Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Son of supergrass; The law lords are right: offering total anonymity to witnesses creates a serious legal hazard

Full Story: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/News_0901.htm

Back in the 70s, when the police found it almost impossible to get convictions in the growing number of armed robbery cases in London, the prosecuting authorities hit on the idea of the supergrass. In exchange for a short sentence and a new identity, former armed robbers could give evidence against their colleagues. Initially, the idea was a spectacular success, the number of armed robberies declined sharply and many career criminals were jailed for long sentences. In recent years, London has faced a wave of a different form of armed crime and one of a more deadly nature: gang murders. While the average murder clear-up rate is an admirably high 80% to 90%, in such crimes convictions were running at about half that level. How would it be possible to halt the killings and jail the gunmen? In many of the cases, for very understandable reasons, witnesses were reluctant to come forward. The offer of a new identity was not enough. Why should someone risk their and their family's lives in this way? For this reason, total anonymity was offered by the Crown Prosecution Service in some trials. The witnesses would not be named, even in court, or seen by the accused. Their voices would be disguised. This has led to successful prosecutions and the jailing of violent men. However, the law lords have now ruled that defendants are entitled to know the identity of their accusers so they can challenge their evidence and their motives for giving it. Yesterday a trial at the Old Bailey was abandoned because of that law lords ruling. Other cases may now be under threat. The Metropolitan police assistant commissioner, John Yates, has made a persuasive case for continuing this practice of anonymity. He points to the successes achieved in London by Operation Trident, and acknowledges that such total anonymity should be confined to only the most serious cases. His frustration that all this work could now be at risk is completely understandable. If this is the only way to halt the casual killings that deface our cities, should we not welcome it with open arms? But there lies a danger here. Back in the 70s, the supergrass system ©eventually fell into disrepute. Former criminals used it as a way of settling old scores. Corners were cut by the police handling the informers who saw it as a handy short-cut to conviction. Miscarriages of justices occurred as supergrasses helpfully told courts of "confessions" by cell mates. Innocent men went to prison. The damage to the criminal justice system was great. Guilty men walked free, and the laws had to be changed and tightened.

Murder victims' families fight for justice

Full Story: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/News_0900.htm

FAMILIES of murder victims joined forces at the weekend to launch a charter calling for tougher sentencing. The National Victims' Association (NVA), formerly the North East Victims' Association (NEVA), held its 10th annual conference at the Little Haven Hotel, in South Shields, which also saw ministers from the top three political parties in the hot seat. The conference, which the charity's organisers say may be their last due to a lack of funding, brought together more than 80 families from across UK including the parents of Sarah Payne and James Bulger all demanding changes to the criminal justice system. The event was used as a launch pad for NVA's new 16 point victims' charter which, among other things, calls for mandatory full-life sentences for murderers, the removal of convicted murderers'right to pursue human rights legal action, and a mandatory eight-year minimum sentence for carrying guns or knives. Family members also spoke of the need for investment in medical care for victims' families, counselling, funding for appeals, transparency in police investigations and independent inquiries, and for justice after acquittals. Home Office under secretary of state Vernon Coaker, shadow justice minister David Burrowes and Liberal Democrat spokesman Alan Beith all attended the event and pledged to do more for victims' families, Mr Coaker promised to do everything he could to help with funding for the NVA. He said: "There is no doubt the victim's voice has not been heard as loudly as it should be, that the victim's voice sometimes gets lost in the system and we do have to try to do more in respect to that." Later, he added: "It cannot be right that the people related to victims of some of the worst crimes we have seen in our country feel that the system lets them down."

Survey reveals gaps in care for deafblind children

Full Story: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/News_0899.htm

Many local authorities are not following guidance; only one third of children in need have been identified. Anna Bawden reports Jamie Thomas, nine, from Huddersfield, has been deaf and blind since birth. When he was born, he was very weak and had feeding and breathing difficulties. One ear was completely different from the other and he had a facial palsy. After one week, his parents were told the devastating news that Jamie had a significant vision impairment. Despite all these symptoms, it was only when he was a year old that he was diagnosed with Charge syndrome - a serious congenital condition that affects about one in every 10,000 people. And it took over 15 months to diagnose his profound deafness. Lack of help It has been a struggle to get Jamie the help he needs. "Although we had a superb health visitor, there were no joined-up services," says Carol Thomas, his mother. "Jamie was seven months old before he even saw anyone from social services. And when the deafblind guidance was issued by the Department of Health, our local social services knew nothing about it. We had enormous difficulties getting them to carry out a deafblind assessment." Carol is not alone. A survey of 91 top-tier local authorities published today by Sense, the deafblind charity, has found a worrying lack of services for deafblind children. Since 2001, councils in England and Wales have been obliged to provide "effective services" to deafblind children and adults. This compels them to be proactive in identifying deafblind people in their area, provide a specialist assessment of their needs and adequate support in and outside the home. They must also appoint a senior manager with responsibilities for deafblind services. But seven years on, many local authorities are not implementing the guidance properly. According to official estimates, there are 2,100 deafblind children in England and Wales. But Sense says local authorities have identified only a third of them. Over 10% of authorities have not identified a single deafblind child. And less than half the councils surveyed said they had a named manager of deafblind services.

Nurse who helps protect children is made a dame

Full Story: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/News_0898.htm

A London nurse who was instrumental in improving child protection after the murder of Victoria Climbie has been made a Dame of the British Empire.
Donna Kinnair, director of nursing at Southwark primary care trust, was an adviser to Lord Laming throughout his inquiry into the eight-year-old's death.
The child was neglected, tortured and abused in Tottenham at the hands of her great-aunt Marie-Therese Kouao and her boyfriend Karl Manning. The inquiry heard how social workers and medics failed to react to the danger she was in and missed a series of chances to intervene.
Since then, Dame Donna, a mother of three from Hackney, has fought for better communication between health and social services.
She was made a dame in the Queen's annual birthday honours list. "My daughter was the same age as Victoria had been when I was working on the Laming inquiry," she said. "It had a huge impact on my life and I struggled with the fact that I was part of a profession which could have done better.
"It is very difficult to judge your peers but if the Climbie case taught us anything it is that we must work together in partnership to make sure no other child slips through the net."
Dame Donna, 47, has been a nurse for 25 years. Her career began in 1983 when she trained at the Princess Alexandra School of Nursing at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel. Her first job was in east London, working with HIV and intensive care patients.
She became a health visitor in Hackney, Newham and Tower Hamlets, then completed a masters degree in medical law and ethics, which led her to specialise in child protection in south London.

Hampshire council workers could strike

Full Story: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/News_0897.htm

Council leaders are calling crisis talks after local government workers voted to strike over pay. Emergency plans are being put in place to deal with the threatened mass walkout of up to 5,000 key workers across Hampshire. Members of trade union Unison across the country voted by 55 per cent to strike yesterday after rejecting a 2.45 per cent offer. The action could see communities brought to their knees as staff ranging from classroom assistants and refuse collectors to architects and social workers walk out. Portsmouth Tory leader Steve Wemyss said: 'The city council needs to have contingency plans in place to minimise the impact on people's lives.' The union's negotiating team will decide today what action to recommend to the national strike committee that meets on June 27. Unison head of local government Heather Wakefield said members had voted for 'sustained and escalating strike action'. Mike Wilson, Unison's regional organiser for Hampshire, said: 'It's regrettable no-one looks forward to it but to get the message it has to have an impact.' Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said members were 'angry they are expected to accept pay cut after pay cut while bread and butter prices go through the roof'. Hampshire County Council said it would wait until after today's talks to put plans in place. Havant, Fareham and Gosport councils said they would be calling meetings to work out how to keep services running.

Calls to challenge child sex abuser's 'lenient' sentence

Full Story: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/News_0896.htm

THE DIRECTOR of Public Prosecutions has been challenged to appeal against the leniency of a one-year prison sentence, given to a father-of-eight who plied a Junior Cert student with alcohol and then video-taped graphic sex acts. The challenge came as the teen's family admitted they remain "very upset" by the sentence given to Anthony Nagle (48) and the fact that the case took almost three years to conclude. Nagle, formerly of Nicholas Square, Ballymacthomas, Cork, pleaded guilty to both the production and possession of child pornography. The family of the 15-year-old girl are now considering their position on an appeal to the DPP, but are very worried at the implications for their daughter of the case dragging on. Last night, Rape Crisis Network Ireland expressed outrage at the sentence and demanded that the DPP challenge the sentence to the Court of Criminal Appeal. RCN director, Fiona Neary, said she was appalled at the sentence and its potential implications for child protection. "Mr Nagle was a trusted friend of the family. His offences involved luring the child to his home; premeditatedly buying alcohol and plying the child with it and cannabis; lying to the child's mother about her location while he was in the act of sexually abusing her; videotaping this abuse and then continuing the sexual exploitation over a period of hours and while the child was semi-conscious under the influence of the alcohol and drugs she has been plied with," she said. The RCNI official said that the sentence has potentially enormous implications for child protection. "Messages on child protection must be clear from the legislation through to sentencing. Government and judges are failing to deliver that child protection message," she warned.

