Friday 19 September 2003

By Amy Taylor, Clare Jerrom and Alex Dobson.
Abuse of children caused two deaths a week

One hundred children die every year because of maltreatment in
Britain, according to a new Unicef report – double the figure given
by other studies.
Previous research based on the outcome of  court cases involving
child abuse have found that Britain has 0.4 fatalities per 100,000
children under 15, but the new study puts the figure at 0.9.
Unicef carried out the study due to concerns that differences in
recording figures meant that many abuse-related deaths were being
missed. It used new calculations for the figure and included all
child deaths for which no other cause could be established,  on the
grounds that these were the cases of maltreatment that were most
likely that could not be proved in court.
Source:- The Independent Friday 19 September page 1
Labour fails to meet 40pc of its poverty

The government is failing to meet 40 per cent of its poverty
targets, a new report has revealed.
‘Opportunity for All’, the government’s annual poverty
report,  shows that there has been no improvement since the
baseline year 1996-97 on 22 out of the 55 indicators used by
ministers to measure poverty.
In some cases this is due to figures not being available, and in
others it is due to no improvement being made.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph Friday 19 September page 14
New law targets the anonymous asylum seekers
New laws reducing the amount of legal aid available to asylum
seekers and imposing heavy punishments on those who arrive in
Britain with no passports or papers, are set to be
The plans were announced by the prime minister in a meeting with
Labour MPs this week in an effort to address the problem of illegal
immigrants, who destroy their identification documents.
A new bill, to be included in the Queen’s speech this autumn, will
also include measures to cut legal aid to asylum seekers.
Source:- The Daily Mail Friday 19 September page 2
Care homes will bar new residents in fees

Care home owners have vowed to refuse to take any more new
residents yesterday  in protest at the low fees local authorities
pay them.
The measures are being taken by members of one of the biggest
association of home operators, English Care, who claim that the low
fees paid for state-supported residents by councils mean they can
no longer stay open.
The organisation said that several hundred homes in six regions in
England would begin to refuse new residents within the next four
Source:- The Daily Mail Friday 19 September page 41
Scottish newspapers
Scotland won’t go soft on cannabis

People in possession of cannabis in Scotland will still be arrested
by police, despite moves in England and Wales to let most people
off with a warning, the first minister announced yesterday.
Jack McConnell said he had no plans to change the existing
recommendations although he confirmed that officials would continue
to review the position.
Source:- The Scotsman  Friday 19 September page 5
Council ‘can decide on Dungavel

The Scottish National Party claimed yesterday that documents from
the House of Commons library proved the local council could step in
to decide where the children of asylum seekers held at Dungavel
should be educated.
However, a Scottish executive spokesperson insisted that the
responsibility of families held at the immigration centre in
Strathaven, Lanarkshire, belonged to the Home Office.
Source:- The Scotsman Friday 19 September page 13
The serial runaway romeo
The Scottish teenager who ran away with 14-year-old Amanda
McDonnell has a history of vanishing with girls.
The mother of Steven Laing admitted yesterday that he disappeared
with youngsters from Dundee and Glasgow. Susan Laing revealed the
new vanishing act was “nothing new”.
Laing and McDonnell went missing from her home near Alicante in
Spain last Friday.
Source:- Daily Record  Friday 19 September page 5
Kid hotel shock
Social workers admitted yesterday to placing troubled children in
hotels as a result of a shortage of places in children’s
Five 12-14-year-olds with histories of violence had lived in Travel
Lodge type hotels in the last two years after leaving secure units,
Falkirk Council’s social work department admitted.
The council’s Labour group leader Linda Gow said the hotel
placements were “totally shocking”.
Source:- Daily Record Friday 19 September page 12
School of shame
A teenage girl tried to kill herself following years of bullying at
Leighann Turner took an overdose of painkillers in a bid to escape
the bullying, which the schools failed to prevent.
The 14-year-old was found by her mum Michelle Lawrence. She told
her mother that she wanted to die to stop the beatings and jibes
from the gang at Holyrood High in Edinburgh.
Source:- Daily Record  Friday 19 September page 29
Welsh newspapers
Pervert father still on the run with baby

A convicted sex offender is still on the run with his baby son, one
month after the child was taken from social services care in
Blaenau Gwent.
Gerald Baker is believed to have taken the baby to France with his
wife Helene, after she failed to return the child, following an
unsupervised contact visit.
Police say there have been no fresh sightings of the couple and
their eight-month-old son and they are continuing to liaise with
Source:- South Wales Argus Thursday 18 September page 4
£1.4m for son battered by his mum as a

A man who suffered appalling mistreatment at the hands of his
mother as a baby has won £1.4 million compensation.
Allan Waters, now aged 22, was left severely brain damaged after
the assaults by his natural mother, and now needs 24-hour care. His
adoptive parents say that the money will be used to pay for a full
time carer. His solicitor said that such a large award would not
now be possible under new rules relating to criminal injuries
compensation. In Allan’s case however because the injuries
had been sustained over 20 years ago, old rules for state
compensation for criminal injuries applied.
Source:- Western Mail Friday 19 September page 1
‘Born poor, live poor, die poor’
Children who are born poor in Wales are likely to go on to be poor
as adults, according to the minister for children and the family
Baroness Hollis.
The fifth annual poverty report was published yesterday, and showed
that Wales is one of the four regions with the highest proportion
of children living in homes with no income.
Baroness Hollis said that the government had introduced the New
Deal for Lone Parents that would help unemployed parents find work
and raise the quality of life for their children. But she said it
was known that those who are born poor tend to stay poor, and die
Source:- Western Mail Friday 19 September page 5

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