Monday 18 April 2005

By Simeon Brody, Maria Ahmed, Derren Hayes and Amy

Ex-teacher given Asbo at 74

A retired teacher who annoyed neighbours by playing classical music
at deafening levels has become the oldest woman in Britain to be
made the subject of an antisocial behaviour order. Jennie Smith,
74, from Lancaster, accepted the two-year order.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Saturday 16 April 2005 page

Gipsies stop play by camping on cricket square

A cricket club secretary at Langwith Cricket Club, Notts, has
postponed a cricket game because 200 gypsies have pitched caravans
on the site. Bolsover council is considering legal action including
an order to get the gypsies to move within 72 hours.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Saturday 16 April 2005 page

Schoolboy ‘hanged himself after bullying’

A 12-year-old schoolboy who was found hanged in the bathroom of his
home in Romford, Essex, is thought to have been a victim of
bullying, it emerged yesterday.

School officials are investigating the claims.

Source:- The Guardian Saturday 16 April 2005 page 6

Ten arrested at traveller’s site

Armed police seized £200,000 of suspected stolen property
– including nine caravans – during a raid on a
traveller’s site in south-east London. The site, in Peckham,
houses 20 adults and 19 children.

Source:- The Times Saturday April 2005 page 2

Light sentences for abuse couple

A couple involved in a horrific case of child abuse escaped with
light sentences after each blamed the other.

Their three-year-old girl was found covered in cigarette burns and
had bruises all over her body.

Sheffield Crown Court was told that injuries must have been caused
by Michelle Oates, Adam Duke or both of them. But as neither would
admit responsibility they faced a lesser charge of child

Each admitted the offence.

Source:- The Times Saturday April 2005 page 11

Labour’s plans for criminals

Labour’s plans to merge the prison and probation services to
create a new National Offender Management Service could lead to
cases being inadequately supervised, civil servants have

A leaked Home Office report warns there is a high risk of
inadequate supervision and a loss of key skills from frontline

Source:- The Independent on Sunday Sunday 17 April 2005
page 2

The mystery of the Cromarty Suicides: why did four friends
kill themselves within months of one another

Four friends have committed suicide in the Scottish village of
Cromarty in the past 12 months, leaving relatives and mental health
experts baffled.

The head of the suicidal-behaviour research unit at Stirling
University has called for more research to be done into why so many
Highlanders commit suicide.

Source:- The Independent on Sunday Sunday 17 April 2005
page 10

Girl, 16, killed in frenzied knife attack at her
relative’s home

A girl of 16 was killed in a frenzied knife attack at a house
belonging to a member of her family on the Central Estate in
Hartlepool, police said yesterday.

A 29-year-old Hartlepool man was last night arrested in connection
with the murder.

Source:- The Sunday Telegraph Sunday 17 April 2005 page

Revealed: how the Home Office hides the true level of

Police forces have been instructed by the government not to record
many offences while simultaneously logging crimes in which nobody
is convicted as “detected”.

An analysis by the Sunday Telegraph has revealed the government has
expanded the range of “get-outs” that allow officers to
ignore many crimes.

Source:- The Sunday Telegraph Sunday 17 April 2005 page

“I don’t care if she dies on hunger

A youth involved in an angry confrontation with a teacher who is
now on hunger strike after being jailed for her part in the affray
said he did not care if she died during her protest.

Source:- The Sunday Telegraph Sunday 17 April 2005 page

Councils rip up miles of paving slabs and put down asphalt
as injury claims hit £500m

Paving is being replaced with tarmac in an attempt to by councils
to cut the increasing number of compensation claims from
pedestrians who trip on cracked pavestones.

The biggest local authority insurer, Zurich Municipal, has
estimated that defending and processing claims has been costing
councils £500 million a year.

Source:- The Sunday Telegraph Sunday 17 April 2005 page

500,000 illegal migrants, says Home Office

The government has secretly calculated there are about 500,000
illegal immigrants in Britain, despite claiming it did not know the
scale of the problem.

The figure has been compiled by the Home Office.

Source:- The Sunday Times Sunday 17 April 2005 page

Drinking blamed as violent crime surges 8%

Home Office figures out this week are likely to show a rise in
violent crime of about 8 per cent with police blaming the increase
on drunken town-centre brawling.

Source:- The Sunday Times Sunday 17 April 2005 page

Charities to be invited to run jails

The voluntary sector will be invited to bid jointly with private
companies to run open prisons, detention centres and young offender
institutions under Labour plans.

Alan Milburn, architect of the plan, believes charities will bring
a more humane approach that will reduce costs and cut re-offending

Source:- The Sunday Times Sunday 17 April 2005 page

Nurses demand legal vice zone

The Royal College of Nursing conference next week is to discuss the
decriminalisation of prostitution, arguing that it would allow
healthcare workers to prevent the spread of diseases such as

Source:- The Observer Sunday 17 April 2005 page 9

Cash-crisis charity evicts the disabled while boss pockets
£100,000 salary

Hundreds of disabled people face being thrown out of their special
homes because Scope has decided to stop providing residential homes
and become a campaigning organisation.

Bosses at Scope plan to wind down 50 residential homes.

Source:- The Mail on Sunday Sunday 17 April 2005 page

Hard labour for offenders

Offenders given non-custodial sentences should be made to do
physical work, according to the views of most people in an
unpublished survey carried out for the Home Office. Community
sentences were seen as a soft option, but participants did not
believe that prison stopped re-offending.