Child protection rules could see youngsters banned from sport and hobby clubs

Full Story: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/News_0895.htm

Children could be barred from joining sports and hobby clubs because of the increasing burden of red tape, campaigners fear. Organisations which run activities for youngsters are already struggling to recruit volunteers because they must undergo criminal records checks. But when a new child protection database is introduced next year - which one in four adults will have to sign at a cost of Pfund64 each - it is feared that many groups which admit members of all ages will decide it is cheaper and simpler to exclude children. Campaigners say this will leave teenagers unable to take part in activities which are good for their development, and makes a mockery of Government attempts to crack down on youth obesity and anti-social behaviour. Josie Appleton, organiser of the Campaign against Vetting, said: "People think it's too much trouble to go through all these hoops just to turn up to a football match. "There's also a growing sense of people asking why should they do all this. It turns something natural and normal into having to ask the state's permission, so it's not voluntary any more. "Some clubs have closed their doors to children, and that's a real shame. I think it's very important that children have these places for their development. "There's the civilising effect of being with adults, and having a wholesome activity rather than just kicking their heels." As The Daily Telegraph reported this week, almost 50,000 girls are on waiting lists to join the girl guides because there are not enough adults with Criminal Records Bureau clearance to supervise them.

Brown to trial child development grants

Full Story: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/News_0894.htm

Parents of children under five will receive one-off payments of Pfund200 as part of a package of measures being unveiled today by Gordon Brown in a speech on social mobility and child poverty. In a pitch to Labour's core voters, the prime minister will say that unleashing a new wave of social mobility is the government's "driving ambition". Brown will describe how he was "a child of the first great wave of postwar social mobility" and say that this era ended in the 1970s and 1980s, leaving a "lost generation" of "Thatcher's children" who failed to benefit from this progress. He will use a speech to the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, which manages the government's specialist schools programme, to explain how the government aims to restore the kind of social mobility that his generation enjoyed. "Social mobility starts with the parents wanting their children to do better than they did themselves. "But it cannot be achieved without people themselves adopting the work ethic, the learning ethic, and aiming high, so it also depends on the government giving people the capacity to participate fully in shaping their future," he will say. Brown and his ministers have already unveiled measures drawn from Pfund125m set aside in the budget over the next three years to address child poverty. The measures include: A Pfund200 child development grant to help families that are failing to take up services offered by the Sure Start scheme, such as health jabs, help with children's reading and parenting. The Pfund13m child development grant programme will be available only to parents of children under five.

School ban on Fathers Day cards for fear of upsetting lesbians!

Full Story: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/News_0893.htm

London , June 23 (ANI): Fear of embarrassing children of single mothers or lesbians has prompted schools in Scotland to ban Fathers Day cards. While the move was adopted by schools in Glasgow , Edinburgh , East Renfrewshire, Dumfries and Galloway and Clackmannshire, in the interests of sensitivity over the growing number of lone-parent and same-sex households, there are many who are condemning this policy. The policy came into light only after a large number of fathers did not get their traditional cards and handmade gifts on Fathers Day. The policy has received much flak from family rights campaigners, who claim that the move was absurd as it is an attempt to marginalising fathers. However, local authorities said that it is important for the teachers to react to the changing pattern of family life. In April, an Office for National Statistics report revealed that in todays date one in four British kids lives with a lone parent, which was twice than that was 20 years ago. According to Tina Woolnough, 45, whose son Felix attends Edinburgh s Blackhall primary school, many teachers did not allow children to make Fathers Day cards this year. This is something I know they do on a class-by-class basis at my son Felixs school. Some classes send Fathers Day cards and some do not. The teachers are aware of the family circumstances of the children in each class and if a child hasnt got a father living at home, the teacher will avoid getting the children to make a card. The Telegraph quoted Woolnough, as saying.

Dave Pelzer – 'Moving On' After Child Abuse (ITV This Morning)

Full Story: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/News_0892.htm

Dave Pelzer is the author of the best selling memoirs A Child Called It, The Lost Boy and A Man Called Dave. He underwent years of physical torture at the hands of his mother and was identified as one of the most severely abused children in California's history. Dave a brutal childhood, suffering for years at the hands of his mother. He said: She decided to call me 'It', my father saw some of the stuff she did but was too weak to stand up to her. She beat me, starved me and forced me to sleep in the basement. Despite this he has gone on to become the author of six inspirational books and he joins us today with his latest 'Moving Forward - Taking the Lead in Your Life'

Monday, 23 June 2008

'Stop Injustice Now' Is To Launch A New Radio Station

We Are Proud To Anounce That We Will Be Launching A Brand New Radio Station!
The Station Is Called 'Stop Injustice Now' Radio! The Station Will Be Live, Transmited On Saturday Evening's Between 6pm & 10pm. The Station Is Transmiting Now, Just To Check The Servers!
The Link To The Station Is:
Would Anyone Who Tunes In With In The Next 48 Hours, Please Email Me At ian@stopinjusticenow.com Just To Let Me Know You Have Heard It.
Please Remember, The Station Is Only In It's Testing Stage At The Moment!
Thank You In Advance; For Your Email's
Regards Ian Walton
P.S. The Station Is To Go Live In The Near Furture!

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Woman charged with hiding birth

Full Story: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/News_0891.htm

A woman accused of trying to conceal the birth of a child has appeared in court. The 32-year-old had been due to enter a plea at Cardiff Crown Court but Judge Stephen Hopkins QC granted the prosecution more time. The woman spoke only to confirm her name during a brief hearing.

My ex-wife has turned our kids against me

Full Story: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/News_0890.htm

After a bitter divorce, my ex-wife has ensured that I've lost touch with our children. Should I e-mail them on MySpace? I had a very acrimonious divorce from my first wife. Without going into the details, I no longer see my two sons, aged 8 and 14, or my 20-year-old stepdaughter from this marriage: nor, it seems, do they want to see me. My first wife was, and probably still is, a dangerous manipulator of my children's feelings, and I suspect that their feelings were severely influenced by her. I do not attempt to contact or see them because I believe that they have been forced to see contact as hurting their mother's feelings. In the US this is termed parental alienation syndrome. It is not recognised in UK family courts, but I won't waste time talking about the UK family legal system. Suffice to say, not all Fathers4Justice supporters are lager louts. Recently I joined the social networking site MySpace, and noticed that my eldest son and stepdaughter have accounts. Would it be OK to contact them or would this do more harm than good, raising all sorts of half-forgotton ill-feelings and family politics? Common sense tells me not to even attempt to contact them, but to wait for that fateful day when (if?) they search and find my contact details. Presumably they are happy with the status quo. You might say that the same argument applies to letters, but of course the advantage of MySpace is that my ex-wife is not in control of such contact. However, I suspect that they would feel harrased (via their mother) if I even attempted any form of contact other than the yearly birthday and Christmas cards. I now have a new wife and family, and part of me wants to forget my previous family now... but part of me wants to be there in some way. So, should I drop them a line via MySpace or wait for them to find me online? - Mike It is estimated that there are up to 200,000 relationship breakdowns involving children each year: they usually result in fathers having less contact with their children, sometimes none at all. Your story is sadly familiar and painful to read because in the fallout from your marital breakdown there are so many casualties - especially the children. Clearly your story is more complicated than you can tell here and there is more than one side to the story (everyone will have their version of events), but what is clear is the amount of anger that has cut through parent-child relationships and how that has led to substantial loss for so many.

Tories want chief social worker in Children and Young Persons Bill

Full Story: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/News_0889.htm

The Conservatives are urging the government to create the position of a chief social worker who would act as the "public face" of the profession. Shadow children's minister Tim Loughton yesterday said he wanted the proposal to be included in the Children and Young Persons Bill. During the bill's second reading yesterday, Loughton said the chief social worker would be directly responsible to the secretary of state and advise on ways to promote the image and perceptions of social workers among the public. The person would also advise on ways to improve social workers' performance and hold them to account. He will table an amendment to the bill proposing the post, which was mooted by the Tory's social work commission last year. A similar role is already in existence in New Zealand, where it has "done a lot of good for the perception and standing of social workers", Loughton told MPs. Junior children's minister Kevin Brennan said that needed changes across the children's workforce could not be achieved by central government or "a single partner alone" but said he looked forward to hearing more on the proposal. Loughton also waded into the long-running row over adoption targets by pledging to table further amendments to the bill "stipulating that incentive payments cannot be paid to local authorities to increase adoption numbers. He called the alleged payments "a perverse incentive" and said they were not in the interests of children. In response, Brennan said he was "surprised" that Loughton "got into the business of adoption targets" and said the only targets relating to children in care had ended in 2006. Brennan told MPs the targets originating from the Adoption and Children Act 2002 were "on the number of children already in care and waiting to be placed for adoption, and speeding up the process.

