Tuesday 20 May 2003

By Clare Jerrom and Alex Dobson.
Firm fined £2m for criminal record fiasco
The company at the centre of the shambles that has
engulfed the Criminal Records Bureau has been fined almost £2
The Liberal Democrats complained to the parliamentary ombudsman
over the government’s failure to provide details of the
penalties paid by private company Capita and ministers then
disclosed the figure.
The penalties include over £1.1 million for Capita’s
failure to meet the three-week turnaround times for processing
criminal record checks for those working with children and
vulnerable adults.
Source:- The Times  Tuesday 20 May page 2
Rowdy pupils are shamed on pink punishment bus
Poorly behaved children are to be shamed into behaving
well by being forced to travel aboard a bright pink bus.
The scheme, whereby any child who behaves in a violent,
threatening, disruptive or abusive manner aboard regular bus
services will be transferred to the ‘Pink Peril’, is
being pioneered on the Isle of Wight.
Source:- The Times Tuesday 20 May page 7
Adult must have suffocated babies, doctor tells

A paediatrician told a jury in the trial of a mother accused of
killing three of her four babies that the most likely cause of
death was smothering.
Unless the deaths of Trupti Patel’s children were the result
of an undiagnosed genetic illness, they must have been caused by an
adult smothering or squeezing each child, Professor Sir Roy Meadow
told Reading crown court yesterday.
He said that in 28 years as a consultant paediatrician he had never
come across a case in which a baby’s ribs were fractured
during resuscitation or a case of three cot deaths in one
The trial continues.
Source:- The Times Tuesday 20 May page 9
Prison Service merger possible
The prison and probation services may be merged to create a single
correctional service to ensure better management and punishment of
Ministers want to create a seamless approach between the time spent
in prison and the supervision of offenders in the community in a
bid to reduce re-offending.
The new commissioner for correctional services, Martin Narey,
discloses in ‘The Times’ today that a merger is on the
Source:- The Times Tuesday 20 May page 10
Inspector damns regime at key prison
Pentoville prison in north London is one of the “most
impoverished regimes” in Britain’s jails as a result of
prison overcrowding and staff shortages, according to chief
inspector of prisons Anne Owers.
The inspection of the prison found “substantial
deficits” in basic requirements for inmates such as adequate
access to showers, telephones, clean clothes and education.
Owers said the problems were caused by underlying factors including
a four-day week for staff and overcrowding.
Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 20 May page 9
‘Neighbours from hell’ risk having benefits
Plans for a nationwide scheme to dock housing benefit from
neighbours acting in an anti social way are being pressed ahead by
Welfare minister, Malcolm Wickes will issue a consultation paper
setting out the plans as part of its rights and responsibilities
The consultation paper will ask for views on whether housing
benefit should be docked if someone is found guilty in the courts
for an anti-social behaviour offence, or if a local government
officer has received a complaint from a neighbour.
Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 20 May page 10
Asylum flood hampers hunt for suicide bombers, says police

The influx of asylum seekers is leaving Britain at an increased
risk of suicide bombers, a leading police officer warned
The flow of immigrants makes the task of tracing potential
attackers much more difficult, said Chris Fox, president of the
Association of Chief Police Officers.
The UK had been ‘very lucky’ so far not to have been
hit by suicide bombers, he declared, adding that high profile
targets such as the London Eye were still the main concerns as
‘they give the terrorists the major publicity coup they
Source:- Daily Mail Tuesday 20 May page 8
Scottish newspapers
Swinney calls for end of Executive’s failed £300m
poverty plan
SNP leader John Swinney called for the immediate abolition
of the £300 million social inclusion partnerships, and said
their resources should be switched to frontline poverty
“The SIPs network has… utterly failed to reduce
poverty,” he said.
The SIPs were set up in 1998 to tackle inequality and poverty in
some of Scotland’s poorest areas.
Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 20 May page 5
Disabled help group is facing loss of its

