Tuesday 21 December 2004

By Shirley Kumar, Maria Ahmed, Derren Hayes and Amy

Gypsy court order

An extended gypsy family led by Thomas Brown, who parked their
caravans on an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Bedfordshire
in defiance of a court order, were given a month to move by the
Court of Appeal.

They had bought the land for £20,000.

Source:- The Times Tuesday December 21 2004, page 4

RAF man fined £600 for sex with girl, 14

A children’s charity condemned a sheriff yesterday for fining
a married man just £600 for having sex with a girl of just

Paul Dyson, 25, based at RAF Kinloss in Moray, admitted unlawful
sexual intercourse.

Source:- The Times Tuesday December 21 2004 page 18

Move to allow prosecutors to interview witnesses

The ban on prosecutors in England and Wales interviewing witnesses
before a trial should be lifted, the government’s senior law
officer said yesterday.

The change would help lawyers for the Crown Prosecution Service to
assess the “credibility and reliability” of witnesses
and lead to better decisions, the Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith
QC, said.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Tuesday December 21 2004 page

Writer in hiding as violence closes Sikh play

Sikh protestors have driven controversial play writer Gurpreet Kaur
into hiding only hours after her play, Behzti, was axed following
violent protests.

Friends of Kaur said she has been threatened with murder after
Sikhs said her play, meaning Dishonour, demeaned the religion by
showing rape and murder within a gurdwara or temple.

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 21 December 2004 page

Boy, 13, admits drink-driving

A boy of 13 has pleaded guilty at Salford magistrates for
drink-driving, aggravated vehicle taking and driving with no

The boy who cannot be named for legal reasons was caught after
crashing a stolen car last month following a police chase.

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 21 December 2004 page

Gap in mental health service grows

Millions of people in East Anglia and the north are being denied
better care following a widening regional divide in mental health

Louis Appleby, the mental health tsar, said that despite the mental
health budget for England increasing by 22 per cent in real terms
over the last four years, managers had “swallowed up”
to pay debts unrelated to mental health or had developed the wrong

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 21 December 2004 page

Boy gets 5 1/2 years for attack

A school boy who attacked a university graduate with a road
sweeper’s broom leaving him blind and bedridden was ordered
to be detained for five-and-a-half years.

The boy, who was 13 at the time, attacked Yasir Abdelmoutalib, as
he was on his way to a Mosque for Friday prayers, Harrow crown
court heard.

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 21 December 2004 page

Feltham was a pigsty, says safety officer

Keith Denman, the principal officer in charge of safety at Feltham
Young Offender Institution on the night teenager Zahid Mubarek was
battered to death, said his first impression was that it was a

Denman agreed the inmates were viewed like animals at the inquiry
into the teenager’s death.

The inquiry continues and is expected to be completed by

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 21 December 2004 page

32 men die of child porn shame

Thirty-two men arrested as part of Britain’s biggest child
porn inquiry have committed suicide.

The family men were among thousands of suspects held during
Operation Ore, the British end of a US-led investigation launched
in 2002.

So far 7,200 Britons have been identified of whom 3,729 have been

Source:- The Daily Mail Tuesday 21 December 2004 page

Scottish news

£400,000 to combat abuse

Health boards in Scotland have been given £400,000 by the
Scottish executive to help stop attacks on NHS staff.

Funding – for projects aimed at tackling violence against
health workers – was announced as the executive were accused
of offering inadequate protection to staff in the community from

Source:- Daily Record Tuesday 21 December

Fury over £600 fine for “silly RAF

Children’s charities in Scotland have criticised a judge for
only fining a RAF officer for repeatedly having sex with a
14-year-old girl.

Sheriff Ian Cameron fined Paul Dyson £600 for what he
described as a “rash and silly offence”, rather than
ruining his career.

Source:- Daily Record Tuesday 21 December

Lenders brought to book

License loan sharks who charge families up to 900 per cent interest
are to be investigated by the Competition Commission.

The £2 billion home credit industry will be investigated
following a super complaint by the National Consumer Council.

Source:- Daily Record Tuesday 21 December

Tenfold rise in prescribing Ritalin for children

Prescriptions of the child behaviour drug Ritalin have increased
almost tenfold in Scotland in the last seven years.

Studies will look at the high rise, after a new report showed vast
regional differences in the prescribing of the drug.

Source:- The Herald Tuesday 21 December

Welsh news

Half at council find it difficult to work

More than half of the employees at Swansea City and County Council
say that they find it “difficult” to do their jobs,
with many citing a heavy workload as the main reason.

The survey also found that fewer than 40 per cent of the 11, 500
staff felt valued. Earlier this year it was revealed that council
workers in Swansea take an average 12.6 days off a year compared to
private sector workers who take an average of 7.8 days off a

Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 21 December

Probe into hospital baby death

An independent review into the death of a baby at a Welsh hospital
has been launched.

Bro Morgannwg NHS Trust has commissioned the investigation into the
Princess of Wales Hospital obstetrics department. The incident
happened in September.

The trust’s actions come just days after it was ordered to
pay out millions in compensation to another patient by the High
Court. The trust, which runs the Princess of Wales Hospital, was
told to pay £3.85 million compensation to seven-year-old Lewis
Prosser who became severely disabled after several medical mistakes
during his birth.

Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 21 December

Fire holds lessons for mental health

A woman, whose mentally ill son started a fire that killed him, her
husband and her other son, has said that her life is empty without
her family.

Felicity Latham’s son John set fire to the family’s
farmhouse in Afan Valley in Port Talbot last February. The coroner
recorded a verdict of unlawful killing for her husband Joe Latham
and her other son James, who had severe learning difficulties, at
an inquest earlier this month.

However, he recorded and open verdict on the youngest son John, 29,
who had schizophrenia, ruling out suicide because he was mentally

In a statement since released by Latham, she said that she wanted
to ensure that “any and all lessons” could be learnt
from the events so such tragedies would be less likely to occur in
the future.

Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 21 December

No sign of approval

A deaf man has been told that he cannot take his usual sign
language interpreter with him to a hospital appointment after
Christmas because of a dispute between the interpreter and the body
that registers the profession.

John and Cary Lennon, of Wrexham, have used the same interpreter
for health appointments for years but now Wrexham Local Health
Board has told the couple they must use a different one because of
the dispute. The service is paid for by the NHS.

Lennon said that he should be allowed to choose which interpreter
he has and that when he had used a different approved interpreter
at a hospital appointment earlier this year they were unable to
communicate with him properly.

Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 21 December

Parents feel guilty to child neglect charges

The parents of a three-year-old boy who they neglected have both
walked free from court. The toddler’s parents appeared at
Caerphilly Magistrates’ Court to be sentenced after pleading
guilty to three charges of child neglect between them.

Magistrates imposed community rehabilitation orders of
two-and-a-half years each.

Source:- The South Wales Echo Tuesday December 21 2004
page 7

Sex Pest Jailed

John Currell, was jailed for 12 months at Cardiff Crown Court for
sexually assaulting a teenage girl. His apology failed to impress
the judge or reduce the sentence.

Source:- The South Wales Echo Tuesday December 21 2004
page 12

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