Record number of Asbos but four in 10 are broken
More than four in 10 antisocial behaviour orders are breached, with over half of these ending in a prison sentence, Home Office figures show. However, juveniles are less likely to be jailed than adults for breaches.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Wednesday, 21 December 2005, page 8

Reforms may let young killers escape life in jail
Children from neglectful households who kill may escape life sentences by pleading diminished responsibility, under plans unveiled by the Law Commission yesterday. The government advisory body’s proposed shake-up of the murder laws suggests children should receive lighter sentences if their backgrounds have impaired their moral development.
Source: The Guardian, Wednesday 21 December 2005, page 1

Mercy killers may be spared murder trials
Dozens of people who commit mercy killings would no longer be tried for murder, under proposals published by the Law Commission.
Source:- Independent, Wednesday December 21 2005, page 4

Head of Audit commission resigns in row over councils
James Strachan, head of the Audit Commission, resigned unexpectedly yesterday after a row with local government leaders over the way the commission suggested half of councils in England and Wales were failing to give value for money.
Source:- The Guardian, Wednesday 21 December 2005, page 10

Underclass act
Former social worker Bernard Hare talks about how he turned his experiences with deprived children in Leeds into a book.
Source:- Society Guardian, Wednesday 21 December 2005, page 1

Lawrence CPS file
Neville Lawrence, Stephen’s father, is planning legal action to force the Crown Prosecution Service to hand over the case file compiled on the killing of his sone in 1993. Lawyers will say he should have access to find out why the CPS refuses to prosecute five suspects.
Source:- The Times, Wednesday December 21 2005, page 7

Travellers can’t flout plans law
Travellers may not claim immunity from the law when parking caravans on illegal sites, a High Court judge ruled yesterday. Mr Justice Crane said their family and cultural rights take second place to the need for fair and firm enforcement of planning laws.
Source:- Daily Mail, Wednesday December 21 2005, page 8

Postman given asylum plundered £20 million
A refugee given asylum in Britain got a job as a postman and used it to carry out a £20 million scam by stealing chequebooks, Harrow crown court heard this week.
Source:- Daily Mail, Wednesday December 21 2005, page 15

Hospitals blamed for new superbug
A hospital superbug fuelled by inadequate infection-control measures is spreading and threatening patients in the wider community.
Source:- Source:- Independent, Wednesday December 21 2005, page 5

Private jail “out of control”
A private jail, Forest Bank in Salford, where drug use, violence and bullying is rife has been condemned as out of control by inspectors, who found a “culture steeped in serious drug abuse.”
Source:- Source:- Independent, Wednesday December 21 2005, page 6

Courts closed by pay strike
Six thousand staff in magistrates’ courts went on strike yesterday for the first time in their service’s 800 year history.
Source: The Times, Wednesday December 21 2005, page 4

Paedophile jailed
A man who compiled pornographic magazines featuring the murdered Soham children, Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, was jailed for 12 months yesterday.
Source: The Times, Wednesday December 21 2005, page 4

Asbo net spread to polluters and waste dumpers
Antisocial behaviour orders placed on young people will be reviewed after a year to allow for changes in behaviour to be taken into account, the Home Office has announced. It also laid out plans to give the Environment Agency powers to slap Asbos on fly-tippers, noise polluters and others whose actions harm the environment.
Source:- Financial Times, Wednesday 21 December 2005, page 2

Unions put heat on pensions freeze
Unions have vowed to fight companies who close final salary pension schemes to existing members, following Rentokil Initial’s decision to follow that course.
Source:- Financial Times, Wednesday 21 December 2005 page 3

Nicotine patches for pupils, aged 12
Children as young as 12 in Durham are to be offered nicotine patches by school nurses to help them stop smoking. The treatment has been devised by Derwentside Primary Care Trust and local Sure Start schemes.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Wednesday 21 December 2005, page 1

GPs offered cash to let patients book in advance
GP practices are to be given incentives to treat older people with dementia, people with mental health problems and those with palliative care needs, following a deal struck yesterday between the NHS and the British Medical Association.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Wednesday 21 December 2005, page 1-2

Drink involved in third of rape claims
A leading police officer has called for a “major rethink” of the way rape cases are prosecuted where the alleged victim has an unclear recollection of what happened. Metropolitan Police deputy assistant commissioner Brian Paddick’s comments follow figures showing that 13 per cent of rape allegations in London in April and May this year were of this type.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Wednesday 21 December 2005, page 8

Combining food additives may be harmful
New research on common food additives including sweetener aspartame and food colourings, suggests they may interact to interfere with the development of the nervous system.
Source:- The Guardian, Wednesday 21 December 2005, page 6

Scottish news

Ex-judge attacks human rights supreme plan
A former High Court judge has warned appointing a Scottish human rights commissioner would be a bureaucratic waste with potential to become nothing more than a “font of political correctness and silly ideas”.
Lord McCluskey is sceptical about the Scottish executive’s plans to create the £1m-a-year office, and this view is backed by some MSPs.
He said there are other public bodies already covering the same ground and that the money would be better spent on funding voluntary groups to deliver services.
Source:- The Herald, Wednesday 21 December 2005

Concern over care of vulnerable people
Continuing concerns over the care of vulnerable patients has been raised by the Scottish public services ombudsman, Professor Alice Brown. She urged healthcare providers to “learn lessons”, after inquiries into four complaints involving three health boards highlighted failures and weaknesses.
Source:- The Scotsman, Wednesday 21 December 2005

Welsh news

Sleeping baby “died next to addict mother”
A coroner has recorded an open verdict on a baby who was found dead by her drug-induced mother.
Three-month-old Toni Watts had been sleeping on a sofa with her mother, Joanne Cubbon, when she would not wake up. Cubbon, was under the influence of heroin, cocaine and methadone at the time.
A post-mortem examination was unable to work out whether Toni died due to sudden infant death syndrome or accidental smothering.
Source:- icWales, Wednesday 21 December 2005


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