Mental health legislation toned down but doubts persist
The government yesterday bowed to eight years of campaigning by social care charities and psychiatrists and abandoned its planned mental health legislation, but then sparked anxiety by pressing ahead with two of its most controversial elements.
Source:- The Guardian, Friday March 24 2006, page 13

Violent pornography blamed for turning boy aged 14 into a rapist
A 14-year-old boy was sentenced to four years in a young offenders’ institution and will spend a further five years on licence for raping four primary school girls in a park in Salford. Manchester crown court heard that the boy, who pleaded guilty to four charges of rape, had been exposed to “extreme and crude” pornographic material at the time of the offences.
Source:- The Times, Friday March 24 2006, page 3

One-stop answer to deprivation
A network of “one-stop” legal advice centres is being set up in the most deprived parts of England and Wales.
Source:- The Times, Friday March 24 2006, page 35

Death at prison
A murderer who was serving life was found hanged in his cell, the Home Office said. Thomas Anthony Harte, 29, was discovered hanging from the windows in his cell at Leeds Prison yesterday.
Source:- The Times, Friday March 24 2006, page 2

Sonic ‘gang deterrent’ is silenced to protect rights of teenagers
A device that drove away gangs of teenagers loitering outside a supermarket has been banned in case it infringes their human rights. Yesterday the Newport Community Safety Partnership, which was set up by the local authority and the police, ordered a shop to switch off the sonic teen deterrent, known as the mosquito, until human rights and health and safety issues have been “fully resolved”.
Source:- The Times, Friday March 24 2006, page 13

Nursery blamed for girl’s pond death
An inquest into a two-year-old who drowned after she wandered off found that her death was an accident caused by neglect. Abigail Rae left the Ready Teddy Go nursery in Lower Brailes, Warwickshire, through a gate that staff believed to be bolted on November 28 2002.
Source:- The Times, Friday March 24 2006, page 33

Thousands of jobs go in NHS cash crisis
Conservatives have accused the government of allowing the health service to sink under financial pressures caused by ministers’ mistakes. They forecast job losses in England might top 15,000 as staff are made to pay for government errors.
Source:- The Guardian, Friday March 24 2006, page 1

Labour’s Angie boots out BNP
Labour’s Angela Sinfield last night kicked out the British National Party in a by-election at Keighley, West Yorks. She won with a majority of 603 in the poll called after the far-right party’s councillor Angela Clarke quit her seat.
Source:- Daily Mirror, Friday March 24 2006, page 1

NHS hit by higher education spending
The projections for public expenditure after 2008 are so tight, the Institute of Fiscal Studies calculated, that if Gordon Brown maintained the recent growth of education spending, the NHS would be squeezed harder than under the previous Conservative governments.
Source:- Financial Times, Friday 24 March 2006, page 3

Blair faces double assault on future of grammar schools
Labour MPs are planning to table an amendment to the education legislation aimed at scrapping the 11-plus and ending selective education. They will also seek talks with Ruth Kelly over simplifying rules whereby parents can demand a ballot on ending selection in their own schools.
Source:- The Independent, Friday 24 March 2006, page 24

A birth control nurse for all schools
Every school in England will have a nurse who can arrange secret abortions and hand out contraceptions.
Source:- Daily Mail, Friday 24 March 2006, page 1

25,000 staff “facing the sack” in NHS cash crisis
The growing NHS financial crisis has left 25,000 hospital staff facing the sack, the Conservatives claimed yesterday.
Source:- Daily Mail, Friday 24 March 2006, page 8

Scottish news
Watchdog hails housing transfer from councils to associations
Handing over council houses to not-for-profit landlords has changed tenants’ lives and massively improved investment levels, according to an Audit Scotland report.
The report says housing stock transfer has meant the sums spent upgrading properties has almost doubled in some areas. Transfer to associations has reduced rent rises and given tenants more say in how stock is managed.
However, the report found ministers had pressed ahead without adequate planning, causing delays, and cost over-runs, while key assumptions underpinning the Glasgow transfer were “flawed”.
Source: The Herald, Friday 24 March 2006

Internet ‘groomer’ jailed after police followed him to station
A software engineer who attempted to groom a 13-year-old girl over the internet was jailed for 16 months after being caught by a police sting.
Claude Veigas was arrested after police tracked him from his home in Glasgow to the city’s Central station, the place where he intended to meet the child.
Glasgow sheriff court heard yesterday that the teenage girl had never existed. All along, Veigas had been chatting over the net to an undercover policewoman.
Source: The Herald, Friday 24 March 2006

Care call for Scots children at risk
The Scottish executive has appealed for more people to come forward as foster carers to look after children who are removed from drug-addict parents. First Minister Jack McConnell has made clear his view that social workers should be quicker to take youngsters away from homes where they are at risk because of their parents’ drug abuse.
But experts warned there was a shortfall of 1700 foster carers across Scotland. Now Peter Peacock, minister for education and young people, has issued the appeal for more people to come forward to fill the gap.
Source: The Scotsman, Friday 24 March 2006

Care network for mentally ill launched
A new network to provide better care for patients with personality disorders is to be launched with £150,000 of Scottish executive funding. It will establish the national personality disorder network so mental health workers can share information and learn from one another.
The move follows consultation between patients, the NHS, the voluntary sector, local authorities and professional bodies.
Source: The Scotsman, Friday 24 March 2006

Welsh news
Schoolboy Ben ‘was dragged along beach’
A forensic scientist told a court that he believed a murdered school boy was dragged along a beach yesterday.
The body of Ben Bellamy, 17, was found on the Swansea foreshore in September.
Three teenagers are on trial for his murder.
Source:- Western Mail, Friday 24 March 2006

Husband said he’d set fire to women’s refuge
A man was jailed for threatening to set fire to a women’s refuge where his wife was living yesterday.
Christopher Williams admitted two charges of threatening to destroy property.
He finished a prison sentence in February of this year for common assault on his wife.
Source:- Western Mail, Friday 24 March 2006









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