By Amy Taylor, Clare Jerrom and Alex
Bishops back rights for asylum seekers
Roman Catholic bishops called on the government to repeal section
55 of the Nationality and Immigration Act 2002.
The section denies support to asylum seekers if they do not claim
asylum “as soon as reasonably practicable”. The bishops
of England, Wales and Scotland said that the policy was increasing
destitution amongst asylum seekers. They said that seeking asylum
was a fundamental human right and therefore it was the
government’s duty to prevent destitution, homelessness and
Source:- The Times Tuesday 20 April page 6
Women and teenagers ‘made suicide pact’ before
A woman with mental health problems fell from a cliff during what
appears to be a suicide pact with two teenage psychiatric patients,
an inquest was told yesterday.
Anne Harris died when she fell 200ft from cliffs at Salcombe Hill,
Sidmouth, Devon, with Jamie Hague, aged 19, and Shaun Sheppard,
aged 17, on 12 June 2002.
The three were patients at the Cedars Unit at Wonford Hospital,
Harris’s husband Michael told the inquest that he was
surprised by the amount of freedom his wife was given by the
hospital and that it was ‘run like a hotel’.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph Tuesday 20 April page 6
Old are being ‘abused’
MPs have called on the government to help the 500,000 older people
who are victims of abuse.
A report from the cross-party House of Commons health select
committee found older people to be suffering from physical, sexual,
verbal or other abuse.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph Tuesday 20 April page 10
Freed patient is held over knifing of his
A man with mental health problems has been arrested for stabbing
his neighbour after recently being released from a secure
Theophilos Theophilou attacked Simon Breed outside his home in Wood
Green, North London. Yesterday, a friend of Breed said that in
January last year a machete had been used to attack Breed’s
van and front door. He said that although Breed reported the
incident to police he did not pursue charges.
Until Theophilou’s release he was under the care of Barnet,
Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust. An inquiry into why
Theophilou was allowed to move back next door to Breeds has been
ordered by mental health chiefs.
Source:- The Daily Mail Tuesday 20 April page 35
Child prisoners ‘face weakness in
The prison system for child prisoners in England and Wales still
has “significant weaknesses”, but has made
improvements, according to reports out today.
‘Juveniles in Custody’, published by the chief
inspector of prisons and the Youth Justice Board, and ‘Girls
in Prison’, released by Ofsted, found variations in the
quality and quantity of training throughout the estate.
They also found the need for greater investment in young people
when they return to the community.
Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 20 April page 6
Executive at loggerheads with unions on public sector
Trade unions and the Scottish executive were yesterday at
loggerheads over the pay of public sector workers.
Finance minister Andy Kerr told the STUC’s annual congress in
Glasgow that only “affordable and sustainable” pay
deals would be considered.
The looming public spending review would be “tough”,
and if pay continued to soak up money intended for investment,
ministers faced “very difficult decisions” over cuts to
services, he added.
Public sector union Unison said if public services needed to be
improved, it was vital to pay workers salaries to deliver those
Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 20 April
Jamieson to face MSPs on release of killer
Justice minister Cathy Jamieson will make a statement to parliament
tomorrow about the accidental release of teenage killer James
The 17-year-old walked free from Hamilton sheriff court earlier
this month as a result of an error by Reliance Custodial Services,
which has a contract with the Scottish executive to escort
Following talks with the Scottish Prison Service, Scottish Court
Service and Strathclyde Police at the weekend, Jamieson said action
had been taken to prevent further blunders and promised to reveal
more about Reliance’s performance in the first weeks of its
multi-million pound contract.
Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 20 April
Trouble brews in multicultural melting pot
Schools in Scotland’s largest local authority are
experiencing a dramatic rise in racist violence, it has
Despite the schools being home to a variety of races and cultures,
some young pupils are subjected to a daily torrent of abuse and in
some cases physical attacks because of the colour of their
However, councillor Hanzala Malik argued that figures unveiled in a
report to the council’s education services committee showing
the trend of increased racism in schools show the city has tackled
racial harassment head on.
More than 100 incidents were identified in the report involving
asylum seekers and refugee young people in 2003, although only 77
cases were recorded in the previous year.
Source:- The Herald Tuesday 20 April
We fear for our lives
Residents of a hostel in Rogiet in south Wales say they are have
safety concerns after a fire killed a man there last week.
Tenants have been sent back to the Moors hostel, but they say that
the building is not safe and their lives are being put at risk.
They claim that fire alarms were not connected to the fire service
switchboard, and that firefighters only arrived after residents
called them from mobile phones.
Source:- South Wales Argus Monday 19 April page 1
Charlotte Church no to drugs at 13
Singer Charlotte Church has told how she was offered cocaine at the
age of 13.
She said that a man asked her whether she would like a line of coke
at a showbiz party shortly after she became famous, but says that
she has never considered taking drugs.
Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 20 April page 1
The realities of abortion
A half-page feature looking at the ethical debate over abortion.
The feature focuses on the Channel 4 documentary that will for the
first time tonight, broadcast an abortion on television. The chief
executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) Ann
Fuedi, and the development officer for the Society for the
Protection of the Unborn (SPUC), Paul Botto, present differing
views on the arguments over abortion.
Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 20 April page 10