News round-up: Failings over raped daughters; ‘death tax’

Litany of failures that let father rape his daughters for years

A series of failures by child protection professionals were detailed today in a withering report that described how a father was allowed to continually rape and abuse two of his daughters over a 35-year period.
The executive summary into the case described how the family had been in contact with 28 different agencies between 1973 and 2008, and that they had been seen by more than 100 professionals including social workers, police and housing officials.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Sisters raped by father will ‘suffer for many years’

When their father was finally imprisoned, after 30 years of systematic rape and abuse, which resulted in 19 pregnancies between them, his two daughters said it brought them only the knowledge that he could not physically touch them again. Their suffering, they said, would continue for many years.
The disturbing case, which drew comparisons with that of the Austrian man Josef Fritzl, who imprisoned his daughter underground for 24 years and fathered her seven children, saw the 56-year-old from Sheffield groom his daughters for sex from the age of eight, beating them to make them comply.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Labour refuses to rule out ‘death tax’ to fund care for elderly

The health secretary refused yesterday to rule out plans for a “death tax” to pay for care for the elderly. Andy Burnham would not commit the Labour Party to a single policy option before a long-awaited white paper on the future of social care funding is published this month.
Read more on this story in The Times

Pensioners to choose how to pay for care in old age

A final decision on the best way of funding personal care for the ageing population is due within weeks, with ministers said to favour a compulsory, comprehensive model based on the National Health Service.
Elderly people would be able to choose between a range of payment methods, including making regular cash deposits, through an inheritance levy, or by continuing to work beyond the state retirement age.
Read more on this story in the Daily Telegraph

Teacher had affair with teenager at special needs school, court told

A female teacher had sexual liaisons with a 16-year-old pupil in the British Library and a Park Lane hotel after falling in love during lessons, Chester Crown Court was told yesterday.
Teresa McKenzie, 39, allegedly ignored a series of warnings from colleagues at the school for special needs children in Cheshire that she was becoming too close to the vulnerable boy in her care.

Read more on this story in The Times

Schoolgirl, 13, found hanged amid claims she was bullied because she was pretty

An investigation has been launched into the death of a 13-year-old schoolgirl amid claims she hanged herself after being bullied because she was pretty.
Poppy Bracey was found in her bedroom last week after returning home from her Manchester school.

Read more on this story in the Daily Mail

Gordon Brown: I have the character to lead UK to recovery

Gordon Brown drew the election battle lines around the economy today, announcing a freeze on top public sector pay and declaring he had the strength of character to lead the country to recovery.
Brown stressed that the country was at a “crossroads” and faced “crucial decisions” in the months ahead. He warned that “ideologically-driven” Tory plans for cuts risked tipping the country back into recession.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

My demands for a post-election deal, by Nick Clegg

Nick Clegg will this weekend announce the four “tests” he would set for Labour and the Conservatives in return for the support of the Liberal Democrats if neither main party wins an overall majority at the general election.
In an interview with The Independent, the Liberal Democrat leader also revealed that his party would try to calm jitters in the financial markets about a hung parliament by calling for a £10bn “repayment” to cut Britain’s public deficit.
Read more on this story in The Independent

Police forces not doing enough to tackle antisocial behaviour, survey finds

Police forces in England and Wales are failing to take antisocial behaviour seriously and urgent action must be taken to improve understanding of the toll it takes on communities, the head of the police inspectorate has said.
The chief inspector of constabulary, Denis O’Connor, said police forces’ recording of information about harassment, criminal damage and verbal abuse was “inadequate” and must be improved immediately.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Brown reaches out to ‘mainstream mums’ with warning over Tory spending cuts

Labour’s election strategy will be underpinned by claims that “middle-class mainstream mums” will suffer most if the Tories win and launch spending cuts.
The party is targeting this group as polls show that younger women with families are still disproportionately likely to vote Conservative, even though polling in Labour focus groups suggests voters think David Cameron is a “mummy’s boy”.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Police forces face threat of ‘racist’ label over stop and searches 

The official equalities watchdog will threaten to brand as racist police forces which are deemed to have used stop and search powers excessively against people from ethnic minorities, the Guardian has learned.
Police forces will be told they face enforcement action unless they give meaningful promises to change, says a report for the Equality and Human Rights Commission expected to be released later this month.
Read more on this story in The Guardian


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