Friday 2 July 2004

    By Amy Taylor, Sally Gillen and Alex
    Dobson


    Sex abuse response criticised

    The first major inquiry by the children’s commissioner for
    Wales has heavily criticised two directors of education for their
    response to reports of a drama teacher sexually abusing
    pupils.

    The allegations are against John Owen, a teacher at Rhydfelen
    school in Pontypridd, south Wales, between 1975 and 1991. He killed
    himself in 2001 aged 47 shortly before his trial for five charges
    of sexual abuse of boys was to start.

    The boys made the allegations in 1990.

    Peter Clarke’s report says that David Matthews, who was then
    an area director of education at Mid Glamorgan county council and
    is now director of education at Bridgend council, may have
    committed a criminal offence due to failing in his duty of care
    towards the boys.

    Matthews says the report is full of inconsistencies.

    Edwin Roberts, education director at Mid Glamorgan at the time, is
    also criticised in the report.

    Source:- The Guardian, Friday, July 2, page 10

    Pioneering drug project accused of failing clients

    A pioneering project helping women involved in prostitution and
    drugs has a back catalogue of complaints from clients, doctors and
    referral agencies about the way it was run, it has been
    revealed.

    The claims allege that clients at the Working Women’s Crack
    Project who had never previously been sex workers became involved
    in prostitution and that some women had upped their drug
    intake.

    The project is based in Lambeth, a South London borough, and is a
    multi-agency initiative led by the charity St Mungo’s.

    Source:- The Guardian, Friday, July 2, page 11

    Scottish newspapers

    £50k clean sweep

    A disabled mum whose bosses offered her a job lifting goalposts
    yesterday won her job fight at the House of Lords. Susan Archibald,
    38, is now in line for about £50,000 compensation after the
    lords ruled Fife council discriminated against her.

    An operation damaged Archibald’s knee leaving her unable to
    continue her work as a streetsweeper. She asked for a desk job but
    was sent to various departments to apply for manual jobs.

    Source: Daily Record, page nine, Friday 2 July
    2004

    Huge rise for single parents

    The number of Scottish children being raised by one parent has
    more than doubled in 20 years, a report has revealed.

    This means Scotland now has the highest percentage of single parent
    families in the UK. The report by NCH Scotland revealed that 40 per
    cent of children in Glasgow are raised by a lone parent.

    Source: Daily Record, page 21, Friday 2 July 2004

    Child pornography cop goes free

    A policeman yesterday escaped jail for downloading child
    pornography on his home computer.

    Experts found 374 sexually explicit images of children were viewed
    on the machine belonging to Tayside police seargeant Hamish Tocher,
    46.

    Tocher was fined £500 and put on the sex offenders register
    for five years.

    Source: Daily Record, page 32, Friday 2 July 2004

    Asylum seeker ‘chained to bed before
    operation’

    An asylum seeker held at Dungavel was allegedly shackled
    to a bed while waiting for an operation.

    The woman, who is in her 20s and from Cameroon, was transported
    from the Lanarkshire centre on Tuesday morning wearing handcuffs.
    Linda Fabiani, the SNP MSP for Scotland Central, is now calling for
    an inquiry, over what she describes as human rights abuses
    “on par” with those at Guantanamo Bay.

    Source: Herald Friday 2 July 2004

    Welsh Newspapers

    ‘The Waiting Is Over’

    Welsh assembly health minister, Jane Hutt has pledged that
    patients will not have to wait longer than 12 months for
    treatment.
    Her promise comes in the wake of the revelation that hospital
    waiting lists in Wales have made little or no improvement in recent
    months.

    Source South Wales Echo Thursday 1 July page 5

    How our children were abused by this paedophile teacher
    and shamefully betrayed by a ‘cover-up’

    A cover-up by senior Welsh education officials allowed a
    paedophile teacher to abuse his pupils and go unpunished for more
    than a decade.

    A report from the Children’s Commissioner for Wales, the
    Clywch inquiry, found that drama teacher, John Owen abused children
    in his care at a south Wales school but that failings by a local
    education authority meant that children were not given the
    protection they were entitled to.

    Source Western Mail Friday 2 July page 1

    Dead girl let down by social services

    A teenage girl who disappeared from local authority care more
    than four years ago was let down by social services who labelled
    her a troubled adolescent, according to an independent
    inquiry.

    Fourteen-year-old, Sarah Benford disappeared in suspicious
    circumstances from a children’s home in Northampton in April
    2000 and detectives later launched a search for her body both in
    south Wales and Northamptonshire.

    Source: Western Mail Friday 2 July page 9

    ‘The Waiting Is Over’

    Welsh assembly health minister, Jane Hutt has pledged that
    patients will not have to wait longer than 12 months for
    treatment.
    Her promise comes in the wake of the revelation that hospital
    waiting lists in Wales have made little or no improvement in recent
    months.

    Source: South Wales Echo Thursday 1 July page 5

    How our children were abused by this paedophile teacher
    and shamefully betrayed by a ‘cover-up’

    A cover-up by senior Welsh education officials allowed a
    paedophile teacher to abuse his pupils and go unpunished for more
    than a decade.

    A report from the Children’s Commissioner for Wales, the
    Clywch inquiry, found that drama teacher, John Owen abused children
    in his care at a south Wales school but that failings by a local
    education authority meant that children were not given the
    protection they were entitled to.

    Source: Western Mail Friday 2 July page 1

    Dead girl let down by social services

    A teenage girl who disappeared from local authority care more
    than four years ago was let down by social services who labelled
    her a troubled adolescent, according to an independent
    inquiry.

    Fourteen-year-old, Sarah Benford disappeared in suspicious
    circumstances from a children’s home in Northampton in April
    2000 and detectives later launched a search for her body both in
    south Wales and Northamptonshire.

    Source: Western Mail Friday 2 July page 9

     

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