Thursday 24 April 2003

By Amy Taylor, Clare Jerrom and Alex Dobson.

PIN to keep adults from children’s chat rooms

A system known as Interactive Age Check, was introduced yesterday to prevent paedophile internet users from “grooming” potential victims in children’s chat rooms.

The scheme could also work to prevent children from entering adult sites, but only works if internet service providers and website operators sign up to it.

Interactive Age Check uses information, such as dates of birth, already held on three quarters of the adults in Britain and on a quarter of under-18s by Experian, a credit reference agency.

Source:- The Times Thursday 24 April page 12

Father is jailed for child porn

A father with 250,000 computer images of child pornography was jailed for four months yesterday at Aylesbury crown court.

Nicholas Ferry, admitted possessing the images, which included 495 obscene videos after being caught under Operation Ore.

Ferry, whose wife works, is the principal carer for his daughter.

Source:- The Times Thursday 24 April page 11

Scottish newspapers

You can’t bring that into here

A mother is considering suing a Chinese restaurant for discrimination after her five-year-old son was turned away because he was in a wheelchair.

Tyler Anderson’s family booked a table at Jimmy Chung’s restaurant in Stoneywood, Aberdeen, yet the family claim when they arrived, manager David Hui pointed at the five-year-old and said: “No room for that in here”.

Tyler’s mum Karen McKenzie added that the manager then pointed at the child, who cannot walk or talk, and said: “No, no, no”. The family were then told that Tyler could remain in the restaurant if he sat on a wooden bench in the corner.

When Hui refused to make any further offers, the family claim they left and were greeted at another restaurant.

Chung’s general manager Ronnie Young offered the family a free meal, but McKenzie said she wants a written apology from Hui and last night the Disability Rights Commission urged the family to consider legal action.

Source:- Daily Record Thursday 24 April page 9

Afghan refugees told to leave UK

An Afghan asylum seeker, whose removal from Scotland was delayed due to staff shortages at the home office, was told to leave the UK yesterday.

Himid Khairandish and his son Ramesh must leave Glasgow, even though it is more than a year since they arrived, the child is settled in school and Khairandish has found a new partner, the court of session ruled.

Khairandish, who claims his wife and another child were killed in a Taleban raid, has been told to return to Austria, the first “safe” country he reached after fleeing Afghanistan, to make his asylum application.

Asylum seeker campaigners said the decision failed to take into account the family’s humanitarian needs.

Source:- The Scotsman Thursday 24 April 

Jail unlikely in shaken baby case

A high court judge told a woman, who shook an 11-week-old baby so violently that she was left with permanent brain damage, that she may escape a jail sentence.

Marie Mortimer, who is believed to have learning difficulties, originally faced a charge of attempting to murder the baby in High Shore, Banff, in February last year.

But last month she admitted a reduced charge of assaulting the baby girl by shaking the child to her severe injury, permanent impairment and to the danger of her life, at a sitting of the high court in Aberdeen.

Mortimer’s counsel, Ian Dugid QC, explained to the judge Lord Menzies yesterday at the high court in Glasgow that a vital risk assessment report from a psychologist had not been completed, adding that Mortimer was extremely worried about the outcome of the case.

Lord Menzies said on the basis of the reports it was unlikely that she would receive a custodial sentence. He adjourned sentence until 7 May for the preparation of a full psychological report and continued Mortimer’s bail.

Source:- The Scotsman Thursday 24 April

Drug use soars as dealers target city vice girls

Drug use among the capital’s prostitutes has rocketed after the unofficial red light district was scrapped, according to a leading support group yesterday.

The increasing drug use among vice girls is concerning the Scottish Prostitutes Education Project (Scotpep), which believes the problem is due to the decision to abandon the city’s “tolerance zone” in Leith.

As many as nine out of 10 prostitutes working in Leith are now drug-dependent, with the vast majority injecting heroin, Scotpep’s street workers estimate.

Around 50 per cent of prostitutes living in the Edinburgh area were believed to be addicts before the scrapping of the “tolerance” zone in Leith.

The group said it was increasingly concerned about drug addicts being forced into prostitution by dealers who would previously not have considered such a move when the controversial zone was in operation.

Source:- The Scotsman  Thursday 24 April

Teenage girl caught up in heroin culture

A teenage drug dealer was detained for four months yesterday, as Perth sheriff court heard how Kilcaldy is awash with heroin.

Tanya Ironside was 16 when she was caught smuggling heroin into Perth prison. The court heard how she had become mixed up in a culture of heroin abuse.

Ironside admitted being concerned in the supply of heroin and was detained for four months.

Source:- The Herald  Thursday 24 April

Community wardens are waste of money, says police federation
Community wardens, introduced to tackle anti-social behaviour and vandalism, are a waste of resources and a government con trick, according to the chairperson of the Scottish police federation yesterday.

Norrie Flowers told politicians that the policy was fooling the public into thinking there were more police officers on the beat, and accused the Scottish executive of failing to respond to public concerns about crime and safety in the community.

In a scathing attack on first minister Jack McConnell, who announced the £20 million scheme to fund wardens from 2004, Flowers said at the annual event in Peebles that the policy was ill advised and unwanted, adding that money would be better spent on boosting police numbers.

Source:- The Herald Thursday 24 April

Welsh newspapers

Court battle over child abuse claims

More than 50 people from Gwent in south Wales are taking legal action over the alleged child abuse they say they suffered while in children’s homes in the area.

The alleged abuse stems back more than 40 years, and claimants say they were abused physically, emotionally or sexually.

The court action is due to begin against a number of local authorities by the end of 2004.

Source:- South Wales Argus Wednesday 23 April page 8

Internet lock ‘not foolproof’

The children’s commissioner for Wales, Peter Clarke, has warned that new internet safety measures are not enough to protect children online.

He has welcomed the introduction of the new safety measure called Intercative Age Check, but said that more still needed to be done to protect children using the internet.

Source:- Western Mail Thursday 24 April page 7

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