Mother blames verbal bullying for death of her son, inquest hears

    Mother blames verbal bullying for death of her son, inquest hears
    An inquest has delivered an open verdict on the suicide of an 11-year-old boy, whose parents said he killed himself due to verbal bullying he experienced from fellow pupils and the driver on a school bus.

    Ben Vodden was found dead at home in Southwater, West Sussex, last December, by his father, having complained about abuse at the hands of bus driver Brian McCullough, which the latter denied.
    Source:- The Guardian, Friday 20 April 2007, page 4

    Leak shows Treasury has consigned Blair welfare privatisation to the back burner

    A leaked Treasury letter has revealed it has no immediate plans to pilot controversial proposals to hive off services to help the long-term unemployed into work to the voluntary and private sector, as called for in the government-commissioned Freud report published last month.

    It is not clear whether the revelation, contained in a letter from chief secretary to the Treasury Stephen Timms to work and pensions secretary John Hutton, was due to the Treasury being lukewarm, feeling pilots were currently unaffordable or designed to give chancellor Gordon Brown the chance to think it over when he becomes prime minister.
    Source:- The Guardian, Friday 20 April 2007, page 4

    Sadistic foster mother sentenced to 14 years in jail
    A former foster carer who subjected three children she had been given parental responsibility for to two decades of physical and mental abuse was jailed for 14 years yesterday.

    Eunice Spry treated the children as slaves, ordering one to stay in a wheelchair for four years even though she could walk so she could claim benefits, and once keeping two of them imprisoned in a room, naked and starving, for a month.

    Following her conviction last month, it was claimed that practitioners could have done more, with concerns raised with social workers on a number of occasions. These were investigated but no further action was taken.
    Source:- The Guardian, Friday 20 April 2007, page 13

    Minister stands by tagging idea for the elderly
    Science minister Malcolm Wicks yesterday defended his proposal for vulnerable older people to be electronically tagged for their own safety, following criticism from charities, but said the government had no plans to introduce the plan.
    Source:- The Guardian, Friday 20 April 2007, page 15

    Reach of unions continues to fall
    The percentage of workers in a trade union endured its largest fall last year since 1998, from 29 to 28.4 per cent, though average hourly earnings among union members remained markedly higher than non-members.

    The government figures showed that union membership was 58.8 per cent in the public sector compared to 16.6 per cent in the private sector.
    Source:- The Financial Times, Friday 20 April 2007, page 4

    Home buyers face ‘bigger struggle’
    First-time buyers are finding it twice as hard to get on to the property ladder as they did 10 years ago, according to figures from Shelter, which warned of increased homelessness and repossessions.
    Source:- The Financial Times, Friday 20 April 2007, page 4

    One child under six is expelled every week
    At least one child aged five or under is expelled from school every week and dozens more are suspended, figures released under the Freedom of Information Act have shown.
    Source:- The Daily Telegraph, Friday 20 April 2007, page 1

    Labour’s push for super-casino ‘blinkered and pig-headed’
    Rates of family breakdown, domestic violence and antisocial behaviour will rise if the government goes ahead with plans to liberalise gambling, public health experts have warned.

    Writing in the British Medical Journal, Dr John Middleton, director of public health at Sandwell Primary Care Trust, and Dr Farid Latif, a paediatric specialist in Telford, said gambling could cause child neglect, multiple addictions, stress-related illnesses and even suicide.
    Source:- The Daily Telegraph, Friday 20 April 2007, page 17

    Migrants swell population by 1.5million in ten years
    The British population has increased by nearly one and a half million in a decade due to immigration new figures have revealed.

    The figures also show the increasing impact of immigration on public services.
    Source:- Daily Mail, Friday April 20 2007, page 4

    Scottish news

    Care worker, 50, reveals her ordeal of rape by 19-year-old
    A care worker from Falkirk, waived her right to anonymity so that her story may help people understand what victims go through.

    Anne Doherty described how she was raped at knifepoint by a 19-year-old high on drink and drugs, at the care home where she worked.

    Mrs Doherty told Sky News: “All of a sudden the door of the boiler cupboard burst open and this man jumped out, waving a machete.”
    Source: The Herald, Friday 20 April 2007




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