Monday 16 February 2004

By Natasha Salari, Amy Taylor, Clare Jerrom, and Alex

Patient, 94, froze to death
An elderly woman froze to death after being left on a ledge near an
open window for the night, it was revealed.
The incident happened when Maud Lever, aged 94, from Mill Hill,
North London, spent some time at Kestral Grove home, in Bushey,
Hertfordshire, to give her 75-year-old daughter a rest.
It costs £740 a week to stay at the home.
The Hatfield coroner recorded a verdict of death due to neglect at
an inquest this month.
Source:- The Guardian Saturday 14 February page 12
We are scapegoats says boss in cockle deaths

A shellfish dealer who has been arrested on suspicion of
manslaughter in connection with the deaths of the 19 Chinese
cocklers who drowned at Morecombe Bay, claims he is being made a
David Eden said both he and his father, who has also been
questioned by police, were being made to take the blame for
failings by the police and the government.
Eden said he had reported alleged violence against the Chinese by
other cocklers to the police. but nothing had been done to protect
Source:- The Daily Telegraph Saturday 14 February page 6
Drummer is sentenced for sex assault
The former drummer of a rock band received a jail sentence of eight
years yesterday for attempting to rape a teenage boy with learning
difficulties who he gave drumming lessons.
David Holland, aged 55, who was the drummer with Judas Priest, was
convicted of attempted rape and five charges of indecent assault on
the 17-year-old, last month at Northampton crown court.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph Saturday 14 February page 13
Charity alert as conmen try new cheque fraud
The Charity Commission has issued a nationwide alert warning
charities to beware of Nigerian conmen trying to trick them out of
thousands of pounds.
The warning comes after a British charity that helps orphans in
Bangladesh was targeted.
The scam involves a charity being approached by a “donor” who
offers to make a large donation by cheque. The charity is later
asked to repay half due to an “administrative error by the
The charity involved did not lose any money as its founder decided
not to send any money until the cheque had cleared. The cheque
never cleared having been drawn on an account that had been
Source:- The Times Saturday 14 February page 13
Cabinet chaos over curbs on new Europeans
Downing Street has guaranteed ministers that there will be no
change in current policies that allow all EU citizens unrestricted
access to the UK labour market when 10 new states join the EU on 1
The policy is a partial u-turn with the prime minster stating that
the government was looking at ways of restricting rights to work
and claim benefits for immigrants from such states.
Source:- The Times Saturday 14 February page 1
UK gangmasters control 100,000 ‘slave’

Tony Thompson reveals the scale of violent exploitation behind
Britain’s flourishing black economy
Source:- The Observer Sunday 15 February, page 4
Blair warned over migrant xenophobia
Fears of cheap labour from Eastern Europe flooding
Britain’s job market, are unfounded, a former government adviser
said yesterday.
Nick Pearce, who is now director of the think-tank the Institute
for Public Policy Research, made the comment in the midst of
confusion over the government’s policy when 10 new countries join
the EU on 1 May.
He said the move would actually mean that the levels of cheap
labour from the countries would fall in the long term, and warned
Downing Street not to follow xenophobic arguments about the feared
influx of eastern European immigrants.
Source:- The Observer Sunday 15 February page 13
Lunch-hour Aids test launched to combat soaring

‘Lunch-hour’ HIV tests that will take an hour are being launched to
tackle the increasing levels of sexually transmitted
The tests will be available on the high street in an attempt to
stop people from unknowingly spreading the infection.
There was a 20 per cent increase in the number of people diagnosed
with HIV in 2003, according to figures released last week.
Source:- The Observer Sunday 15 February page 15
Psychiatric use of force ‘is racist’
The government’s mental health tsar has said that male mental
health patients from ethnic minorities are the group most likely to
suffer an unnecessary use of force by psychiatric staff
Professor Louis Appleby criticised the heavy-handed treatment of
some black mental health patients, which has led to a number of
His comments come in the wake of the publication of a highly
critical report into the death of David “Rocky” Bennett, 38, a
black mental health patient who was pinned to the floor for 25
Source:- The Independent on Sunday 15 February page 10
New link between lead levels and

A high exposure to lead as a baby in the womb makes people more
likely to develop schizophrenia in adulthood, according to new
research by American scientists.
The study looked at blood samples taken from pregnant American
women in the 1960s. It found that the babies of those who had a
high level of lead in their blood were at a higher risk of becoming
Source:- The Sunday Telegraph 15 February page 9
Police refuse to prosecute euthanasia doctor over death of

