Monday 5 July 2004

    By Amy Taylor, Alex Dobson and Clare
    Jerrom

    Parents cleared of child abuse to sue police

    Parents who were falsely accused of satanic child abuse have
    criticised the police and social services.

    Six men and four women on the island of Lewis, in the Herbrides,
    were arrested last October and charged with rape and sexual abuse
    against three girls aged under 16.

    Source:- The Sunday Telegraph, July 4, page 13

    “Deranged” Mr X new suspect in Billie-Jo case

    A loner sighted near the home of murdered girl Billie-Jo Jenkins on
    the day she died was so unstable he did not know whether it was
    night or day, those who knew him said last week.

    Sion Jenkins, Billie-Jo’s foster father was found guilty of
    murdering her at his home in February 1997 but has launched an
    appeal.
    The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been identified
    as a possible suspect for the murder by Jenkins’ legal
    team.

    Source:- The Sunday Times, July 4, page 12

    Public gets power to curb thugs

    The public will be able to impose a range of court orders to tackle
    anti-social behaviour the government has revealed.

    Petitions and public meetings could be used to dish out anti-social
    behaviour orders, curfews and dispersal orders where communities
    are under fire.

    Source:- The Observer, July 4, page 3

    Fury as Briton accused of child rape flies home

    The British High Commissioner in Gambia has come under fire after
    allowing a British man charged with raping a 10-year-old girl to
    avoid having a court trial.

    John MacKintosh, 63, from Inverness was arrested on 16 May and
    denied the charges. His passport was locked in a police safe and he
    was granted bail. However, shortly before his trial was due to
    start Eric Jenkinson, the high commissioner, got him a new passport
    enabling him to fly home before the trial.

    Jenkinson denies a making a mistake saying that he believed charges
    against Jenkinson had been dropped. But the officials in the Gambia
    say that this is not the case.

    Source:- The Observer, July 4, page 2

    “I’d rather die than live next to these
    hooligans”

    As the debate over anti-social behaviour orders rages, on woman
    tells of her stand

    Source:- The Observer, July 4, page 10

    MPs may allow child smacking in new Bill

    Ministers are set to get legislation changed to allow parents to
    smack their children as long as they do not physically harm
    them.

    Campaigners have criticised the government’s plan arguing
    that it defines ways in which children could continue to be
    abused.

    The government’s approach will be shaped when the Children
    Bill is debated in the House of Lords today.

    Source:- The Independent, July 5, Monday, page 4

    Muslims demand curb on police powers

    Muslim leaders are stepping up pressure on the government to ensure
    that police powers to stop and search are used fairly.

    Home office minister Hazel Blears said yesterday the government was
    taking action to ensure that police stop and search powers are used
    fairly following a dramatic rise in their use against Asians.

    However, Whitehall officials said the government was being pressed
    to consider amending the Race Relations Act to include religious
    discrimination as part of a wider strategy aimed at winning back
    the trust of the Muslim community.

    Source:- Financial Times  Saturday 3 July page 2

    Blunkett wins police chief’s suspension

    The chief constable of Humberside was suspended last night after
    David Blunkett’s lawyers won a High Court battle over the
    home secretary’s powers to force such an action.

    Mr Justice Burnton ruled that Blunkett had exercised his powers
    correctly as Humberside police authority had been in default of its
    statutory duty.

    The Bichard Report into the murders of Holly Wells and Jessica
    Chapman found “deeply shocking” failures of police
    intelligence which helped create conditions in which Ian Huntley
    gained work as a school caretaker.

    Source:- Financial Times  Saturday 3 July page 2

    Council workers’ union accepts deal

    A union representing 300,000 council workers has accepted a
    three-year pay deal worth 8.9 per cent.

    The GMB said its members voted 2-1 in favour of the increase, which
    will lead to new grading structures aimed at delivering equal pay
    in local authorities within three years.

    Source:- Financial Times  Saturday 3 July page 2

    People smugglers caught in air chase

    A bid to smuggle 50 illegal immigrants into Britain by light
    aircraft was foiled last night following a high-speed air
    chase.

    A seven-month intelligence stake out found that the unnamed pilot
    was ferrying Turkish asylum seekers from Belgium and France.

    The pilot arrived in Britain with five illegal passengers including
    a child. Each had paid £6,700 for transport from Turkey to
    Britain.

    Source:- The Times  Saturday 3 July page 7

    Children barred from mobile porn sites

    Vodaphone yesterday launched the world’s first system to
    prevent children from calling up adult websites from their
    handsets.

    Customers will not be able to view pornography or gambling sites or
    enter unmonitored chat-rooms until they have proved they are over
    18.

    Source:- Daily Telegraph  Saturday 3 July page 12

     

    Scottish newspapers

    Crown drops Western Isles child abuse
    investigation

    A child abuse investigation in the Western Isles has been dropped,
    the Crown Office has confirmed.

    The investigation, which saw social workers and four police forces
    carry out dawn raids on houses in England and Scotland last year,
    resulted in seven men and a woman being charged.

    A Crown Office spokesperson confirmed that following a thorough
    investigation, the Crown counsel has instructed that no proceedings
    be taken in this case.

    Source:- The Scotsman  Saturday 3 July

    Knife thug accused of rape during home visit

    A teenager who was locked up for abducting and stabbing a young
    girl is alleged to have raped a young girl while on home
    leave.

    Social work chiefs in Edinburgh allowed the 14-year-old boy out of
    care home accommodation for a series of weekend visits earlier this
    year, believing the move was safe.

    However, the boy has been accused of raping a 13-year-old girl and
    a string of alleged sexual assaults against other youngsters.

