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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