News round up: Babysitter jailed for killing toddler freed after retrial

Babysitter jailed for killing toddler is freed after retrial

A babysitter who served three years in prison for killing a toddler was cleared of murder yesterday after a retrial. Suzanne Holdsworth, 38, of Leeds, wept as she was acquitted of murder and manslaughter by a jury at Teesside crown court after a long campaign to clear her name.

She was jailed for life in March 2005 after being found guilty of murdering two-year-old Kyle Fisher, who died from severe brain damage while in her care in 2004. But the court of appeal overturned her conviction this year after an investigation by the BBC’s Newsnight raised doubts about medical evidence at the first trial.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Assisted suicide could lead to socially pressured death

Polly Toynbee’s call for the right to assisted suicide for the entire population, regardless of age or circumstance, is full of emotive generalisations: “Vets put dogs and cats out of their misery; humans are told to wait until someone’s God calls them” (The beginning of the end of a cruel, impractical edict, 13 December).

What distinguishes me as a person who contemplated suicide at the onset of a life-lasting illness in 1986, and later was handed down a death sentence of six months to live with terminal cancer in 2002, is that I am just one human being, evolved over millions of years to have the potential to respond to even the most extreme of changes – provided, that is, we are offered positive exemplars in the media, and not the fear or disgust towards disabled people that polls show to be prevalent in roughly 80% of the population. Toynbee’s article claims the same proportion support assisted suicide.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Parents now put their family before work

One in four parents have reduced their working life to spend more time with their family, according to a government study that also charts the rise of “relay parenting” whereby mums and dads parent in shifts to fit around their jobs.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Drunk teachers could face sanctions

Teachers who get drunk and behave badly at weekends could face disciplinary action.

A new code of conduct , published in draft form yesterday, says teachers could face sanctions if they damage “public trust and confidence” in their profession.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Mortgage lending set to turn negative

The number of mortgages in serious arrears is set to double next year as conditions in the housing market continue to deteriorate, the Council of Mortgage Lenders said on Thursday.

Read more on this story in The Financial Times


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