Friday 27 February 2004

By Natasha Salari, Amy Taylor, Clare Jerrom and Alex

Huntley named as serial rapist in 1999
Police intelligence identified Ian Huntley as a serial rapist three
years before he murdered schoolgirls Jessica Chapman and Holly
Wells, an inquiry heard yesterday.
A police constable investigating Huntley for rape in 1999 alerted
police intelligence that he was “a serial sex attacker” after
looking at his history of suspected sexual offences.
Pc Mick Harding was the only officer in the Humberside police force
to make connections between the cases.
Four rape allegations and one of indecent assault were put onto
Humberside’s criminal intelligence computer, but 12 months later
they were deleted by civilian staff who were “weeding” out the
The revelation came in first day of the Bichard Inquiry into
failures in vetting that allowed Huntley to get a job working in a
Source:- The Daily Telegraph Friday 27 February page 1
Poorest fail to claim up to £6bn benefits
Up to £6 billion in means-tested benefits earmarked
for some of the poorest groups in society are not being claimed,
according to new government figures.
Steve Webb, the Liberal Democrats work and pensions spokesperson,
said that the figures represented “the worst-ever levels of
The unclaimed benefits include the pensioners’ minimum income
guarantee, council tax benefit, jobseekers allowance and housing
Source:- Financial Times Friday 27 February page 6
Warning over future of childcare
Millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money spent on
expanding childcare facilities for pre-school children may have
been wasted because a lot of the new provision is
“unsustainable”, the government spending watchdog has
In a report, the National Audit Office acknowledges the huge
strides made by the government through its national childcare
strategy, but adds that provision is patchy and unaffordable for
many families.
The report does not reveal how much money has been wasted, but
states that fewer than half of childminders, playgroups and day
nurseries were currently covering all their costs
Source: The Guardian Friday 27 February page 9
Patient disputes doctors’ right to end his

A man with a degenerative brain condition took a “right to
life” case to the high court yesterday in his attempt to
challenge guidance he claims would allow doctors to let him
Leslie Burke, aged 44, of Lancaster, has cerebellar ataxia and
fears that when his condition deteriorates doctors could decide his
quality of life is so poor that he should not be kept alive by
artificial feeding.
He is challenging the legality of General Medical Council
guidelines on withholding and withdrawing life-prolonging
treatment, which he argues breach the European convention on human
Source: The Guardian Friday 27 February page 10
MPs on offensive over tribunal plans
MPs have attacked planned reforms to the appeal system for asylum
seekers and immigrants warning that scaling back scrutiny through
the judicial system would be “enormously
Chairperson of the constitutional affairs committee Alan Beith said
government plans to set up new asylum and immigration tribunals
without proper judicial oversight were “without
A report published by the committee yesterday said that condensing
the current two-tier appeal process into a one-tier system could
lead to upheaval, confusion and delays.
Source: The Financial Times Friday 27 February page 4
Scottish newspapers
Emotional farewell to refugee schoolboy

A Somalian refugee who died after collapsing at his school was laid
to rest yesterday.
The service for 11-year-old Suhail Saleh was attended by more than
180 mourners.
The child died after collapsing at All Saints Roman Catholic
secondary school in Barmulloch, Glasgow, earlier this week after an
alleged incident in the dining hall.
A 12-year-old asylum seeker was arrested in connection with the
death, but was later released pending further inquiries.
Source:- The Herald Friday 27 February
Psychiatric care move to capital condemned by East Lothian

Plans to shake-up the provision of mental health services in East
Lothian has been condemned by every GP in the area.
In a letter of complaint, doctors express concern that they will
have less time to treat patients after a review of local hospital
wards for mental health patients.
It is feared that acute psychiatric beds at Herdmanflat hospital in
Haddington could be removed with patients being admitted to
Edinburgh wards instead. Meanwhile, consultants would be forced to
make repeated journeys to Edinburgh to see patients because of new
requirements under the Mental Health Act.
Source:- The Scotsman Friday 27 February
Edinburgh to serve ban orders on prostitutes
Prostitutes will be driven from Edinburgh’s streets
over the next few weeks as the council plans to impose numerous
antisocial behaviour orders.
Councils officials revealed they have spent months gathering
evidence against a string of vice girls who repeatedly operate in
and around Leith.
They plan to serve the first orders within weeks after encouraging
neighbours to act as undercover spies and gather evidence on their
Source:- Evening News Thursday 26 February
Fury as union backs special schools strike
Parents of children with special needs have hit out after union
members in the capital voted not to exempt special schools from
strikes by nursery nurses.
Classes for many of the city’s most vulnerable children are
likely to be cancelled next week as nursery nurses across Edinburgh
are set to strike.
Members of Unison met last night to discuss an exemption but
decided against the move, angering parents who labelled the move
“a disgrace”.
Source:- Evening News Thursday 26 February
Fifth of working age Scots are on benefit
One in five working age Scots are claiming benefits, according to
the latest statistics.
The 554,000 claimants means a quarter of children are living in
families receiving welfare benefits.
The Scottish executive has highlighted a rise in the number of
older and disabled people claiming benefits for the increase.
However, 13,500 fewer lone parents have claimed income support in
the last five years as a result of more taking up work under the
New Deal programme.
Source:- Daily Record Friday 27 February
Welsh newspapers
Samaritans Throw A Lifeline

A telephone with a direct link to the Samaritans has been set up in
a notorious suicide spot.
In the last two years 10 people have taken their lives at
Southerndown Cliffs near Bridgend, and a spokesperson for the
Samaritans said that the intention is to offer help for people who
are thinking about suicide.
Source:- South Wales Echo Thursday 26 February page 3
Jobless figures ‘hide true

Community spirit could be the key to regenerating Welsh
communities, said a leading think-tank.
A report from the Institute of Welsh Affairs and the Joseph
Rowntree Foundation said that Wales has leapfrogged other areas
across the UK to become the region with the fourth lowest official
unemployment in the country. But the report goes on to say that
those figure mask high levels of sickness and disability in Wales
and it highlights the work of a Merthyr based community charity,
the Gellideg Foundation, for its work in regenerating the
Source:- Western Mail Friday 27 February page 5

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