Legal action against a retired GP who expected to face the first
test case in which he would challenge the law against assisted
suicide and voluntary euthanasia, has been dropped.
Dr Michael Irwin, the former chairperson of the Voluntary
Euthanasia Society, had previously faced a 14-year jail sentence
after admitting to police that he had conspired to help a
terminally ill man to commit suicide.
The Attorney General’s office and the police on the Isle of Man
have refused to explain why they are no longer attempting to
prosecute Irwin.
Source:- The Sunday Telegraph 15 February page 8
‘I am a human being. You need to ask me what I want. No one
can know what quality of life I enjoy apart from me’

Leslie Burke is taking the medical establishment to court to
challenge guidelines that may one day let doctors end his
Source:- The Sunday Telegraph 15 February page 15
‘I heard that Britain is the best place for us to go now.
It doesn’t treat refugees like animals’

Passions are running high in Holland as it prepares to expel 26,000
immigrants. But should the UK be following its example?
Source:- The Sunday Telegraph 15 February page 18
Cambridge’s solution to its homeless crisis…give them
a one-way ticket to Peterborough
Cambridge Council has been forced to defend its policy of
giving homeless people free one way train tickets to nearby cities
to clear them from the streets.
The policy came to light after officials in Peterborough and
Norwich noticed an increase in the number of homeless people coming
from Cambridge with one way rail tickets.
Source:- The Mail on Sunday 15 February page 47
Howard talks tough on asylum seekers
Michael Howard, leader of the Conservative party, has outlined a
“tough” Tory immigration policy removing benefits from more “bogus”
asylum seekers.
He said the money saved would be used to fund an extra 5,000 police
officers a year.
Source:- The Financial Times Monday 16 February page 4
NHS staff with HIV to remain anonymous
NHS guidelines stating that patients must not be told they are
being treated by HIV-carrying workers, are to be introduced.
The risk of patients being infected by HIV this way are regarded as
The guidelines are the first time that the practice of anonymity
has been nationally codified.
Source:- The Guardian Monday 16 February page 9
Drive to get single parents into work has little
An initiative to increase single parents likelihood of
gaining employment has had little effect, according to new
Single parents have been forced to attend a job opportunities
interview before getting benefits by the government since
The four-year research programme looked at the number of single
parents making new benefits claims, and those already claiming
benefit when the interviews became compulsory.
It found that there was no change in the number of new claimants
giving up benefit because of the interview. It also discovered that
there was only a one per cent increase in the level of those
already claiming who got off benefits and into work after a period
of between nine to 12 months.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph Monday 16 February page 9
Council tax reform for poorer people
Council tax rebates for the poorest households will take
place automatically under local government finance reforms later
this year in an effort to tackle under claiming of the
The take-up of council tax benefit is as low as 30 per cent in some
groups, such as older people.
Around 1.7 million people who are entitled to the benefit failed to
claim it back last year.
Source:- The Times Monday, 16 February page 2
Scottish newspapers
Paedophiles to face jail for sex grooming

Paedophiles who use the internet to groom children in Scotland will
face up to five years’ imprisonment under a tough new law to
be pushed through parliament.
The measure is being fast-tracked by justice minister Cathy
Jamieson in a bid to defuse growing public concern about the safety
of the internet for children.
Source:- Scotland on Sunday 15 February
Roadside drug tests ‘could be flawed’ say

The only method of catching people driving under the influence of
drugs could be flawed, according to research.
Research in Glasgow has cast doubt on the mental and physical tasks
that police have been using during roadside tests in the last three
Source:- Scotland on Sunday 15 February
Number of crack addicts rises to record

A record number of Scots have been registered for treatment for
cocaine or crack addiction, according to statistics.
Figures from the Scottish executive show that in the past year, the
number needing treatment for addiction has increased by almost 50
per cent and last year broke the 1,000 barrier for the first time
Source:- Scotland on Sunday 15 February
Exposed: ‘hypocrisy’ over Chancers

