By Amy Taylor, Clare Jerrom and Alex Dobson.
Are any of our children safe on the net?
A man described as the world’s most prolific ‘groomer’ of young
girls was jailed for five years yesterday.
Douglas Lindsell, aged 64, pretended to be a teenager to form
relationships with many girls online. Detective chief inspector
Chris Watts, who led the investigation that caught Lindsell, said:
“If Lindsell had not been caught it is extremely likely he would
have proceeded to successfully abduct and assault children.”
Lindsell, a father of two from Twickenham, south west London, is
known to have contacted 73 girls worldwide. His two attempts to
meet up with some of the girls ended in failure when they saw how
old he was and ran away.
He was sentenced to three years for attempted abduction, two years
for stalking and three months for possession of indecent
photographs of children, at Kingston crown court. He also received
18 months for incitement to gross indecency with a girl under 16
and six months for attempting to pervert the course of
Source:- Daily Mail Friday 10 October page 1
Two bailed over Toni-Ann killing
A man and a woman were bailed after being arrested over the murder
of Toni-Ann Byfield. The seven-year-old was shot dead by an
intruder who shot her father in front of her just beforehand.
Source:- The Guardian Friday 10 October page 7
MP poised to bring in bill on smacking ban
David Hinchliffe, Labour chairperson of the House of Commons health
select committee, is set to table a private member’s bill to take
away parents’ right to justify smacking their children as
Hinchliffe said: “The current law discriminates against children
because it gives them lesser rights than adults when faced with
“The defence of reasonable chastisement results in significant
numbers of children being unprotected. It is used successfully when
child protection agencies intervene.”
Although the bill is unlikely to make progress in this
parliamentary session children’s charities see it as the
foundations for a cross-party campaign to amend the government’s
planned legislation to improve child protection.
Source:- The Guardian Friday 10 October page 9
Airbase islanders’ claim for unlawful exile is
Five thousand people representing families evicted from an island
in the Indian Ocean by Britain more than 30 years ago to make way
for an American airbase, lost their claim for compensation in the
high court yesterday.
Mr Justice Ouseley ruled that the people had no right to sue for
“unlawful exile” from Diego Garcia. However, he said that it
appeared that some of the claimants, known as Chagossians, had been
treated “shamefully” by successive British governments.
Source:- The Guardian Friday 10 October page 14
Social workers failed baby boy
The social work department charged with protecting a baby boy
failed at almost every level to prevent him being killed by his
father, a damning report revealed yesterday.
The independent report into the death of Caleb Ness made 35
recommendations to Edinburgh council, calling for an overhaul of
what it called “the complacent and blinkered approach to
The authority announced an urgent review of social work last night
after the inquiry concluded that the 11-week-old boy’s death
It also promised to re-examine all of the 342 cases currently on
the city’s child protection register.
Caleb was on the social work at-risk register when his father
Alexander Ness shook him to death at the family home in Leith,
Edinburgh, in October 2001.
Source:- The Scotsman Friday 10 October page 1
A former Scout master was convicted yesterday of abusing boys in
Paul Firth, who worked as an assistant headteacher, now faces up to
three years imprisonment for preying on two young Scouts.
But police believe there are many more victims, and Firth could
have been imprisoned for longer if he had not fled the country days
before he was due to stand trial three years ago.
Back then Firth faced 19 charges and, if convicted, he could have
faced a 10-year prison sentence.
But he sold his home, bought a yacht and vanished and legal
technicalities meant 17 of the charges had to be dropped.
Source:- Daily Record Friday 10 October page 1, 12 and 13
‘We must not let this awful thing happen to anyone
The mother of a teenage boy who died in a bus accident has promised
to fight to prevent the same fate happening to another child.
Hannah Tanhai, whose 13-year-old son Luke was killed last week,
said that all school buses should have an adult supervisor.
The circumstances surrounding Luke’s death are not yet clear,
but his mother said that too much responsibility is being placed on
bus drivers who are currently expected to supervise children and
Source:- South Wales Echo Thursday 9 October page 3
Miners’ payouts delayed by legal
Hundreds of ex-miners suffering from chest disease are still
waiting for compensation because of a legal wrangle.
Miners, who worked in many of the small private mines in Wales, are
being hit by the delay as lawyers and insurance companies
representing the privately run collieries have yet to come to an
agreement with the government over the level of compensation they
are liable for.
Source:- South Wales Argus Thursday 9 October page 5
$1-a-day solidarity with poor
Surviving on $ a day is unlikely to appeal to many people in the
But the chairperson of one of Wales’ leading charities is to
do just that to highlight global poverty.
Wyn Mears, chairperson of Save the Children’s Welsh council,
is challenging others to join him on 17 October to mark the United
Nations International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
Source:- Western Mail Friday 10 October page 7
Friday 10 October 2003
By Amy Taylor, Clare Jerrom and Alex Dobson.
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