    The evidence is being examined by the Crown lawyers who must decide
    whether to send him to an adult court for trial or allow the case
    to be dealt with by the Children’s Panel.

    Source:- Scotland on Sunday, Sunday 4 July

    Prisoners reap reward of slopping-out crisis

    Hundreds of Scottish prisoners, including convicted rapists and
    violent attackers, will have their home leave extended to as much
    as two weeks a month following the controversial slopping out case
    earlier this year.

    Lawyers representing Robert Napier successful argued in court that
    the practice of slopping-out contravened his human rights.

    Jail chiefs hope that be letting offenders home for up to a week
    instead of the current three days they can minimise the use of the
    cells which do not have proper sanitation and reduce the likelihood
    of further compensation claims.

    Opposition parties believe the plan risks putting the public at
    risk.

    Source:- Scotland on Sunday  Sunday 4 July

    Beds shortage puts children “at risk”

    Vulnerable children are being forced to sleep on floors at
    children’s homes in Edinburgh because of a lack of
    accommodation and foster carers.

    The beds shortage is also putting some children in “high
    risk” situations for weeks at a time, despite emergency
    orders granted by sheriffs recommending they are removed from their
    families.

    Union chiefs have blamed the crisis on a lack of Scottish Executive
    social work funding and a huge rise in the number of child
    protection cases.

    Source:- Scotland on Sunday  Sunday 4 July

    Scots scrape barrel with binge drinking

    Experts have warned that Scotland’s binge drinking culture is
    threatening to spiral out of control as fresh figures showed the
    number of alcohol related hospital admissions has soared by more
    than 20 per cent in the past five years.

    Cases of the more serious alcohol related conditions are increasing
    even more rapidly than the overall figure, with liver disease up by
    more than 40 per cent, according to the Scottish executive
    figures.

    Source:- Scotland on Sunday  Sunday 4 July

    McConnell caves in over reforms

    Scottish Labour has caved in to Blairite reform in England, which
    they earlier rejected, which will see the creation of foundation
    hospitals.

    First minister Jack McConnell’s party had dismissed the plans
    including foundation hospitals but they now say they may provide
    lessons they can learn from.

    Source:- Sunday Herald  Sunday 4 July

    “No confidence” for prison heads

    Justice minister Cathy Jamieson has refused to back the head of the
    Scottish Prison Service following the recent problems including
    mistakes by Reliance escort company and the slopping-out case in
    Scotland.

    Jamieson declined to say if Tony Cameron has her full confidence.
    She said she did not have the power to sack him but stressed that
    the Prison Service can expect a major change as a new national
    corrections agency is introduced.

    Source:- Sunday Herald  Sunday 4 July

    Prejudice against mentally ill still common in
    Scotland

    Three in five Scots believe someone with a mental health problem
    would be unable to look after children, according to new
    research.

    The study by the anti-stigmatisation See Me campaign also found
    that more than half of those polled claim someone with an illness
    such as depression could not hold a job down as a bank
    manager.

    Source:- Sunday Herald  Sunday 4 July

    Alcohol charity warns of £34m shortfall

    Plans to tackle Scotland’s hard drinking image are woefully
    under-funded and misdirected according to a charity.

    The £8 million Scottish Executive funding over two years to
    promote sensible drinking, cut alcohol-related deaths and improve
    health services for people with alcohol problems is a drop in the
    ocean, according  to Alcohol Focus Scotland.

    The charity claims that action plans to deliver the
    Executive’s strategy would cost £42m, leaving a huge
    deficit.

    Source:- Sunday Herald  Sunday 4 July

    Another two prisoners freed in error

    A further two prisoners have been mistakenly released from custody,
    prompting fresh calls for justice minister Cathy Jamieson to
    resign.

    An investigation was underway to establish whether escort company
    Reliance was at fault.

    Source:- The Scotsman  Monday 5 July

    Forced to live behind closed doors

    Older people in Scottish care homes are being forced to live behind
    closed doors under a new fire safety regime imposed following the
    Uddingston fire which killed 14 older residents.

    Inspectors from the country’s two main brigades are insisting
    homes keep bedroom doors shut at all times, despite evidence that
    older people are deeply distressed without regular social contact
    with other residents and staff.

    Source:- The Herald  Monday 5 July

     

    Welsh newspapers

    Millionaire dad threatens tug-of-love mum with
    jail

    A mother battling to be re-united with her children is facing two
    years in a South American prison.

    Jane Davies, a teacher from Carmarthen, is being sued by her
    ex-husband after she accused him of withholding important documents
    during their custody case, and if the case is proven she could face
    a prison term in Ecuador. In spite of being awarded custody of her
    two children, she has not seen them since 2002 when her millionaire
    husband abducted them and took them to live in the Galapagos
    Islands.

    Source:- Western Mail Monday 5 July page 1

    Woman’s free disabled parking
    struggle

    A former nurse has launched a campaign opposing the introduction
    of parking charges for disabled drivers.
    Anne Goodman who is disabled wants blue badge holders to continue
    to park for free in car parks in Pembrokeshire. She says that the
    introduction of charges, which is currently under consideration by
    the council would victimise people with disabilities.

    Source:- Western Mail Monday 5 July page 3

    Owen victim criticises school staff

    A former pupil who claims to have suffered sexual abuse at the
    hands of drama teacher, John Owen, has criticised senior teachers
    for not providing adequate pastoral care.

    Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Peter Clarke last week
    published the Clywch report that examined the alleged abuse by John
    Owen of pupils at a south Wales comprehensive. Senior teachers were
    praised in the report for blowing the whistle on Owen’s
    activities but the man, who identity is unknown, says they should
    have done more to protect children.

    Source:- Western Mail Monday 5 July page 5

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