The Airborne Initiative for young offenders which featured in the
television series ‘Chancers’, received a glowing
Scottish executive report just eight months before the unit was
shut down.
Deputy justice minister Hugh Henry announced last week that the
controversial rehabilitation unit for persistent young offenders
would no longer receive £600,000 a year funding from the
executive, because it was too expensive and failing to meet
However, it has emerged that in June last year, the justice
department praised the initiative’s “important
achievements” and told the projects retiring chairperson Alan
Rutherford “the organisation has made significant progress
and you leave it in good shape”.
The former chief inspector of prisons Clive Fairweather has branded
the decision to close the Airborne Initiative “political
hypocrisy…stupid and short-sighted”.
Source:- Sunday Herald 15 February
£1bn hangover of Scotland’s drink

Scotland’s leading alcohol experts have warned that
government statistics on drinking levels are “plain
wrong”, and said the true impact of alcohol consumption is
far higher.
Alcohol-related deaths in Scotland have more than doubled in the
past 15 years, and the Scottish executive believes that more than
one million hazardous drinkers cost the economy around £1
billion a year.
However, the executive’s claim that alcohol consumption has
remained stable for two decades has been rejected by health
professionals, who claim poor data and an increase in smuggling
have masked a sharp increase which isn’t showing up in
official figures.
They also highlight a worrying rise in drinking by teenagers and
young women.
Source:- The Scotsman Monday 16 February
Father set to fight council over care of daughter

A father of a disabled daughter is considering taking legal action
against his local authority after being told that her specialist
treatment in Hungary will no longer be funded because she is no
longer Scottish.
Victoria Shovlin, who has cerebral palsy, was sent to the Peto
Institute aged nine because her local council agreed it did not
have the facilities available to offer her the specialised
treatment she required.
However, now she has turned 18, Fife Council claims it is no longer
its responsibility to fund her education and provide living costs
while she remains in Hungary.
Source:- The Scotsman Monday 16 February
Kirk orders ministers to confess any sex

Church of Scotland ministers and elders are to be asked to confess
any sex crimes in a bid to protect children.
All 1,200 Church of Scotland clergy and senior lay members have
been written to, ordering them to detail any sex offences including
spent convictions and unproven charges.
It is the first time the Kirk has approved a direct search for sex
offenders among the clergy.
Source:- The Scotsman Monday 16 February
Faulty wiring may have caused care home fire
Faulty wiring may have caused the fire at a nursing home last month
that claimed the lives of 14 older residents.
Detectives have claimed that the investigation into the fire at
Rosepark Care Home in Uddingston, Lanarkshire, had already revealed
a bare stretch of wiring which may have been responsible for the
Source:- The Scotsman Monday 16 February
Residents in another care home fire alert
A late night fire at a care home just a few miles from where a
blaze took the lives of 14 older people last month forced staff to
evacuate older residents over the weekend.
No-one was injured as a result of the fire at Abbey lodge care
home, east Kilbride, but 15 residents were evacuated from their
rooms and taken to a safe area within the building.
Source:- The Herald Monday 16 February
Civil servants in walkout over low pay
Up to 85,000 Jobcentre and benefit office workers at the department
for work and pensions in Scotland, England and Wales will take part
in a 48-hour strike today following the collapse of peace talks
aimed at resolving a long-running pay dispute.
The Public and Commercial Service Union said thousands of offices
dealing with job seekers, pensions and child support agency cases
will be disrupted.
Source:- The Scotsman Monday 16 February
Hospital death inquiry
Two members of staff at a psychiatric hospital in Glasgow have been
suspended after a teenage patient under 24-hour suicide watch was
found dead.
Two medical personnel at Mackinnon House have been told to stay
away from the unit until the results of an internal inquiry into
the death of the 18-year-old man nine days ago are known.
Source:- The Scotsman Monday 16 February
Welsh newspapers
Speed camera plea by Welsh parents
Police forces in Wales are being inundated with hundreds
of requests for speed cameras by worried parents.
Speeding traffic outside schools and children’s play areas is
a major cause of concern in many communities across the
Source:- Western Mail Monday 16 February page 1
Babies at risk in midwife shortfall
Babies’ lives are being put at risk by the shortage of
midwives in the NHS.
A new report reveals that almost three-quarters of problems during
what were described as “adverse events” in childbirth.
occurred when there were not enough midwives present.
The study is the second part of a report by Brenda Ashcroft, a
lecturer in midwifery at the University of Salford. The first part
of the report was published last year in the British Medical
Source:- Western Mail Monday 16 February page 6

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