Tuesday 27 May 2003

By Amy Taylor, Clare Jerrom and Alex

Truancy soars despite £650m

Shadow education secretary Damien Green has revealed that
government initiatives costing £650 million have had no effect
on school truancy rates.
Through a series of written parliamentary answers Green discovered
that despite Labour’s pledge to reduce truancy by a third in 1998
the rate had stayed the same with pupils missing an average of 0.7
per cent of classes.
Green also found that the number of pupils who truanted had
increased by 15 per cent since 1997.
Source:- The Times Tuesday  27 May page 1
Refugee sews up lips, eyes and ears
A man granted asylum three weeks ago after suffering
torture has sewn up his eyes, ears and lips in protest at a home
office appeal against the ruling and has said he will burn himself
to death if anyone tries to feed him.
The Iranian Kurdish refugee went on hunger strike a week ago, and
has a bottle of petrol at his home in Nottingham ready to carry out
his threat.
Source:- The Times Tuesday  27 May page 5
Register will alert women to partners who are

A “domestic violence  register” is to be set up by the government
to keep watch on men who have convictions for assaulting their
The register would be similar to the sex offenders’ register and
could be used by women to view their partner’s history.
Source:- The Guardian Tuesday  27 May page 5
Community that saw off the BNP
A campaign involving residents, police, the council and a local
housing association in Bexley, Kent, one of Britain’s most deprived
areas is winning its fight against crime and anti-social
The £1 million campaign in Slade Green has so far resulted in
cutting street robberies by 85 per cent  and car crime by 29 per
It has also reduced the high levels of distrust and alienation
among residents who previously spoke of feeling abandoned.
Three years ago this resulted in them voting in a BNP activist into
second place in a council by-election, but attitudes have
completely changed now.
Source:- The Guardian Tuesday  27 May page 9
‘Untreatable’ Broadmoor patient goes to jail
A Broadmoor patient’s psychopathic personality disorder was
described by his solicitor as “untreatable” as he requested for the
man to be transferred to a mainstream prison.
A judge at Reading crown court granted Philip Bradley’s own request
to be moved, a wish backed by his doctors.
Source:- The Guardian Tuesday  27 May page 9
‘Thousands’ of elderly dying as their care homes are

New research has linked the closure of care homes to the deaths of
thousands of older people.
David Jolly, a leading psychiatrist specialising in geriatric care,
found that the trauma of moving some elderly residents caused
distress, depression and, in the worst cases, death.
Source:- Daily Mail Tuesday  27 May page 22
Suicide clinic gets the all-clear
An investigation by the Swiss district attorney into an English
couple who died with the help of Dignitas, the assisted suicide
company, is expected to find nothing wrong with the
The attorney is expected to rule that Jennifer and Robert Stokes
from Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, made a legal and rational
decision to die.
Mrs Stoke’s sister Dorothy Killackey described the findings as
‘ridiculous’ yesterday.
Source:- Daily Mail Tuesday  27 May page 33
Scottish newspapers
Eye test for young urged
The eyesight of children could be jeopardised after
research found that 60 per cent of parents are unaware how often
their sight should be checked.
While 97 per cent of parents in Scotland are worried about their
children losing their sight above all other senses, 61 per cent do
not realise that eye checks should be carried out annually,
according to research carried out by Royal National Institute for
the Blind Scotland.
Source:- The Scotsman  Tuesday 27 May page 5
Register to fight domestic violence
The Scottish executive was urged to introduce a
“wife-beaters” register last night to protect women
from abusive partners.
Women’s groups and the SNP should consider whether the plan
could be introduced and implemented safely and sensibly in
The idea emerged from government sources who leaked it to
journalists in London at the weekend.
Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 27 May page 8
Schoolgirl, 14, sues council for £200,000 over
‘years of bullying’

An Aberdeenshire schoolgirl is seeking £20,000 compensation
from her local education authority after years of abuse from school
Natalie King’s family have recorded 700 incidents of bullying
since the 14-year-old was six, and the court of session in
Edinburgh is expected to hear evidence about 32 pupils alleged to
have bullied her during a two-year period.
Lawyers are expected to be granted legal aid within days to pursue
claims that Dyce Academy failed to protect her.
Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 27 May page 12
Charity whistleblower ‘gagged’
A Scottish university has been accused of putting pressure
on a “whistleblower” not to publicise concerns about a
charity that is alleged to have spent £1.5 million of £13
million raised for good causes.
The University of Dundee, which is involved in fundraising work for
the charity, knew of anxieties about Breast Cancer Research
(Scotland) for over two years before the charity’s assets
were frozen last week in the court of session in Edinburgh.
It has emerged that the university’s director of development
Allen MacKenzie had previously written to a political lobby group
to ask it to remove material from its website that raised concerns
over fundraising methods employed by Breast Cancer Research
Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 27 May
Disabled? Hypocrite traffic meanie who’s fit as a
A parking enforcer, who walks around 15 miles a day on
patrol, is using a disabled badge to enable him a free parking
George Napier walks for at least eight hours a day on
Edinburgh’s streets yet he is using a disability parking
badge, which is intended for people who have “severe
difficulty” walking.
CPS, which runs the private force of parking attendants insists
Napier is registered disabled and entitled to the pass.
But yesterday the department for work and pensions said it is not
intended for someone who can walk such long distances.
Source:- Daily Record Tuesday 27 May page 65
Welsh newspapers
Stressed mums losing the daily food fight with faddy

New research reveals that stressed mums are losing ground in the
meal-time power struggle with their children.
The result is that some children are eating a restricted diet with
a greater risk of nutritional deficiencies and their mothers are
left feeling inadequate.
The survey commissioned by Captain Birds Eye also found that family
meals could be a thing of the past because parents found it
difficult to find sufficient time to prepare and eat meals with
their children.
Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 27 May page 9

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