Thursday 24 June 2004

    Psychiatric Hospital pays out over patient
    death

    A father was awarded £235,000 damages in the High Court
    yesterday after his wife disappearing from a hospital’s psychiatric
    ward and died. Julie Godbold, 38, had been admitted to the ward at
    Greenwich District Hospital, South-East London, suffering from
    post-natal depression after the birth of her fourth child. Two
    weeks later in early December 2000 she left the hospital unnoticed
    and days later was found drowned at the King George V Dock, East
    Ham, London. Her family believe she killed herself. Oxleas NHS
    Trust, which runs the hospital, admitted liability and agreed to
    pay the compensation to Ronald Godbold and the couple’s four
    daughters.

    Source:- Daily Mail, 24 June, Thursday, page 33

    Police chief blamed for Soham failings wins local
    support

    The argument between home secretary David Blunkett and
    Humberside chief constable, David Westwood, who he wants to suspend
    due to failings in the Soham murder trial, intensified as the
    police chief refused to step down and claimed to have growing
    support. Westwood is being backed by the chairman of his police
    authority and he claims to have been contacted by other chief
    constables offering their support.

    His case is also given weight by a letter from Humberside’s high
    sheriff accusing Blunkett of hypocrisy.

    Source:- The Independent, 24 June, Thursday, page
    18

    Can’t cope culture’ bill hits £2bn and
    rising

    The cost of benefits to those claiming they have been disabled
    by stress, depression and anxiety has risen to more than £2bn
    a year.

    Statistics contained in a written parliamentary answer from the
    work and pensions minister Maria Eagle show incapacity benefit for
    various forms of mental disorder suggests claims are souring
    leaving the taxpayer with a hefty annual bill.

    Around 700,000 people a quarter receive up to £84 per week
    in incapacity benefit for poor mental health. Around 232,300 are
    women, a 60 per cent increase than in 1997.

    Source:- Telegraph, June 24, page 10

    Barnardo’s pair guilty of child abuse

    Two former Barnardo workers were found guilty of more than 70
    offences of sexually abusing eight children in their care.

    Margaret Hewitt, 69, was found guilty of 53 charges including
    indecent assault and inciting children to gross indecency.

    Belfast Crown court QC Gerald Simpson also found Robert
    Anderson, 46, guilty of 17 assaults against five children,
    including two rapes of teenage girls.

    The pair were cleared of 28 other charges.

    Source:- Telegraph, June 24, page 10

    Boy, 15, murdered in ‘robbery that went
    wrong’

    Police are appealing for witnesses after a 15-year-old boy was
    stabbed to death in what they say was a robbery that went
    wrong.

    Kieran Rodney-Davis of Fulham, London, was stabbed after
    returning home from a trip to the shops for his mother.

    Three youths, all aged around 15-years, were seen running away
    from the scene. They were wearing balaclavas or bandana style
    scarves over their faces.

    Source:- The Guardian, June 24, page 9

    Scottish papers

    Tax payers money used to fund taxis for drug
    addicts

    A Scottish local authority is spending thousands of pounds of
    tax payers money on taxis taking drug users to pick up their
    Methadone prescriptions. West Dunbartonshire Council pays for taxis
    to pick up drug users from Glasgow and Clydebank and take them to
    pharmacies up to 30 miles away. This is alleged to happen a number
    of times a week for some drug users. A council spokesperson said
    that many pharmacies had limits on the number of Methadone
    prescriptions they will have on their books that meant addicts may
    have to travel long distances to get the drug.

    Source:- The Scotsman, 24 June, Thursday

    Welsh papers

    Jailed sex offender faces new probe by
    police

    A former church worker who is serving a nine- month jail
    sentence for sexually assaulting a 16-year-old boy could face more
    charges following fresh allegations. Darren Jenkins worked as a lay
    reader in Pontypool and the Church in Wales has confirmed that
    following his conviction the parents of another boy has made a
    complaint to child protection officers.

    Source South Wales Argus Wednesday 23 June page 7

    AMs vote to cut prescription charges by
    £1

    Assembly members have voted to cut prescription charges in Wales
    from £6 to £5. The move, which is due to come into effect
    in October, is part of a Labour manifesto pledge to abolish charges
    altogether by 2007.

    Source Western Mail Thursday 24 June page 5

    We have to do more to tackle
    poverty’

    A deputy minister in the Welsh assembly says that more needs to
    be done to tackle poverty in Wales. Huw Lewis, deputy social
    justice minister says that there is bureaucratic resistance to
    flagship assembly schemes like the anti-poverty Communities First
    initiative. He called for action to prioritise help for the 100
    most deprived communities in Wales.

    Source Western Mail Thursday 24 June page 10

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