Friday 26 September 2003

By Amy Taylor, Clare Jerrom and Alex Dobson

Cot death case a new blow for The Expert

Police halted an investigation into a mother accused of
killing her two children last night, casting doubt on the validity
of the opinion of cot death expert Roy Meadow.

Donna Hanson was alleged to have killed her sons, Ashley, aged 10
months, and Toby, four months, but now all the charges against her
have been dropped because crown prosecutors believe it is unsafe to
continue with the case.

Hanson, who was arrested in January 2000, denied the charges.

The police had relied on the expert medical opinion of Meadow, it
emerged yesterday.

Hanson’s case follows the successful appeal by solicitor Sally
Clark against her wrongful conviction for murdering her two sons.
Meadow had also given evidence in Clarke’s case.

Source:- Daily Mail Friday 26 September page 39

Scottish news

Canal body mother in plea to cut eight year sentence

The mother who helped dispose of her murdered
daughter’s body has made a plea to have her eight year prison
sentence reduced.

Solicitors acting for Tracy Reid confirmed that an appeal had been
lodged on the grounds that the sentence was excessive.

Reid had pleaded guilty to helping to dispose of her daughter
Danielle’s body after she was murdered by Reid’s
boyfriend, Lee Gaytor, at their home in Inverness last year.

Gaytor, who admitted throwing the five-year-old down the stairs and
striking her at least four times, was jailed for life with a
recommendation that he serves at least 18 years.

Source:- The Scotsman Friday 26 September page 11

Bigots’ claim over care home outcry

The community of an Aberdeenshire village have been
accused by a former police office of being bigoted and hostile in
their objections against plans to turn two cottages into a
residential home for young victims of crime.

Malvern Lodge Children’s Services, based in Kent, has applied
to Aberdeenshire Council for permission to transform semi-derelict
buildings at King Edward, near Macduff, into a private home for
children aged between 10 and 16 who have suffered from crime or

But the application has sparked furious opposition in the
community, which fears that the home could lead to drug taking and
anti-social behaviour.

Only one letter of support for the project has been submitted by
former police officer Karen Taylor, who has attacked her fellow
residents in the village for their “pre-formed views and
downright bigotry”.

Source:- The Scotsman Friday 26 September page 12

Drug charge defended

The Lord Advocate’s Office has defended the
prosecution of a disabled woman from Orkney for possessing and
supplying cannabis.

Biz Ivol, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, went on trial in
June on charges of cultivating, possessing and supplying the drug.
She admitted to sending cannabis-laced chocolates to other MS
sufferers, but pleaded not guilty to supplying the drug on the
grounds that she thought she was doing nothing wrong.

The case was dropped because of her medical condition.

On behalf of the Lord Advocate, Fiona Scott said the department was
not unsympathetic to cases such as this, but that the law took a
serious view of drug dealing and this “quite properly
influenced the decision as to how to proceed in Ivol’s

Source:- The Scotsman Friday 26 September page 12

Benefactor pays asylum seeker’s tuition fees

A gifted asylum seeker has been given the money to go to
university by a complete stranger.

Tabish Dass will study law and politics at Paisley University after
the anonymous benefactor was moved by his plight. The 17-year-old
was contacted by the “fairy godfather” who asked to pay
the £6,600 tuition fees for him to further his studies.

The move comes after the Scottish executive agreed to pay the fees
of all Scottish students, but refused to pay tuition fees for
asylum seekers.

Source:- The Herald Friday 26 September

Welsh news

Can you give time?

A new organisation that aims to increase the profile of
short-break care services for disabled children has been launched
in Wales.

As well as the launch of Shared Care Cymru at the Welsh assembly,
there is to be a nationwide poster campaign across Wales
encouraging people to “give a little time and make a big

Rita Lees, chairperson of the organisation, said that carers could
come from a variety of backgrounds and age groups. She added that
they did not need any experience as full training and support would
be given.

Source:- Western Mail Thursday 25 September page 19

On-the-run paedophile caught

Police in Spain have arrested a couple wanted in
connection with the abduction of their eight-month old son from
social services.

Registered sex offender, Gerald Baker, and his partner, Helene,
disappeared with the baby on August 19 after Helen failed to return
the child after a routine contact visit to social services in Ebbw

Source:- Western Mail Friday 26 September page 1

Care system under the spotlight

Birmingham social services have admitted that there are
problems within the child protection system as inquiries continue
over the deaths of two children.

Departmental heads have promised improvements following the deaths
of Jordan Reid in Saundersfoot last year and seven year-old
Toni-Ann Byfield.

Jordan’s mother, Mirlene Stewart, drowned him in the sea at
the holiday resort in Pembrokeshire last summer. She had warned
Birmingham social services that she intended to kill her son unless
he was adopted or fostered because she could not cope.

Toni-Ann was shot dead after witnessing the killing of her father
in a flat in London and Birmingham social services has admitted
that she was exposed to risk while visiting her drug-dealing

Source:- Western Mail Friday 26 September page 5

Inquiry into sexual abuse resumes

The inquiry into the handling of allegations of sexual
abuse against a former drama teacher at a school in south Wales
resumes today.

The Clywch inquiry is led by Peter Clarke, the Children’s
Commissioner for Wales, and was set up in the wake of the suicide
of John Owen, who allegedly abused children in his care while
teaching at a school in Pontypridd.

Source:- Western Mail Friday 26 September page 9







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