A training group for disabled people is facing eviction to make way
for a national photography centre in the capital.
The Edinburgh University Settlement Microbeacon Centre will be
forced to move out of the former Royal High School to make way for
the Scottish National Photography centre.
The group is now awaiting news from city officials as to whether an
alternative home for the centre can be found.
Source:- The Scotsman Monday 19 May
Scheme to save ‘heroin children’
A pioneering scheme aimed at protecting the welfare of
children of drug addicts is set to go ahead at the fishing port of
Twenty families in the town where one or both parents are drug
addicts, and where the children are pre-school age are to
participate in the two-year research study to assess a range of
interventions to help families blighted by substance misuse.
The Fraserburgh Families project, to be run by Aberdeenshire
council and charity Children First is being funded by the Scottish
executive and Lloyds TSB Foundation Scotland, and will run from
October this year to December 2005.
The parents taking part in the project will not need to give a
commitment to kicking their heroin habit in order to qualify for
Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 20 May page 8
Scot builds school for children with Aids
A Scottish widow has started to build a school for
children with Aids in Thailand.
Tracy Cosgrove from Stirling was first touched by the
children’s plight when she took her two children on a
seven-month trip two years ago.
Since then she has devoted much of her time to fundraising, and has
just returned to Thailand where she saw work begin on the
school’s first wing, courtesy of a £30,000
donation from an international logistics firm.
Source:- The Herald Tuesday 20 May
Call for change in shaken baby trials
Medical experts urged changes in the way people accused of
fatally shaking infants to death are tried.
Surgeon Robert Minns said there should be a tribunal system rather
than the current trial by jury to test cases where carers were
accused of deliberately shaking a child.
His comments at the first international Shaken Baby Syndrome
conference in Edinburgh, were welcomed by paediatric
neuropathologist from Oxford Waney Squier, who agreed the current
system was far from ideal.
It is believed that almost one in five cases of SBS could have been
wrongly diagnosed.
Source:- The Herald Tuesday 20 May
Strikes by nursery nurses leave parents with childcare
Thousands of parents across Scotland face disruption  to
their childcare arrangements as nursery nurses today begin three
days of industrial action in their fight for a 20 to 25 per cent
pay rise.
Over 5,000 childcare workers have voted for the strikes that will
affect around 60,000 under five-year-olds across the country
leaving many working parents struggling to find supervision for
their children.
Source:- The Herald Tuesday 20 May

Welsh newspapers

Child abuser’s ex-lover ‘knew

A teacher has been accused of allowing her relationship with
alleged paedophile John Owen to get in the way of her duty to
report him.
The Clwych inquiry, chaired by children’s commissioner for
Wales Peter Clarke is hearing evidence about Owen’s
activities while he was a drama teacher at a school in south Wales.
He allegedly abused boys in his care and was due to stand trial on
charges of sexual abuse, but killed himself just days before the
case opened in 2001.
Owen’s closest friend and one-time lover Theda Williams told
the inquiry that she knew nothing of her friend’s activities,
and denied blaming and ostracising the pupils who had made the

Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 20 May page 1

Pay-out shock for freed man

A man who spent 11 years in prison for a crime he did not commit
has been told the home office is to appeal against his award for
Michael O’Brien is fighting for more than £1 million in
compensation, having already turned down an offer of £647,900.
The home office wants to reduce the figure further, and has
previously tried to charge £37,000 for board and lodging
during O’Brien’s stay in prison.
O’Brien was jailed in 1987 for killing Philip Saunders, but
was freed on appeal in 1999.

Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 20 May page 2

Patient found hanged was seen making a noose by hospital

A psychiatric patient hanged herself on a hospital ward only
moments after she was seen by a nurse standing on a window sill
tying a dressing gown cord into a noose.
An inquest in Carmarthen into the death of 20–year-old Becky
Hill was told that there were not enough staff on duty at the time
to increase the level of observation from a five minute check to a
constant suicide watch.
The hearing continues.

Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 20 May page 3

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