F4J campaigner's Tyne Bridge enters third day

Full Story: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/News_0888.htm

A FATHERS' rights campaigner today continued his protest on top of the Tyne Bridge. Simon Anderton, a member of Real Fathers for Justice, climbed to the top arch on Sunday morning. The 44-year-old unfurled a Happy Father's Day banner and dangled an effigy of a hanged father underneath. A spokesman for the group said he had food and warm clothes for a long protest.

Father's bridge protest continues

Full Story: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/News_0887.htm

A fathers' rights campaigner is continuing his protest on top of the Tyne Bridge, more than 24 hours after climbing to the top. Simon Anderton, a member of Real Fathers for Justice, climbed to the top arch on Sunday morning. The 44-year-old unfurled a "Happy Father's Day" banner and dangled an effigy of a hanged father underneath. A spokesman for the group said he had food and warm clothes for a long protest. Police are at the scene. The bridge is not closed to traffic, but the pedestrian footway is shut. On standby Acc Ch Insp John MacPhail, of Northumbria Police, said officers were negotiating with the protester. He said: "It would be far too dangerous to physically remove him from the bridge and we are waiting for him to decide to come down, hopefully very soon."

Protestor Arrested after 63 hours on Tyne Bridge

Full Story: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/News_0886.htm

Real fathers for Justice activist Simon Anderton was arrested just after 7pm tonight after his descent, having spent around 63 hours on the Tyne Bridge exposed to the North East elements in his protest for equal parenting rights. Rffj spokesman Mike Kelly said "Despite having run out of food, water and vital medication, Simon was determined the protest would continue into a fourth day" "Police approached me to plead again with Simon to end the protest, it was only when he learned that his daughter Donna had been on TV and recorded a heartfelt appeal for him to come down did he decide to end his high level vigil" "Simon climbed down unaided and was applauded and cheered by around a dozen members of his family who police had allowed access on to the bridge, Rffj supporters who throughout the protest had kept support on the ground cheered from the Quayside below" "He was immediately arrested and taken to Market Street Police Station in Newcastle where he is currently being held" "I understand Simon will appear in Newcastle magistrates court first thing on Wednesday, if he is bailed Rffj hope to arrange a social gathering where supporters can speak to Simon and other group members about the reason why we do the protests, perhaps we can even help point a few people in need in the right direction through our experience and maybe even recruit a few new members?" "The last few days we have been inundated with calls, emails and enquiries" "We have had to answer a few difficult questions about the extreme nature of this protest, but overwhelmingly the support for Simon has been positive" "We feel vindicated in our efforts to raise awareness to the plight of many parents after separation, when reading emails and taking calls we know what others have gone through - Simon's case is only the tip of the iceberg"

Dads' rights campaigner ends Tyne Bridge protest

Full Story: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/News_0885.htm

A FATHERS' rights campaigner is being questioned by police after he ended his protest on top of the Tyne Bridge. Real Fathers For Justice demonstrator Simon Anderton scaled the bridge in the early hours of Sunday, where he unfurled a banner reading "Happy Fathers Day" and tied a dummy with its head in a noose - intended to represent a father - to the arch of the bridge. The 49-year-old came down from the top parapet of the steel structure after members of the campaign group asked him to end the protest out of fears for his health. A Northumbria Police spokesman said: "At 7.15pm the protester made his own way from the bridge to the public footpath and has been arrested by officers from Newcastle Area Command for public order offences. "At this time the arrested person is in police custody." Earlier, Mike Kelly, a spokesman for Real Fathers For Justice, expressed concern that Mr Anderton - who is a local member - had no food or medication and only a small bottle of water. He said: "We felt that it is a mans life. We couldnt allow the protest to go on any longer so on health grounds we told him to come down and we think that was the right decision. "As a campaign group weve got a responsibility to think rationally when sometimes theyre not and make decisions on their behalf." Real Fathers For Justice was formed in 2005 and has similar aims to Fathers 4 Justice. Both groups use high-profile stunts to attract attention to issues of fathers rights and campaign on behalf of men denied access to their children.

Justice for Families May 2008 Report

Full Report: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/JFJ024.html

New clauses tabledTwo new clauses standing in the names of John Hemming, Nick Winterton, Martin Horwood, Dai Davies and Richard Taylor (clause 1 only) have been tabled to the Children and Young People Bill. Now is the time to lobby MPs and in particular members of the Bill Committee in support of these clauses. Details are on John Hemming's Weblog. This is very important as it can lead directly to a change in the law. I am emphasising the first one as it should not be at all contentious. The second one allows public scrutiny of the reasoning without identifying the people concerned. Getting MPs to support these is far far more important than any number of Early Day Motions.
Please write to your MP about supporting these clauses. The members of the Bill Committee have not yet been identified.
Council of Europe InvestigationThe Council of Europe investigation will now go to the Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee of PACE (the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe) on 24th June at which a rapporteur will be appointed.House of Lords casePapers on a key case (the one involving the row with the Court of Appeal judges) have now been submitted to the House of Lords.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Someone must pay for murder of Billie-Jo

Full Story: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/News_0874.htm

SION Jenkins, the man who was cleared on appeal of the murder of his foster daughter Billie-Jo after spending six-and-a-half years behind bars, is facing a civil action lodged by his sister-in-law. Billie-Jos aunt Margaret Coster is taking independent legal action on the grounds that Mr Jenkins breached his duty of care by leaving her alone in the family home on the day she was killed. She said: I have issued a summons against him. We are taking it to a civil court and we will fight until justice is done. The importance of this is justice for Billie-Jo. Somebody murdered a 13-year-old child. Lets not forget it. Now somebody has got to answer to it. So we are taking our chances. Mrs Coster, who lives in West Ham, East London, and is the sister of Mr Jenkins ex-wife Lois, said she had been told by her solicitors not to make any further comment, She first pledged to take ex-headteacher Mr Jenkins to court after he had his original verdict quashed in 2006. At the time she said: We will see him in court again. This is not the end. Richard Scorer, a lawyer who specialises in this type of claim, said that even if Mrs Coster was successful she could probably only win around Pfund10,000. He said: In these cases its extremely unlikely that the relatives pursue the claim just for the money, as the compensation tends to be very modest. They tend to go for it because they think there has been some sort of injustice carried out. But it would still be a big case to pursue as you have got to go over all the evidence that was brought forward in the criminal trial. Even though Billie-Jos murder took place more than 10 years ago, Mrs Coster can still pursue a civil claim thanks to a new ruling. Recently, the Lords of Appeal granted people the right to pursue claims for damages in cases involving negligence and sexual assault beyond the usual six-year time limit.

Fathers 4 Justice campaigner's Tyne Bridge protest

Full Story: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/News_0873.htm

A FATHERS' rights campaigner has spent a second day of protest on top of the Tyne Bridge. The Real Fathers For Justice demonstrator, named as Simon Anderton by a spokesman for the campaign group, scaled the landmark at about 4am yesterday. He was aided by a four-man support team, including a fellow campaigner from South Tyneside, and has supplies to last him up to four days. The 44-year-old unfurled a banner reading 'Happy Father's Day' and a dummy with its head in a noose, intended to represent a father. Real Fathers For Justice spokesman Mike Kelly said: "This protest marks a return to action for us. We have tried to engage with Government ministers but have been denied access again and again." Northumbria Police said he removed his banner shortly before 11pm yesterday and bedded himself down for the night.

