Wednesday 17 September 2003

By Amy Taylor, Clare Jerrom and Alex Dobson.
Bullied girl used school tie to hang herself

A schoolgirl who used her school tie to hang herself after
complaining of being bullied, was discovered by her four year-old
brother, an inquest was told yesterday.
Kirsty Botto, aged 13 from Swansea, was found hanging at the end of
her bunk bed after she failed to appear for breakfast.
Botto’s mother, Angela Roper, and her partner Lee Wheatley rushed
upstairs once the boy had alerted them, but it was too late.
PC Steven Daniels said that Botto had been having problems with a
particular family in the area, one of whose members bullied her,
among others.
Source:- The Times Wednesday 17 September page 7
Children’s charities demand owners list pre-paid

The owners of all pre-pay mobile phones should be forced to
register their details in order to prevent paedophiles from using
untraceable mobiles to access illegal sites and chatrooms,
children’s charities have warned.
The Children’s Charities Coalition on Internet Safety, consisting
of seven large charities, called for a similar code of safeguards
on mobile phones as there is in the fixed-line internet
Mobile phone operators said the move would represent a huge
challenge as millions of pre-pay mobile phone users are reluctant
to give out their details.
Source:- The Financial Times Wednesday 17 September page 4
Shot girl inquiry by social services
Birmingham social services has begun an inquiry into how a girl in
their care was killed together with her father, a convicted crack
cocaine dealer, by a gunman while staying in London.
Bertram Byfield and his daughter Toni-Ann died at the weekend in an
attack police believe was linked to a personal dispute with the
It emerged yesterday that Toni-Ann was legally in the care of
Birmingham Social Services.
After a period with a foster family in Birmingham, Toni-Ann was
allowed to move to London to live with a different relative a month
ago. However, she is alleged to have stayed with the relative
during the week and with her father at a flat in Kensal Rise,
north-west London, at weekends.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph Wednesday 17 September page 6
Sad plight of the elderly with nowhere left to

A committee of MPs has criticised the “intolerable” level of older
people who are fit to leave hospital, but are unable to do so due
to a lack of care home places.
Around 3,500 people have their discharges from hospital delayed on
any given day according to a new report from the House of Commons
public accounts committee.
It goes on to state that that the situation is costing the NHS
£170 million a year.
Source:- The Daily Mail Wednesday 17 September page 23
A raw deal
How can residents be expected to solve the problems of living in
deprived communities? Polly Toynbee returns to check the rhetoric
on how a tough south London estate is faring
Source:- SocietyGuardian Wednesday 17 September page 2
Health policy thinktank banks on long

The King’s Fund is currently recruiting for a new chief executive
to succeed Rabbi Julia Neuberger.
A shortlist of 15 will be cut down to 5 or 6 this week with the aim
of filling the post by the end of October.
The long shortlist is alleged to include the BBC’s social affairs
editor Niall Dickson, and the government’s mental health Tsar Louis
Source:- SocietyGuardian Wednesday 17 September page 6
System addict
‘I am a fan of targets…’ Audit commission chief executive
Steve Bundred tells Malcom Dean about his plans for the public
spending watchdog
Source:- SocietyGuardian Wednesday 17 September page 6
No blame no gain?
Scandal-hit Newham has improved its social-services department
without pointing the finger
Source:- SocietyGuardian Wednesday 17 September page 6
No longer cast adrift
Local authorities fear that a court ruling extending their duty of
care to young asylum seekers will place heavy burdens on their
Source:- SocietyGuardian Wednesday 17 September page 8
What else can I do?
Sally’s two children have left home, and now the 46-year-old health
visitor is keen to develop her career- but where to start?
Source:- SocietyGuardian Wednesday 17 September page 128
Scottish newspapers
Young witness policy ‘flawed’
One of the Scottish executive’s principal policies has been
condemned by children’s rights campaigners who have dismissed
a new law on vulnerable witnesses as a waste of £5
Far from being “a bill of rights” for minors, there is
concern that the Vulnerable Witnesses (Scotland) Bill will leave
too much to the discretion of judges and sheriffs.
The campaigners think that the thousands of children who come into
contact with the courts each years will be failed by the law.
Source:- The Scotsman Wednesday 17 September page 6
Council accused of ignoring rape case

A council, which has been accused of failing to act on a confession
by a carer that he had raped a woman with learning difficulties,
said it would contact the police over the allegations.
It has been claimed that carer James Mercer, who was among three
men convicted last year of torturing and sexually abusing a woman
known as Miss X, had confessed to raping her two years before the
case came to light.
After receiving an anonymous tip-off Christine Grahame MSP alleged
yesterday that Scottish Borders Council was in possession of the
confession, but had failed to act.
The council’s chief executive David Hume last night rejected
the allegations.
Source:- The Herald Wednesday 17 September
New school hope for Luke Mitchell’s

The family of Luke Mitchell expressed their hope yesterday for a
swift end to the search for a new school.
Last week, the boyfriend of murdered schoolgirl Jodi Jones walked
out of St David’s High School in Dalkeith following a dispute
with the headteacher over plans to isolate him from other
Several schools in the area were proposed yesterday in talks held
between the family and education authorities.
Source:- The Herald Wednesday 17 September
Find our wee girl
A hunt was underway last night for a 14-year-old Scots girl who ran
away from the family home in Spain with her boyfriend.
Amanda McDonnell and Steven Lane stole her parents’ car on
Friday, and told friends they were going to find work in
Amanda’s family had taken Steven into their home after he was
kicked out by his mother three weeks ago.
Last night the girl’s mother Carol Beech, originally from
West Lothian and who moved to Spain a year ago, begged the teenager
to contact her.
Source:- Daily Record Wednesday 17 August page 6 and 7
Welsh newspapers
Youth worker in child porn shame

A council employee who taught outdoor pursuits to young people in
schools in Cardiff has admitted downloading almost 1,000
pornographic pictures of children.
Cardiff Council dismissed Phillip Chiappetti following the court
case, but no ban has been imposed on him working with children in
the future because such an order can only be made on sex offenders
jailed for 12 months or more. He was ordered to take part in a
rehabilitation programme and placed on the sex offenders’
register for five years.
Source:- South Wales Echo Tuesday 16 September pages 1and 4
I just want to die – Carla, 14
A teenage girl claims that bullying has brought her to the brink of
suicide, at her school in south Wales.
Carla Court, aged 14, from Newport says that she has been subjected
to a catalogue of physical and verbal abuse at Duffryn High School
in the city and both the police and the school are investigating
the complaint.
Carla is currently being kept away from school and the education
welfare service are working with her and her mother to explore the
options available to her.
Source:- South Wales Argus Tuesday 16 September pages 1, 4 and
Mum listened on phone as dad gassed their boys one by

A horrified mother listened on the phone as her children was killed
by her estranged husband, an inquest heard yesterday.
Keith Young drove his four sons to a beauty spot in north Wales and
gassed them by running a petrol lawnmower in the back of the family
As the children were dying Young called his wife to tell her what
he was doing.
The coroner at the inquest in Wrexham recorded a verdict of
unlawful killing on the four children, and said that Young had
taken his own life.
Source:- Western Mail 17 September page 1

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