The findings were from polling carried out in England and Wales by
ICM Research.

Source:- The Times Monday 18 April 2005 page 2

Church faces cost of child abuse

The Roman Catholic Church is bracing itself for the award of record
damages to the victim of a paedophile priest that could pave the
way for a multi-million-pound series of compensation claims.

The case of a former parishioner who suffered 10 years of child sex
abuse by a priest in Coventry will increase the pressure on the
next Pope to confront the legacy of such abuse. The 34-year-old
victim has sought more than £1 million for abuse suffered from
the ages of 8 to 18. He suffers from schizophrenia and
post-traumatic stress disorder and requires 24-hour care.

Source:- The Times Monday 18 April 2005 page 7

New-look letters to give dyslexics a clear

A new typeface called Read Regular is helping dyslexics to overcome
reading difficulties.

Source:- The Times Monday 18 April 2005 page 8

Hospital trust faces sentence for staff death

A south London mental hospital is to be sentenced at the Old Bailey
next month for one of the most serious breaches of health and
safety regulations in the history of the NHS.

South West London and St George’s mental health NHS Trust has
pleaded guilty to neglect contributing to the death of Eshan
Chattun, a psychiatric healthcare assistant who was beaten to death
by a patient at Springfield Hospital in Tooting in 2003.

The case is due for sentencing at the Old Bailey on May 5.

Source:- The Guardian Monday 18 April 2005 page 9

Charity to close its 50 residential homes for

Hundreds of disabled people are being moved out of their
charity-run residential homes, as the voluntary sector switches
from providing services to political campaigning. Scope is the
latest charity to phase out its residential homes and says it
should not spend donor’s money on services that should be
provided by the state.

Source:- The Independent Monday 18 April 2005 page

State set to outsource nearly 20% of services

Private and voluntary bodies could deliver £60 billion worth
of public services by 2006/7 according to an estimate by
outsourcing analysts Kable.

The figure represents an 80 per cent growth over three years.

Source:- Financial Times Monday 18 April  2005 page

Travellers tell locals: Pay us £62,000 and we’ll

Travellers illegally camped next to a wildlife reserve have
demanded £62,000 to move on.

The group of three families bought the North Somerset site for
£27,000 and have asked for twice the £31,000 the
villagers are offering to buy the land themselves.

Source:- Daily Mail Monday 18 April 2005 page 27

Scottish news

Survey reveals GPs’ doubts over safety of MMR

A third of GPs in the Highlands still have doubts about the safety
of the triple MMR vaccine, a new survey suggests.

The survey found nearly 15 per cent of Highlands GPs did not think
the benefits of the combined mumps, measles and rubella vaccine
outweighed the possible risks. And 28 per cent were concerned about
the possible side effects of the vaccine.

Source:- Scotland on Sunday Sunday 17 April

Immigration: Is it as big a problem as the Conservatives
would have us believe?

Feature on the plight and lives of two asylum seekers who in
Michael Howard’s home constituency of Folkstone.

Source:- Sunday Herald Sunday 17 April

The forgotten risk: one fifth of suicides middle-aged

Middle aged men and women are being forgotten in the fight to
prevent suicide, a charity has warned.

One Scot aged 55 or over takes their own life every three days, but
is not named by the Scottish executive as one of the seven priority
groups in its anti-suicide action plan.

Help the Aged said the executive’s strategy to cut the number of
deaths was flawed and urged ministers to provide more help for
older people.

Source:- The Herald Monday 18 April

Health crisis

Argyll and Clyde health board is facing the axe after an audit of
its accounts found it could have debts of around £100 million
by 2008.

Health minister Andy Kerr could scrap the authority and divide
patients between neighbouring health boards. The Record quotes an
insider at the board as saying Kerr is “furious” the
board has not got its act together.

Source:- Daily Record Monday 18 April

Welsh news

Housing policy under fire

Labour have criticised Plaid Cymru on its key policy of social

Martin Eaglestone, the Labour candidate in Caernarfon, accused the
only Plaid-controlled council in Wales of under-spending its social
housing grant allocation by £2.5 million between 1999 and

Source:- Western Mail Saturday 16 April

Rapist ‘married’ 9-year-old victim

A teenager who was raped by a paedophile when she was
nine-years-old fears he will hunt her down her family said last

They spoke out last night after Benjamin Griffiths was arrested in
Germany this month four months after disappearing on the final day
of his trial.

Griffiths, a former teacher from Aberystwyth, was sentenced to 10
years for indecently assaulting and raping the girl who cannot be
named for legal reasons.

The girl’s family said that Griffiths had
‘married’ the girl in a bizarre marriage ceremony and
had told her he would abduct her and make it look like

Source:- Wales on Sunday Sunday 17 April

Teenager charged with Llanelli murder

A 19-year-old has been charged with stabbing another teenager to
death in Llanelli on Thursday.

Jonathan Williams died on the street and was pronounced dead at
later on in hospital. The 19-year-old appeared before magistrates
on Saturday morning.

Source:- Wales on Sunday Sunday 17 April

New centre will deal with eating disorders

The first residential centre in Wales for people with eating
disorders will open later this year in Cardiff.

The Welsh Centre for Eating Disorders is responding to a desperate
need in the country.

Source:- Western Mail Monday 18 April



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