Day 2 of Tyne Bridge Protest

Full Story: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/News_0872.htm

Determined Rffj activist Simon Anderton spent a cold night perched on the Tyne Bridge wrapped in the father's day banner, the protest moves on to day 2 and Simon, who has no plans to come down, remains firmly in position on the Newcastle landmark. The press coverage is now national and ITV Tyne Tees featured the protest as their lead story on Sunday evening and Monday morning watch again here Rffj would like to say thanks for all the messages of support for this protest, they all will be passed on to Simon. A selection of online press below Chronicle Campaigner continues Tyne Bridge protest Jun 16 2008 by Linda Richards, Evening Chronicle Fathers4Justice protester Simon Anderton A CAMPAIGNER is today spending his second day perched on the top of the Tyne Bridge to highlight the plight of dads denied access to their children. Activist Simon Anderton, a member of Real Fathers for Justice, climbed 193ft to the top of the famous landmark just after 5am yesterday. The 44-year-old unfurled a Happy Fathers Day banner and dangled a dummy of a hanged man under the arch, which is said to symbolise the many men who commit suicide as a result of being denied access to their children and prolonged family court proceedings. A spokesman for the group said Mr Anderton, from Heaton, Newcastle, had enough supplies for a number of days and did not intend to come down. Mike Kelly defended Mr Andertons actions and denied it was a tasteless stunt. A lot of people who havent had the misfortunes of going through the family courts might think that, he said. The sad thing is that when you get married and you have children nobody expects that one day you are going to be denied contact with them. But the reality is that if your marriage or relationship goes wrong you might never ever see your children again.

F4J Campaigners Storm Family Court

Full Story: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/News_0871.htm

A family court was evacuated after being stormed by members of Fathers 4 Justice. The stunt happened during a march through Bristol by dozens of banner-waving supporters dressed as superheroes. About 10, who were wearing Spiderman, Batman, Superman and The Incredibles costumes, entered the court. They shouted: "What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now." A fire alarm was activated, although court staff could not say who was responsible, and nearly 100 workers filed outside. Two police vans arrived, along with two fire engines, and the men soon left the court building and continued their march. The demonstration was joined by two campaigners who climbed onto the roof of deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman's home in Herne Hill, south London, earlier this week. Jolly Stanesby and Mark Harris, both from south Devon, started the rooftop protest on Sunday and continued for more than 24 hours. They have since been bailed by police.

New appeals process in child protection system

Full Story: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/News_0870.htm

Priests who say they have been wrongly accused of child abuse will be allowed a right of appeal against any alleged mistreatment by their bishops. The Catholic Church in England and Wales will introduce review panels in September to examine complaints made by priests who insist they are innocent but say they have been sacrificed to save their superiors. The measure was announced at a June 12 press conference in London. It was recommended after a review of child protection procedures last year. Bill Kilgallon, chairman of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission, which oversees child protection for the Catholic Church in England and Wales, said it was felt widely that another step in the process would improve the justice of it to all parties. We want to feel that the systems dealing with abuse are (as) robust as possible, he said. We want a system that is thorough in investigations and fair to all parties. Priests who have grievances against the way their cases have been handled by their bishops only have been able to complain directly to the pope. The new panels will consist of child protection professionals, canon lawyers and other specialists. They will examine how priests should be treated on the balance of probability that they are guilty or innocent of any wrongdoing after the statutory authorities and the Church have ruled on their cases. Any party directly involved in a complaint - the priest, the alleged victim or the bishop -could apply for a panel to revisit a case. The move is partly a concession to the growing number of priests who believe new child protection measures are loaded unjustly against them. Many believe the procedures brought in six years ago after several high-profile clerical abuse cases treat them as if they are guilty as soon as an accusation has been received.

Climbie worker made a 'scapegoat'

Full Story: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/News_0869.htm

Victoria Climbie's social worker has accused officials at London's Haringey Council of the UK's "worst case of institutionalised scapegoating". Lisa Arthurworrey was sacked and banned from working with children after she failed to spot the signs of horrific abuse suffered by the eight-year-old. The Care Standards Tribunal ruled last week Ms Arthurworrey should be allowed to re-register as a social worker. Victoria was murdered by Marie Therese Kouao and Carl Manning in 2000. The Care Standards Tribunal said it will allow Ms Arthurworrey to re-register pending an assessment of her mental health. It says her state of health has been affected by what she has been through. Ms Arthurworrey says she was made a scapegoat by senior management at north London's Haringey Council. Victoria Climbie had 128 marks and scars on her body when she died in February 2000. She had been brutally treated - tied up in a bin bag - and left in a freezing bath tub. Her great aunt, Marie Therese Kouao, and her then boyfriend Carl Manning are currently serving life sentences for her murder. Ms Arthurworrey - her social worker - was sacked and banned from working with children.

Tyne Bridge Father's Day Protest

Full Story: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/News_0868.htm

At around 4am this morning fathers rights activist Simon Anderton scaled the Tyne Bridge, the iconic landmark that connects Newcastle and Gateshead. Once there he unfurled a banner saying Happy Fathers day - real fathers for justice.org, dangling from a rope underneath the bridge is an effigy of a hanging father; this is to symbolize the thousands of fathers who will commit suicide as a result of contact denial and prolonged family court proceedings. Simon (44) has previously protested on a ledge with Paul Addison at Westminster Abbey at Easter 2006, where they were eventually talked down by Ann Widdecombe, they also spent 9 days on the roof of Metro radio in sub-zero temperatures over Christmas 2005. He has supplies for several days and has no plans to come down. Group spokesman Mike Kelly Said This protest marks a return to action for us, we have tried to engage with government ministers but have been denied access again and again We were denied access to a conference where Harriet Harman was discussing opening the family courts to the press, this is symptomatic of this governments refusal to listen to the electorate The fact is children are still being denied access to see one of their parents, we estimate around half a million - court sanctioned contact orders are not being enforced, Cafcass officers are still under trained and underfunded, the doors to the secret family courts remain closed and unaccountable Parents like Simon deserve justice, he has not had any contact with his own children for 7 years, despite have a contact order saying he can, the courts wouldnt enforce the order and they seemingly have now been alienated against him - he can only hope they will vote with their feet once old enough

Brothers and Sisters in Love (ITV 1 Documentary)

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Investigating the phenomenon of genetic sexual attraction, which leads people who are biologically related to develop romantic feelings toward one another when they meet for the first time as adults. The programme features the stories of an American brother and sister who live as a couple and German siblings who have had four children together. Sally George narrates When, after sixty years, Ron traced Doris, the sister he had never met before, he had no idea he would open a Pandoras Box of emotions and fall madly in love with her. Ron is one of a seemingly growing number of people experiencing a phenomenon experts call Genetic Sexual Attraction, where siblings who grow up separately and meet for the first time as adults and strangers can fall prey to an overwhelming incestuous desire for each other. More people than ever are now able to trace blood relatives through genealogy websites and adoption agencies. As many as 50% of siblings reunited as adults are said to experience these same powerful feelings. (Post-Adoption Centre & Maurice Greenberg and Roland Littlewood, UCL. 1995) Brothers and Sisters in Love has exclusive access to siblings from the UK, Germany and America who have confronted the greatest moral dilemma of their lives and risked everything including breaking the law - to be together. Siblings Rachel and Sean now live openly together as man and wife, brother and sister Patrick and Susan have gone one step further and had four children together, while Diane and Steve a mother and son - have breached the ultimate taboo, sex between a parent and her adult child. In this powerful and sensitive film, these couples describe the often devastating consequences that their uncontrollable attraction has had for them and their families.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Appeal arising from findings that a High Court judge could not determine whether or not the children were at risk of harm. Appeal dismissed.

