann Abraham looked at four test cases and found that health
authorities had wrongly refused to pay the care bills for all the
people involved when they moved from hospital to a nursing home.
Instead they had incorrectly been given social services
departments’ means-tested support.

Source:- The Guardian Thursday 20 February page 13

Police to close child sex abuse inquiry

Public criticism of the tactics used in a seven-year police
investigation into allegations of sexual abuse at 106 children’s
homes dating back to the 1970s, is causing it to close.

Mike Tonge, deputy chief at Merseyside police, said Operation
Care was being closed because it had been “unfairly pilloried”, and
defended his officers work throughout a difficult case.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Thursday 20 February page

Scottish newspapers

Probe after 100-year-old dies in bath

A fatal accident inquiry will be held into the death of a
100-year-old woman who was scalded in a local authority home.

Eileen Woodcock is believed to have fallen into the bath in her
en-suite room, knocking a lever-style tap and releasing boiling
water. Woodcock was a resident in the Highland council’s
Ach-an-Eas home in Inverness.

The accident happened within a week of another scalding
accident, which killed pensioner Mary Robertson in her own home in
Inverness when a council-employed care worker was in

Source:- Daily Express Thursday 20 February page 11

Nanny state bid to stop smacking of

Mothers and fathers are to be targeted by an official
‘good parenting’ campaign to stop them smacking their
children. Shaking, blows to the head and the use of any implements
on children under 16 will be illegal.

Plans to ban these forms of corporal punishment were swept
through yesterday by MSPs.

Source:- The Daily Mail Thursday 20 February page 8

Welsh newspapers

See, I’m all smiles now

A woman with learning difficulties, who was sacked from a job
with WHSmith last December, is back at work with a new

Karen Godfrey’s work at WHSmith in Monmouth was terminated
just days before Christmas because of problems with insurance.

She had held the job for six years, and for much of that time
was paid in gift vouchers.

Although WH Smith offered to reinstate her on full pay and
conditions, she declined and has now begun working for Specsavers
opticians in Monmouth.

Source:- South Wales Argus Wednesday 19 February page

‘Officials saw obscene

The Clywch child abuser inquiry heard yesterday that an
examining board failed to investigate complaints against examiners,
and that some are still employed by the board.

The inquiry set up by the Children’s Commissioner for
Wales Peter Clarke is looking into the activities of alleged
paedophile, John Owen, who once taught drama at a school in south

Evidence has been given by alleged Owen’s alleged victims
that at least one examiner from the board witnessed inappropriate
sexual content during practical drama examinations.

Source:- Western Mail Thursday 20 February page 5

Neighbours urged to prevent domestic

A pioneering domestic abuse scheme that involves neighbours and
families in incidents is to be introduced in a bid to stop more
women dying at the hands of violent partners.

The scheme called ‘Cocoon Watch’ is being tried out
in Cardiff, through the Women’s Safety Unit and will enlist
the help of neighbours and friends where women have been identified
as at risk.

After police have been called to a violent incident a network of
support will be used and friends, families and neighbours, will be
asked to contact the police if they suspect violence is taking

Source:- Western Mail Thursday 20 February page 8

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