Friday 21 May 2004

By Amy Taylor, Shirley Kumar, Clare Jerrom and Alex

Violence counsellors attacked client, court hears

A domestic violence counsellor smashed a picture frame
into the face of one of his clients who he was having an affair
with, a court heard yesterday.

Former magistrate Paul Geldart, 46, met Melanie Lumsden, 28, after
she was referred to him through a women’s refuge.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that the attack took place when Geldart
confronted Lumsden after he saw her with another man.
Geldart is alleged to have told her: “I could understand why
someone would want to kill you.”

Source: The Daily Telegraph, Friday, 21 May, page 6


Fathers’ group says systems causes “child
abused”, following Blair attack

The two men who threw flour at Tony Blair during Prime
Minister’s Questions on Wednesday said that the courts
failure to enforce access orders allowing children to see their
fathers was “child abuse”.

Ron Davis, 48, and Guy Harrison, 36, are members of Fathers 4
Justice, a campaign group fighting for improved access rights to
their children.

Davis and Harrison were charged with threatening behaviour
yesterday at Bow Street magistrates’ court. They were both
released on bail.

Source: The Daily Telegraph, Friday, 21 May, page 2

C4 pulls plug on Bradford child sex

Channel 4 has pulled the plug on a documentary featuring
Bradford Social Workers, amid fears it could spark racial

The programme, due to be shown last night, showed how Asian men
were grooming young white girls as young as 11 for sex. The move
was made in response to West Yorkshire Police who warned political
and racial tensions would explode.

Source: The Times, May 21 2004, page 1

Unions criticise Blair’s new health

Trade union leaders have criticised the appointment of Downing
Street’s new health advisor Professor Julian Le Grand.

GMB’s general secretary said Grand angered unions last year
by labelling public service workers opposed to change. He said the
professor’s background suggests he identifies more with
profit rather than public service.

Source: The Guardian, May 21 2004, page 15

Scottish newspapers

Outcry after cash details of Reliance deal kept

The £126 million contract between the Scottish Executive
and Reliance Services to privatise prison escort duties was
published yesterday, but with financial details withheld.

Ministers agreed to publish the Reliance Secure Task Management
contract after several people were mistakenly released from prison
after the company took over escorting duties.

But opposition parties demanded full publication of crucial details
and Kevin Dunion, Scotland’s new freedom of information
commissioner, said it was not good enough merely to cite commercial
confidentiality as a reason for withholding information.

Source: The Herald, Friday 21 May

Majority suffering from the inclusion of disruptive
pupils, union says

The education of children is suffering because of a policy that
allows disruptive pupils to be taught in mainstream classes,
according to a teachers’ union yesterday.

Teachers claim they are spending the majority of their time keeping
unruly pupils under control rather than teaching as a result of the

Members of the National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women
Teachers voted unanimously at their annual conference to demand
policy reforms.

Source: The Herald, Friday 21 May

Charity cleared of financial doubt

A homelessness charity is cleared of financial regularity

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator has completed
reports into claims that a senior figure at Four Square mismanaged
some of the £2.3 million in taxpayers’ money given to
the Edinburgh-based charity each year.

However the two “whistle-blowers” who made claims about
the head of support services Tom McFarlane, remain suspended. Simon
McLean and Pat Jackson have been off work since February pending an
internal investigation.

Ian Kennedy, a lawyer acting for the pair, said they would
“almost certainly” lose their jobs but called on the
audience in the 60-strong audience at a public meeting to fight for
more protection for whistle-blowers. 

Source: The Scotsman, Friday 21 May

Call to crack down on pupils making malicious

The Scottish Executive was urged yesterday to introduce new
legislation to crack-down on pupils who make malicious allegations
against teachers by union officials.

Members of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women
Teachers said any pupil making a complaint should be suspended
along with the teacher during and investigation.

Pupils making false allegations should be charged with wasting
police time while the teacher should seek damages in the civil
courts, members agreed at the union’s annual conference in

Source: The Scotsman , Friday 21 May

Nursery nurses urged to take new pay offer

Union leaders in the capital are urging their members to accept
a new pay deal offered to nursery nurses.

Union members will be balloted on the offer which would see lump
sum payments they are being offered increased by up to £500
per person. If nursery nurses accept the offer, their strike will
be over by next Thursday.

Source: Evening News, Thursday 20 May

Volunteer youth group wants custodial sentences

Community volunteers who tried to help young people yesterday
called for them to be locked up.

Residents from the Save our Scheme project, set up on a troubled
housing estate to try and stop teenage vandalism and petty crime by
working with young offenders, have given up the fight and yesterday
presented a petition to MSPs.

The group want the juvenile court system for under-16s reintroduced
and rehabilitation programmes to be carried out when youths are in
custody rather than in the community.

Residents are also calling for communities to be supported to help
tackle youth crime.

Source: Daily Record, Friday 21 May

Welsh newspapers

Mother seeks compensation from MoD and hospital for
daughter’s disability

A mother is involved in a fight for compensation from the
Ministry of Defence and a German hospital after her daughter was
disabled at birth.
Clair Barber claims that her four-year-old daughter’s
disabling condition known as Erb’s Palsy was caused by
negligence at a hospital in Germany and subsequent lack of care
from the Army. But because she and her husband were in the Army at
the time Mrs Barber does not have the same legal rights as an NHS
patient treated abroad.

Source: Western Mail, 21 May, page 1

NHS relying on costly locums

New figures reveal that the Welsh NHS is spending £38m a
year on agency staff to cope with long-term vacancies.

The bill for locum doctors and nurses has almost tripled in recent
years rising by a massive 192 per cent since devolution. As well as
filling vacancies it is also believed that NHS Trust are employing
greater numbers of locum doctors in an attempt to offset long-term

Source: Western Mail, 21 May, page 11

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