Full Report: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/flw_0203.htm

1. I have had the advantage of reading in draft the speech to be delivered by my noble and learned friend Baroness Hale of Richmond and I am in complete agreement with her reasoning, analysis of the authorities and conclusions. I add some observations on the standard of proof only to underline, without in any way qualifying, what she has said. 2. If a legal rule requires a fact to be proved (a "fact in issue"), a judge or jury must decide whether or not it happened. There is no room for a finding that it might have happened. The law operates a binary system in which the only values are 0 and 1. The fact either happened or it did not. If the tribunal is left in doubt, the doubt is resolved by a rule that one party or the other carries the burden of proof. If the party who bears the burden of proof fails to discharge it, a value of 0 is returned and the fact is treated as not having happened. If he does discharge it, a value of 1 is returned and the fact is treated as having happened. 3. The effect of the decision of the House in Re H (Minors)(Sexual Abuse: Standard of Proof) [1996] AC 563 is that section 31(2)(a) of the Children Act 1989 requires any facts used as the basis of a prediction that a child is "likely to suffer significant harm" to be proved to have happened. Every such fact is to be treated as a fact in issue. The majority of the House rejected the analogy with facts which merely form part of the material from which a fact in issue may be inferred, which need not each be proved to have happened. There is of course no conceptual reason for rejecting this analogy, which in the context of some predictions (such as Lord Browne-Wilkinson's example of air raid warnings) might be prudent and appropriate. But the House decided that it was inappropriate for the purposes of section 31(2)(a). It is this rule which the House reaffirms today. 4. The question which appears to have given rise to some practical difficulty is the standard of proof in such cases, that is to say, the degree of persuasion which the tribunal must feel before it decides that the fact in issue did happen. Re H (minors) makes it clear that it must apply the ordinary civil standard of proof. It must be satisfied that the occurrence of the fact in question was more likely than not. 5. Some confusion has however been caused by dicta which suggest that the standard of proof may vary with the gravity of the misconduct alleged or even the seriousness of the consequences for the person concerned. The cases in which such statements have been made fall into three categories. First, there are cases in which the court has for one purpose classified the proceedings as civil (for example, for the purposes of article 6 of the European Convention) but nevertheless thought that, because of the serious consequences of the proceedings, the criminal standard of proof or something like it should be applied. Secondly, there are cases in which it has been observed that when some event is inherently improbable, strong evidence may be needed to persuade a tribunal that it more probably happened than not. Thirdly, there are cases in which judges are simply confused about whether they are talking about the standard of proof or about the role of inherent probabilities in deciding whether the burden of proving a fact to a given standard has been discharged. 6. A case in the first category was R v Secretary of State for the Home Department, Ex p Khawaja [1984] AC 74 which concerned the summary removal of an immigrant on the ground that he had obtained leave to enter by fraud or deception. These were civil proceedings and Lord Scarman, who dealt with this point most fully, was reluctant to say that the criminal standard of proof should apply: see p. 112. Instead, he said: "I have come to the conclusion that the choice between the two standards is not one of any great moment. It is largely a matter of words. There is no need to import into this branch of the civil law the formula used for the guidance of juries in criminal cases. The civil standard as interpreted and applied by the civil courts will meet the ends of justice." 7. He then cited Bater v Bater [1951] P 35, in which the Court of Appeal managed to rule that although it was a misdirection for a judge in matrimonial proceedings to say that the criminal standard of proof applied to allegations of cruelty (Davis v Davis [1950] P 125) it was correct to say that they had to be proved beyond reasonable doubt. Lord Scarman then referred to Hornal v Neuberger Products Ltd [1957] 1 QB 247, which was a case in the second category, and went on at p113:

Read The ‘Stolen Lives’ Poem, It'll Have You In Tears

Full Poem: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/Stolen_Lives_By_Anne_White.htm

The Parent is too slow and needless to say, obviously cant cope the professionals say.
With a low IQ theres nothing more we can do but to consider the children and take them away ignoring the damage wrought by this heartless act and claiming a childs future is what theyre aiming at, they tear a child from their mothers arms, breaking hearts without any qualms under a cloak of false pride and shame they fault families, thus causing unspeakable pain Social injustice has lost its way No thought now for the child once happy at play Snatched children dazed and shocked look all around But mum and dad are nowhere to be found?

Hemel Hempstead & Watford General Hospital Protest Video - On-Line!

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Or Watch The Video Below!

Protest Video From The Demo Is Now On-Line
PROTESTORS from Justice for Families met with Hemel Hempstead shoppers last week. North London couple Ian and Sarah Walton caught the attention of passers-by on Tuesday, May 27 with rows of banners when they set up camp on Marlowes.

Watch The Video:

Cellar incest girl 'will recover' (BBC News)

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Kerstin Fritzl, the 19-year-old whose illness in April alerted the Austrian authorities to a major incest scandal, will make a full recovery, doctors say. They say the woman, who spent her life as a captive in a cellar, has taken her first steps since waking from a coma. Ms Fritzl, who was admitted to hospital suffering from major organ failure, has also been reunited with her siblings. She is the eldest of seven children fathered by Josef Fritzl with his daughter, Elisabeth. Steady progress Though her mother visited her regularly, Kerstin finally met other family members on Sunday. "The family is now very happy to all be together for the first time," family lawyer Christoph Herbst told a press conference. Elisabeth and the six surviving children have moved into a house on hospital premises to enable them to live as normal a life as possible while still under hospital care. "The reunion of Kerstin with her family a few days ago was a moving moment," hospital director Berthold Kepplinger told a press conference. Her medical recovery was a "great relief", he said, adding that he expected her to recover fully and "develop normally". Dr Albert Reiter, who treated Kerstin, said she said made steady progress since being woken from an artificially induced coma. He said she first greeted him during a morning visit on 1 June. "I said to Kerstin 'Hello Kerstin', and Kerstin tells me 'Hello'," he said. Mr Kepplinger said she could read and write, and was good at communicating. She told doctors that she would like to travel on a ship and listen to a Robbie Williams concert. Elisabeth was held captive for 24 years and raped repeatedly by her father.

Pair face care home abuse charges (BBC News London)

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Two men have been charged with numerous sex abuse offences relating to children at care homes in south London. John Darby, 71, and Andrew Chambers, 65, are accused of sexually assaulting eight boys and girls in Lewisham between 1971 and 1983. Mr Darby, from Norfolk, has been charged with 46 offences of sex abuse and Mr Chambers, from Kent, is charged with a total of 18 offences.

Britain's Biggest Babies (ITV Documentary)

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Britains babies are getting bigger and bigger. One in 20 newborns in the UK weighs over 9lbs and are classed as too big, and this can be traumatic for both baby and mum. Britains Biggest Babies looks at why our countrys babies are getting larger and investigates the theory that a nation of junk food eating mothers are producing a nation of junk food loving children - who are being born big and are staying big. And a team of experts who have been experimenting with pregnant rats reveal the astonishing results of their studies. The programme also features: The mum who gave birth to Britains biggest ever baby. The 23-stone-mum awaiting the birth of her second child. The mum whose 14lb baby is now just two but wearing clothes for a seven-year-old The 10lb 9oz newborn who is now a year old and can eat a full bag of chips Footage of the biggest baby in the world 17lb Nadia from Siberia. Pregnant Karen, 34, from Andover, weighs 23 stone and is expecting a large baby after the birth of her first child, Shay, who weighed 13lb 1oz. She tells the programme that she has developed pregnancy related diabetes because of her weight and doctors are keeping a close eye on her. The cameras follow her as she prepares for the birth of her super-size baby and are there when he is delivered

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Why do drug addicted parents retain custody of their children?

Full Story: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/News_0865.htm

Not unlike many drug addicts homes, Jessica Kastens house was a garbage refuge and only one of the things that was sorely neglected in her life. Officers who were called to investigate the scene of a crime against a child -- an infant to be more precise -- called the home deplorable. Drug paraphernalia was littered all over the floor, well within reach of the children that lived there. Jessica, a 25 year old mother of three, left her children unsupervised while a pot sat burning on the stove for almost 24 hours. The children, including a 2-year-old and an 18-month-old, were reportedly covered in soot from head to toe with soot in their ears and nose. They're lucky to be alive. Not so lucky however, was her 6 month old infant, Gavin Fochs, who suffocated while his mother slept off her drug induced stupor. When the baby was finally found, his hands were clenched and he had already entered into rigor mortis, indicating that he had been dead several hours. Apparently, his mother was too out of it to notice that the baby was in trouble as the pillow she put in his bassinet was the source of his asphyxiation. Unfortunately, this story echoes a problem across our country -- drug mothers completely neglecting their children. In an effort to feed their addictions they create yet another generation of completely messed up and abused children who often go on to repeat the cycle. In a country where privacy and minding one's own business is regarded as sacred, this self -indulgent, apathetic, anti-social society cant dismiss their partial blame for neglect happening right under their noses. The second part of this tragedy comes again at the expense of baby Gavin. A year after she put her needs above her 3 small children and chose drugs over them, she might have been the shining example of redemption had she served her time and allowed her children a better life than what she could provide them. Instead, an out of touch judge gave Jessica Kasten another chance. Apparently neglect resulting in death of a infant just isnt important enough to overcrowd a jail. Perhaps if her neglect would have lead to several deaths of adults, the judge would have seen it differently, because adults are people and infants can be replaced? For whatever his reason, Judge Patrick Brady of Wausau County, Wisconsin, saw it fit to reward a drug mother instead of honoring little Gavin in a way that says that we will not tolerate abusive, neglectful mothers. After all, the judge is taking a leap of faith of the abilities and capabilities of a mother who would fall into this self-absorbed disconnect of motherhood to begin with. All we can hope for is that his gift to the surviving children doesnt turn out with the same fate as their infant brother. Although outside drug treatment programs boast a 50% higher rate of success than those of prisons, the real tragedy in this is the lost life of baby Gavin and how the courts view the worth of that tiny baby. While this mother will likely have to undergo continual drug testing and stay within treatment programs, to allow her to go on with her life without any consequence or accountability is a crime in and of itself.

