Thursday 25 March 2004

By Natasha Salari, Amy Taylor, Clare Jerrom and Alex

Elderly inmates allege bullying at top security jail

More than half of the older inmates at Wakefield top
security jail claim they have been bullied or victimised by

The allegations are highlighted in a prison inspection report by
chief inspector of prisons Anne Owers.

Other prisoners allege that some prison officers behave in a
disrespectful and even intimidating way.

Source:- The Guardian Thursday 25 March page 13

Claimants suffer staff confusion

Badly trained staff are causing thousands of people to receive the
wrong benefits, MPs warned today.

The Commons public accounts committee were critical of the failure
to provide staff with systematic training.

Disabled people were found to be the worst affected and almost half
received the wrong benefits.

Source:- The Guardian Thursday 25 March page 9

Author admits sex attacks

A famous author of children’s stories yesterday admitted indecently
assaulting six young girls yesterday.

William Mayne, who met the girls through his writing, made the
confession after changing his plea on the third day of his

Yesterday, he admitted 11 counts of indecent assault against six of
the girls.

Source:- The Times Thursday 25 March page 12

Meadow’s case mother cleared of drowning her

A mother diagnosed as suffering from Munchausen’s Syndrome By
Proxy (MSBP) by Professor Sir Roy Meadow has been cleared of
drowning her son in a bath 13 years ago.

Sallie-Anne Loughran was acquitted of both the murder and the
manslaughter of her two-year-old son, Thomas, in 1991.

Police re-opened their investigation into the drowning, which had
originally been classified as an accident, in 1999 after members of
the toddler’s father’s family voiced concern at remarks
allegedly made by Loughran.

After she was acquitted, Loughran’s supporters claimed that
prosecution experts in the case had relied on reports written by
Meadow, whose evidence on issues including cot death has been

The evidence about her medical history was not heard by the trial
jury, but campaigners claim the diagnosis was instrumental in
obtaining her arrest and bringing her case to trial.

Source:- The Independent Thursday 25 March page 10

£3.5bn plan to build affordable homes

A £3.5 billion programme to build more than 70,000 affordable
homes within the next three years has been unveiled by the

The Housing Corporation will fund the building of 67,000 new
properties across England. Around 6,000 will be for key public
sector workers.

The announcement follows the launch of a £690 million scheme
earlier this week to help key workers in London and the south-east
buy or rent their own property.

Source:- The Financial Times Thursday 25 March page

Scottish newspapers

Police backlog delays investigations

Thousands of victims of crime are not having their complaints
investigated for up to a fortnight because of a major backlog in a
new crime recording system.

Scotland’s largest police force has a backlog of more than
2,900 crime reports in its new Pinnacle recording centre, meaning
criminals are walking free and prosecutions could be thrown

Strathclyde police centre is so severely understaffed that senior
officers fear serious crimes could slip through the system because
no one will be notified and asked to investigate.

The centre is operating so slowly that less serious cases, such as
shoplifting, will not be prosecuted at all because reports are too
delayed by the time they reach procurators fiscal.

Source:- The Herald Thursday 25 March

£1 million plan to put problem pupils back on track

Disaffected pupils across Scotland will be equipped with business
and personal skills for life as a result of a ground-breaking
initiative launched today by the Scottish executive and millionaire
Tom Hunter.

From August, more than 2000 pupils can participate in the two-year
scheme to learn about business and develop skills to prepare them
for careers.

If successful, the £1 million pilot project funded by The
Hunter Foundation and executive could be rolled out to support the
estimated 20,000 pupils who are disengaged from school, play truant
and face expulsion in schools across Scotland.

Source:- The Herald Thursday 25 March

Domestic abuse study plan

A new degree in domestic abuse will soon be available for Scottish

The subject – violence against women studies – is being
considered as part of a national strategy for health professionals,
according to the Scottish executive.

Communities minister Margaret Curran said the course would help
those working in the field to identify and deal with problems of
domestic violence.

Source:- The Scotsman Thursday 25 March

Taxpayers fork out double the cost for publicly-built
elderly care home

Millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money is being used to build
a care home, that could cost half the price if built by the private
sector, it was claimed yesterday.

Edinburgh Council has allocated around £5 million to provide a
60-bed care home. But the private sector claims they could provide
the same for around £2.46 million.

Scottish Care, which represents 900 private care homes, said its
members were incredulous that so much money was being spent on one

Source:- The Scotsman Thursday 25 March

Teach kids to drink, says expert

Parents should introduce their children to alcohol at an early age
so they have more responsible attitudes towards drinking later in
life, a beer expert has claimed.

Professor Graham Stewart, a top brewing expert at Heriot-Watt
University, said irresponsible drinking among young people is
reaching epidemic levels and he claimed there would be less trouble
on the streets if parents taught their children how to drink.

Source:- Evening News Wednesday 24 March

Welsh newspapers

Chapel suicide minister wrongly believed he’d given his
family Aids

A church minister hanged himself at his chapel because he
wrongly feared he was dying of Aids and had infected his son and

Reverend Tom Griffiths had been a minister in Swansea for the past
decade. He had tattoos over many parts of his body and a number of
body piercings.

In a suicide note he said he felt he had ‘betrayed God’
and infected his wife and son. A post mortem examination revealed
that he was not suffering from Aids.

Source:- Western Mail Thursday 25 March page 1

Country town plans kids curfew

The market town of Presteigne in Powys is planning to invoke a
200-year-old bylaw to ban children from playing on the streets
after dark.

The curfew was proposed after young people were accused of smashing
windows and making late night noise in the town.

Councillors took advice from police and were told that the by-law
could be used to keep children off the streets.

The town’s mayor Peggy Fraser-Scott said the council had been
forced to act because parents were failing to do their job

Source:- Western Mail Thursday 25 March page 3





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