Justice 4 everyone

Full Story: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/News_0864.htm

Caroline Norton campaigned to secure divorced mothers access to their children. Today, it's fathers who need a pioneering figure One of the hardest things about being a single parent is allowing your child to disappear on an access visit. And for me that's exactly what my precious daughter, aged two at the time, did. Dreads, my ex, quickly moved on with a new girlfriend, about whom I was allowed to know precisely nothing. I didn't know her name, where she lived or who she was. And every other Saturday night, my daughter would disappear to this stranger's house. I went to bed at night with no idea where my daughter was sleeping. And if I asked Dreads to at least give me an address, he'd answer: "All you need to know is she's with me." Cruel? Perhaps. Unneccessary? Definitely. But life after separation is usually a pretty barren, petty place, with the kids acting as mute referees in the ring of embittered parents. It would have been all too easy to have stopped Dreads from seeing his daughter. I knew the threat of a long court process would easily have deterred my ex from seeing our child. Something another single mum friend even urged me to do. Yet this was something, however much I was hurt or left angered, I never countenanced. Because denying dads their right to see their children, I think, quite simply makes you a terrible parent. So, even as the Fathers 4 Justice "superdads" pranced on Harriet Harman's roof, I felt more than a smidgen of sympathy for them. I have little idea of why Jolly Stanesby and Mark Harris aren't allowed access to their children. Maybe they are victims of some heartless ex who wants to get them back for past bad behaviour, or perhaps they are useless fathers who have tried the patience of a court judge too many times. But whatever the reason they are on that roof, it is about time we listened.

Harman rooftop protesters bailed

Full Story: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/News_0863.htm

Two fathers' rights activists who held a roof-top protest at the south London home of Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman have been bailed by police. Jolly Stanesby and Mark Harris, both of south Devon, wore superhero costumes and unfurled a banner saying: "A father is for life, not just conception." The Fathers 4 Justice protest started on Sunday in Herne Hill and continued for more than 24 hours. Both men have been bailed until 16 July pending further police inquiries. Mr Stanesby, from Ivybridge, and Mr Harris had said they intended to remain at the property until the former minister of justice read Mr Harris's book, Family Court Hell. 'Full-scale campaign' They said the protest was to highlight the fact that fathers were being made redundant both emotionally by the courts and now biologically by the new Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. During the protest on Sunday, Ms Harman, who is also minister for women and equality, spent more than seven hours inside her home. Fathers 4 Justice founder Matt O'Connor has said the government had "refused all dialogue with F4J for the past two years" and the group would now resume "a full-scale campaign of direct action against the government, its ministers and the judiciary".

Dentists And Dental Care Professionals "Must Act To Protect Children And Vulnerable Adults", Says GDC, UK

Full Story: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/News_0862.htm

Dentists and dental care professionals (DCPs) are well placed to identify possible abuse or neglect of children or vulnerable adults - and have a responsibility to raise their concerns if they do, says the GDC. All registrants should know who - a local health trust or board, for example - to contact for advice if they have concerns about potential abuse or neglect, says the GDC in a new statement on child protection. The GDC points out that dentists and DCPs are well positioned to observe and identify facial and other injuries. Bruising, burns, bite marks and eye injuries could suggest that a concern should be raised. "It is the responsibility of all members of the dental team to know what to do if they are concerned about the possible abuse or neglect of children and vulnerable adults," says GDC President Hew Mathewson. "If you make a professional judgement and decide not to share your concern with the appropriate authority, you must be able to justify how you came to this decision.

Austria cellar daughter conscious (BBC News)

Full Story & Broadcast: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/News_0861.htm

Kerstin Fritzl, the 19-year-old woman whose illness in April alerted Austria's authorities to a major incest scandal, has regained consciousness. Kerstin is the oldest of seven children fathered by Josef Fritzl with Elisabeth - the daughter he held captive for 24 years and raped repeatedly. Doctors say Kerstin still requires intensive medical care. They have refused to comment on reports she has been reunited with her mother and the other five surviving siblings. Mr Fritzl, 73, remains in detention pending charges. Last Friday he was remanded in custody for another two months. His actions came to light when Kerstin became seriously ill in April. Intensive care Mr Fritzl had kept Elizabeth captive with Kerstin and two other siblings, in a cellar beneath his house. Kerstin was let out of the cellar and admitted to hospital on 19 April, after which Mr Fritzl and Elizabeth were picked up by police. Kerstin was later placed in intensive care, from which she re-emerged two days ago. A spokesman for the hospital, in the central Austrian town of Amstetten, said more details about her condition would be released on Wednesday. Elisabeth and her other children are continuing to be cared for at a psychiatric clinic. Their lawyer has said they are likely to be given new identities and may also consider relocating to another country. Prosecutors say they hope to interview them in early July, but that this will depend on their state of health.

Drunk mother neglected her son, 3

Full Story: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/News_0860.htm

A mother-of-two has admitted neglect after her three-year-old son was found walking alone in a Wrexham street at night in a "filthy" state. The 21-year-old woman, who had been too drunk to care for her child, was placed on supervision by a judge at Mold Crown Court and sent on an alcohol course. Her children no longer live with her. Judge Merfyn Hughes said: "If you are ever to look after these children again then you must learn to manage alcohol in a sensible way." The court heard the boy was found wandering the streets at 2120 BST last July by a neighbour and taken back home. Ian Evans, prosecuting, said his face, arms and legs were filthy. He also smelt of urine and faeces The police were contacted and officers found a number of people drinking at the flat. It was in an appalling condition, and when they went upstairs it was worse, Mr Evans said. The mother was asleep in dirty conditions and so drunk officers could not immediately awake her. While awaiting an aunt to come and pick the boy up, police tried to change the boy but could find no other clothes for him, the court heard. Judge Hughes told the woman: "How can any mother prefer to drink herself into oblivion rather than care for a tiny little boy? "You were already failing to look after him. He was filthy dirty in the same way that your flat was filthy dirty." Changed lifestyle The judge said that he was not going to ruin her life by sending her to prison and would place her on two years supervision to help her rehabilitate herself.

Parents of ill vegan girl may face police

Full Story: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/News_0859.htm

A 12-YEAR-OLD girl in Scotland brought up by her parents on a strict vegan diet has been admitted to hospital with a degenerative bone condition said to have left her with the spine of an 80-year-old woman. Doctors are under pressure to report the couple to police and social workers amid concerns that her health and welfare may have been neglected in pursuit of their dietary beliefs. The girl, who has been fed on a strict meat and dairy-free diet from birth, is said to have a severe form of rickets and to have suffered a number of fractured bones. The condition is caused by a lack of vitamin D, which is needed to absorb calcium and is found in liver, oily fish and dairy produce. Decalcification leads to the bones becoming brittle and can cause curvature of the spine. Dr Faisal Ahmed, the consultant paediatrician treating the child at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow, declined to discuss the specific case. He said, however, that he believed the dangers of forcing children to follow a strict vegan diet needed to be highlighted. One leading nutritionist, who asked not to be named, said: In most instances, the parents who are imposing this very restrictive and potentially hazardous diet are not themselves brought up as vegans. They are imposing on their children something . . . which we do not know enough about to know it is safe.

Cash boost for children's hospice services

Full Story: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/News_0858.htm

Childrens hospices in Kent are set to receive extra Government funding. Ivan Lewis, the care services minister, announced an extra Pfund9 million annually for palliative care services for youngsters across the country. In Kent, the Demelza House hospice outreach home service in Sittingbourne will receive more than Pfund475, 000 and the Ellenor Shining Lights hospice in Dartford will get a Pfund140,000 boost. Mr Lewis said: This Government is committed to improving the end of life care services that very ill children receive.

'I will not be moved', vows Fathers 4 Justice campaigner who is STILL on minister's roof

Full Story: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/News_0857.htm

A Fathers 4 Justice protester today vowed to remain on top of Harriet Harman's roof until his fellow protester had been released by police. He also accused officers of using 'heavy-handed' tactics in trying to wrestle him down. Jolly Stanesby and fellow demonstrator Mark Harris scaled the deputy leader of the Labour Party's house yesterday morning dressed as 'Captain Conception' and 'Cash Gordon'. Mr Harris climbed down and was arrested last night but his fellow protester spent the night sleeping under a tarpaulin and insisted today he was staying put. In for the long haul: Protester Jolly Stanesby was still on Harriet Harman's roof this morning and insists he is staying put This morning Mr Stanesby said: 'I'm not coming down until they free my mate Mark. He is still being held.' The pair were taking part in their latest protest over the treatment of fathers in child custody battles in court and had unfurled a banner reading 'A father is for life, not just conception'. The Minister for Women refused to meet the pair and decided to temporarily move out of her South London address six hours after they arrived The activists demanded the MP for Camberwell and Peckham read Mr Harris's book, Family Court Hell, an account of his court battle for custody of his two daughters. Originally boasting they had enough food and water to stay aloft for a week, Mr Harris soon had to be brought down suffering from heatstroke. He was arrested and faces charges of criminal damage and causing a public nuisance. Determined: Mr Stanesby says fathers are treated like 'walking wallets' But Mr Stanesby, 37, said: 'This protest is extremely important. In the courts dads are treated like a walking wallet and with total disregard. I will take each hour as it comes.'

Politically correct social workers and police 'ignoring abuse' in Asian families

Full Story: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/News_0856.htm

Social workers and police are ignoring abuse in Asian families out of political correctness, a charity said today. Pressure to 'respect other cultures' meant nothing was done to protect victims and cases were handled badly, according to the NSPCC. A report said Asians responsible for violence against children used their culture and religion as a shield to cover and justify abuse. NSPCC manager Saleha Islam said: 'Asian children and their mothers suffer the double injustice of a community that would rather save face than deal with domestic violence and a system that lacks cultural understanding and so hides behind political correctness.' The charity's report yesterday said police, social workers and health service staff were so afraid of being labelled racist that they failed to properly tackle allegations of abuse in Asian families.

Millions spent tackling childhood obesity has little effect

Full Story: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/News_0855.htm

Millions of pounds spent on tackling obesity, smoking and alcohol misuse among children have had scarcely any effect on improving the health of the nations children and young people, a damning report on child well-being in England has found. The Annual Performance Assessment (APA) of childrens services, published by the childrens services inspectorate Ofsted, found there was little evidence of impact from a range of programmes intended to help improve the childrens health. The report concludes that some councils are finding a number of intractable problems in securing child welfare and are having little success in resolving them. The 306-page document will come as a huge embarrassment to the government at a time of heightened concern about the state of childhood in contemporary Britain. It follows a report today from the four childrens commissioners for the UK, which painted a bleak picture of childrens health and education services and reported widespread infringements of the childrens basic human rights. Overall, the APA report found a significant fall in the proportion of local authorities that successfully promoted good health among children in their area, from 90 per cent in 2006 to 81 per cent last year. It also concluded that 30 per cent of local authorities in England are failing to adequately protect children from harm and abuse or are providing only minimum protection, a deteriorating from last years figure of 27 per cent. In addition to slow progress in reducing obesity and smoking, the report highlights concern about the slow rate of progress in cutting teenage pregnancies. It expresses concern about the rising numbers of children placed on child protection registers and notes that children in care do worse on all measures of well-being.

Harriet Harman abandons home after Fathers4Justice protest on roof

Full Story: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/News_0854.htm

Two Fathers 4 Justice campaigners scaled the roof of Harriet Harman's house today forcing the Leader of the House of Commons and her husband to abandon the property. Dressed in red and blue Superman costumes, Jolly Stanesby, 39, and Mark Harris, 49, both from South Devon, unfurled a banner reading A father is for life, not just conception from the grey, slate tiles of the Deputy Labour Leader's semi-detached property in Dulwich, South London The duo then relaxed on the gables in the sun, waving to neighbours and the gathering crowds in what is the latest of a series of high-profile fathers' rights protests by the group since it formed in 2002. Ms Harman had remained oblivious to the "superheroes" on her roof until local children started waving up at them. However at 2.30pm Ms Harman emerged with her husband to declare they were leaving, to spare the public purse. We are going to move out and stay somewhere else. I dont think its fair for police resources to be tied up outside my house by this demonstration and its not fair on the neighbours, she said. We came in through the side gate at 8.15 this morning, said Mr Harris, a driving instructor, speaking to The Times by mobile phone from the roof. We just walked in. Then we climbed up the back extension onto the flat roof from where we could get to the very top. My own house is more secure than this. He said he had asked police acting as mediators to present Ms Harman with a copy of his book, Family Court Hell, which details his decade-long struggle to gain access to his three daughters, including a prison sentences for waving to them across a supermarket car park.

'Ideal foster parent' was secret paedophile who gave 'sex lessons' to three girls in his care

Full Story: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/News_0853.htm

A man seen as the 'ideal' foster parent by social services was a secret paedophile who sexually abused girls in his care for years. Kenneth Morton, 58, fooled his wife and family, who had no idea he was sexually assaulting the three vulnerable children when left alone with them. He was jailed for 12 years at Sheffield Crown Court yesterday after admitting the systematic abuse of two girls aged 11 and a 13-year-old at his home over a five-year period. He pleaded guilty to 11 offences, including attempted rape and indecent assault. Morton told his victims he was giving them lessons in sex and said to one: 'You have got to learn how to pleasure a man.' He even got one of the girls to act as a lookout so he could abuse one of the others uninterrupted. On paper Morton and his wife seemed well suited to being foster carers. As a father of three and grandfather he had many years of experience with children and did not have a criminal record. After being approved by social services he was an official foster carer for ten years. But for at least half of this period he was abusing girls entrusted to live with him. Passing sentence Judge Alan Goldsack QC said his offending fell into the 'most serious' category. Instead of bringing security and stability to his victims' lives Morton had breached that trust, he said. The judge told Morton: 'You with your wife were seen as the ideal foster carers but a few years ago you started abusing girls around 11 who were placed into your care. This was sustained and serious offending on an escalating scale. Your victims did not give consent. They were powerless to stop you.' As Morton was being sentenced he collapsed in the dock and had to be helped to his seat by prison officers.

Justice 4 my father, says daughter of rooftop protester

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No one condones invading private property, but read the moving story of the man on Harriet Harman's roof who spent years fighting for the right to see his daughters ... only to find THEY wanted to live with HIM On Sunday morning, just hours before he scrambled on to the roof of Harriet Harman's home dressed as a superhero, Mark Harris kissed and hugged his daughter Lisa and set off from the South Devon home they share. 'I told him I was proud of him,' says Lisa, a 21-year-old wages clerk. 'I said that however long he managed to stay up there, I would be cheering him on and sending him my love.' In the end, Mark, who staged his weekend protest with fellow Fathers 4 Justice campaigner Jolly Stanesby, stayed on the roof of Ms Harman's elegant period home in Herne Hill, South London, for ten hours - an hour for every year that his own case wasn't resolved by the courts. When he climbed down on Sunday night, he was immediately arrested and detained by police, leaving Mr Stanesby perched precariously on the slates, stubbornly insisting he wouldn't descend until Mark had been released. But then as Lisa points out, brushes with the law are nothing new to her 49-year-old father. During the decade he spent fighting for full access to his three daughters after his wife walked out and took them with her, the driving instructor faced 133 court appearances before 33 different judges, two stints in jail and went on a hunger strike. The irony is that Mark's case is now resolved: Lisa, his eldest, now lives with him. So does his 17-year-old daughter. Another daughter, aged 15, lives nearby with her mother, but visits at least twice a week. He now has everything he fought for.

Yesterday in parliament

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June 9 session Detention of terror suspects Proposals to extend the pre-charge terror detention limit to 42 days are "right for the security of the country," the home secretary, Jacqui Smith, insisted despite lawyers' claims that the measure would breach human rights regulations. The Equality and Human Rights Commission has said it would seek judicial review if the extension was passed in Wednesday's crucial Commons vote and published legal advice claiming it could violate the European Convention on Human Rights. Liberal Democrat spokesman Chris Huhne called on Smith to drop the "ill thought-out, illiberal and counter-productive" measures. But the home secretary said: "Not only are my proposals compatible with the ECHR, as I spelt out in a letter to the chair of the EHRC ... but they are right for the security of this country." Manchester congestion charge The government gave the provisional go-ahead for a Pfund2.8bn package to introduce a congestion charge and improve public transport in Manchester. The transport secretary, Ruth Kelly, told the Commons ministers backed the scheme "in principle" and would work with Greater Manchester to develop it. Kelly said Pfund1.5bn of central government funding was being made available to meet the cost of the package. The majority of the improvements to public transport will take place before introduction of a congestion charge in 2013. For the Tories, Theresa Villiers accused the government of "bullying" and called for a referendum covering the whole of Greater Manchester. She taunted Kelly over whether she would "back her government or her constituents" of Bolton West over the proposals. Kelly's statement could be "the longest resignation letter in history", Villiers suggested.

Monday, 9 June 2008

Hemel Hempstead Protest Hits Headlines; 'Stop Injustice Now' In The News!

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PROTESTORS from Justice for Families met with Hemel Hempstead shoppers last week. North London couple Ian and Sarah Walton caught the attention of passers-by on Tuesday, May 27 with rows of banners when they set up camp on Marlowes. The pair travel the country to discuss experiences of family courts with members of the public. More information on Justice for Families

Another Victim of Social Services; Elisha Allen 'Small Baby'

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An investigation has been launched into how a five month old girl was killed by her father while being monitored by social services. Elisha Allen was classified as "at risk" even before she was born and died from head injuries after being shaken to death by Gary Allen. Allen, 25, and her mother Claire Morton, 30, were scrutinised by social workers in Sunderland during the pregnancy. But two months before the birth, the pair moved two miles away into a different local authority area with its own social services department in County Durham.

Children: Private Law Update (June 2008)

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New Practice Directions New guidance has been published relating to the rule 9.5 appointment of a Guardian in private proceedings. The guidance issued on the 25th February 2005 has been revoked. An order in the county court joining a child to private law proceedings and appointing a Guardian may now be made by any nominated Judge or District Judge. Practitioners are reminded of the Practice Direction on the Representation of Children in family proceedings of the 5th April 2004 which remains valid. Further guidance is to be found in the form of a new practice direction entitled Residence And Contact Orders: Domestic Violence And Harm, was published by the President of the Family Division on the 9th May 2008. It applies to High Court, County Court or FPC proceedings in which an application is made for a residence order or a contact order in respect of a child under the Children Act 1989 or the Adoption and Children Act 2002 or in which any question arises about residence or about contact between a child and a parent or other family member. The guidance is to be followed in any such case in which it is alleged or there is otherwise reason to suppose, that the subject child or a party has experienced domestic violence perpetrated by another party or that there is a risk of such violence. Leave To Remove There have been two recent cases on leave to remove from the jurisdiction. In Re G (Leave to Remove) [2008] EWHC 324 (Fam) the Court of Appeal dealt with a submission from the Appellant that Payne v Payne was being misapplied by the lower Courts. The Court confirmed the approach as stated in Payne. The second case has potentially far-reaching consequences in relation to the Court's hearing directly from the children involved in proceedings. In Re W (Children) (2008), [2008] EWCA Civ 538 the Court of Appeal (on the 20th May 2008) allowed an appeal by a Mother who was seeking permission to return to Sweden with the children. The Mother (M) and her former husband (F), who divorced in 2006, were both Swedish nationals. The family lived in a spacious home in London. The children were aged 15, 13 and 11, and were particularly intelligent and mature. M wished to return to Sweden, where housing and private education for the children would be much cheaper. The children supported the move to Sweden. Their wishes and feelings were advanced in the report of a CAFCASS officer. The CAFCASS officer applied her own analysis to the children's statement, with the result that she ended up advising the judge to exercise a degree of caution in evaluating the children's stated wishes. The judge had raised the possibility of meeting with the children, but the matter was not pursued and M's counsel did not press the point. M submitted that the judge had erred in weighing up the financial factors, in particular the effect that refusal of her application would have upon the London home that she and her children would be sharing.

Assessing Risk: A Report on the Family Justice Council Annual Seminar

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The highly successful London Family Justice Council's Seminar was held in April where 300 delegates who work in Family Justice attended. Delegates ranged from members of the judiciary, barristers, solicitors, magistrates clerks, CAFCASS, Guardians and representatives from the Ministry of Justice to name but a few. As this annual seminar was heavily oversubscribed I have attempted to highlight the key points of the talks during the day for the readers of Family Law Week. The theme of the seminar was risk assessments and two eminent speakers attended to deliver lectures on the subject. Professor Don Grubin Professor of Forensic Psychiatry from Newcastle University discussed risk assessments, their usefulness and validity and Dr Gillian Mezey Reader and Consultant in Forensic Psychiatry from St George's University of London discussed risk assessments in the context of domestic violence. What to make of risk assessments? The three key points which Professor Grubin's made in his lecture were: Know your expert area better than the experts Challenge the meaning of risk Know what is behind the risk assessments In Professor Grubin's experience the attitude in the USA was very different in respect of experts where lawyers would know the area of expertise as well as if not better than the expert and would cross examine much more vigorously having the knowledge from their own research to ask the right questions. Professor Grubin's suggestion for the UK family courts was for a single court appointed expert in cases with each party being able to have an expert to advise them on the court appointed expert's report and areas for cross examination. It was his opinion that lawyers should have a good enough understanding of expert areas to be able to cross examine effectively and this means keeping abreast of all the developments in a particular area and knowing the new research papers on the topic.

Baby girl killed by father while being monitored by social services

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An investigation has been launched into how a five month old girl was killed by her father while being monitored by social services. Elisha Allen was classified as "at risk" even before she was born and died from head injuries after being shaken to death by Gary Allen. Allen, 25, and her mother Claire Morton, 30, were scrutinised by social workers in Sunderland during the pregnancy. But two months before the birth, the pair moved two miles away into a different local authority area with its own social services department in County Durham. Elisha was killed in January last year while they were living in Bournmoor having moved from Penshaw, Sunderland. Child protection experts from both authorities are conducting a Serious Case Review into the death and the results will be released when criminal proceedings have been concluded. Among their consideration will be whether Sunderland's social services passed on sufficient information about Allen's propensity for violence. Kevan Jones, MP for North Durham, in whose constituency the family were living when Elisha was killed, said: "Clearly someone has to be brought to account for this. "This is an appalling case and someone needs to explain why just because these parents moved across a local authority border nobody saw fit to keep the case under review." Allen has admitted manslaughter as a result of a "sudden loss of self control" and Morton, has pleaded guilty to causing or allowing the death of her baby daughter. Both will be sentenced in August

Probe launched after baby dies

Full Story: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/News_0849.htm

A PROBE is under way by child protection experts into the death of a baby classified as being at risk even before she was born. Little Elisha Allens violent father and cowed mother were being monitored by social workers in Sunderland when they lived within the city boundaries in the months leading up to her birth. But two months before Elisha was born her parents moved two miles from Avondale Road, Penshaw, Sunderland, to Marigold Crescent, Bournmoor, between Chester-le-Street and Houghton-le-Spring, just over the border into County Durham, and into a separate local authority with a separate social services department. It was there that Elisha was shaken to death by her father Gary Allen, 25, in January 2007. She was just five months old. Now child protection experts in both Sunderland and Durham are conducting a Serious Case Review into whether more could have been done to prevent Elishas death. A key part of the probe concerns whether or not Sunderlands social services passed on sufficient information if any about Allens propensity for violence. Last night Kevan Jones, MP for North Durham, in whose constituency the family were living when Elisha was killed, said: It is an absolutely appalling situation if a vulnerable child was left unprotected simply because she moved a couple of miles. I will be writing to Sunderland City Councils director of social services to find out exactly what happened. This case was awful, an absolute tragedy.

£10k bill for sex scandal claims

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A sacked social worker accused of inventing allegations that a council failed to supervise paedophiles has been told to pay Pfund10,000 expenses after dropping his unfair dismissal claim. Tony Child, of Dalston, complained he had been unfairly sacked by Dumfries and Galloway Council for whistle-blowing. He had been dismissed for making malicious allegations of bullying and harassment against former colleagues, but abandoned his case during the fifth day of an employment tribunal yesterday. During extended proceedings into his claim, Child, 61, made a series of sensational allegations which the council insisted were invented and which he subsequently withdrew. Jessel Gair, representing Dumfries and Galloway Council, told the tribunal in Glasgow that Childs behaviour had been vexatious, unreasonable or at the very least misconceived, and urged a judge to award the maximum Pfund10,000 costs against him. The solicitor added that the council maintained Child had invented allegations that the authority failed to supervise 17 known paedophiles due to lack of qualified staff. Other claims denied were that the council failed to police-check certain education staff with access to children, engaged an offender in a disability team, permitted unqualified staff to do work which should be carried out by qualified staff, detained two older clients inappropriately and forcibly in a secure unit in Dumfries, alleged a carer obtained money by deception from clients, inappropriately controlled finances and money of clients and failed to respond to safety concerns. Mr Gair said the council had no records that Child, of Sunnyvale, Highbridge, had ever made these disclosures to them.

Climbie social worker successfully appeals decision

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The Haringey social worker struck off following Victoria Climbie's death has successfully appealed the decision. Lisa Arthurworrey, who handled the Climbie case, was dismissed by Haringey Council for gross misconduct following the eight-year-old's death on February 25, 2000. And she was removed from the social worker register by the General Social Care Council (GSCC) on December 18, 2006. Victoria lost her life at the hands of her abusive great-aunt Marie Therese Kouao and her boyfriend Carl Manning while living under their care in Tottenham - despite social services being aware she was in danger. She died from malnutrition and had 128 separate injuries at the time of her death, including burn marks and scars caused by a scabies infection. The couple are serving life sentences for her murder. The case, considered one of the worst instances of child abuse in British history, had been given to Ms Arthurworrey without a proper handover. On Monday the appeal was unanimously upheld by the Care Standards Tribunal which found the GSCC decision had made Ms Arthurworrey "a scapegoat".