Friday, 30 October 2009

‘Stop Injustice Now’ Blog Site!

‘Stop Injustice Now’ Blog Site!: "Baby Ps stepfather Steven Barker has had a poster of himself removed after he complained it damaged his reputation.
At this was the man jailed in May for causing or allowing the death of Baby Peter, you wonder what one that couldnt get any worse?
This monster (how does that sit with your reputation MATE, A photo with the same words is attached to this story, try to stop me you Bastard)?
Grew up violently abusing small animals then moved on to defenceless children, including Baby P and the rape of a two year old girl.
It is why animal rights group Peta used a picture of him in a poster with the words People who are violent towards animals rarely stop there.
But Barkers lawyers demanded it was taken down because it was libellous, suggesting Barker murdered Baby P the courts couldnt agree which of Baby Ps three torturers finally killed him.
It is beyond belief this sicko, who destroyed the lives of two small children, has the arrogance to wave the human rights card. It just shows he is more worried about saving his own skin than demonstrating any remorse for his vile crimes. In Barkers case, a life sentence must absolutely mean LIFE."

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Woman dubbed 'not bright' enough to marry, now faces baby being removed when she gives birth

A pregnant young woman,whose wedding was halted by social workers in an extraordinary row over whether she is bright enough to marry, is to have her baby boy forcefully removed from her at birth.
Kerry Robertson, 17, who has mild learning difficulties, was this week told during a meeting with social workers they believe she is also not ëintelligent enoughí to look after her baby, due in January.
She will be allowed just a few hours with her baby, whom she has already named Ben. But she and fiance Mark McDougall, 25, will not be allowed to leave the hospital with Ben and he will then be placed with foster parents.
She said yesterday: "I couldn't believe it when they told me I wouldnít be allowed to bring my baby home. I feel sick all the time.
"I am so upset I donít know what to do with myself. I know I am having a little boy and so I have already started buying baby clothes and am getting a nursery ready for him. But now I can't take it in. I don't want to think about January and I canít stop crying."
Last month Kerry, who is 26 weeks pregnant, was told her wedding was being halted just 48 hours before she was due to walk up the aisle because, according to social services, she 'did not understand the implications of getting married'.
Her fiance Mark, an artist, added: "Seeing Kerry so upset is absolutely heartbreaking and I am very worried that all this stress she is under will affect our unborn baby's health.
"We're just devastated by this and at the moment we just don't know how we are going to cope in January. We have both already bonded with Ben and I can't even begin to think what it will be like coming home without him.

Judge condemns Jack Straw's 'haste' on media access to family courts

The most senior family judge in England and Wales urged ministers not to rush ahead with controversial plans to allow greater media access to family court hearings.
Sir Mark Potter, President of the High Court Family Division, said that he was concerned about the haste involved with the latest plans from Jack Straw and warned that they may lead judges to exclude the press altogether.
Despite concerns already expressed by judges, lawyers and others over the plans, Mr Straw, the Justice Secretary, plans to include the changes in the Schools and Safeguarding Children Bill in the new session of Parliament.
The Justice Secretary has said that opening up family hearings in April to the media was being undermined by reporting restrictions.
He intends to allow the media acccess to confidential medical and social work reports, subject to anonymity provisions, in a move that would allow the media to name and shame social workers.
But Sir Mark told a conference of family lawyers this week that even interim rules, pending the legislation, should not be rushed.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Is it right to take children away from parents at birth?

The head of Barnardo's, Martin Narey, has called for more babies to be taken away at birth from parents who have "failed" with their previous children.
It follows fresh concern over a generation of "feral" children in the wake of the case of the two boys aged 10 and 12 who battered, tortured and sexually abused two other children in Edlington near Doncaster.
The pair had come from a chaotic home where they were exposed to drink, drugs and violence from an early age and had a long history of involvement with police and social services.
In the words of the father of one of their victims: "My kid plays with Lego... they play with knives."
Mr Narey, who as a former director general of the Prison Service knows the criminal justice system inside out, believes that some families simply cant be fixed and wants the authorities to move in earlier to give children a chance of a better life.
He said that social services should not be afraid of taking children into care and ultimately sending them to new families.
It sounds terrible, but I think we try too hard with birth parents," he said.
"If we really cared about the interests of the child, we would take children away as babies and put them into permanent adoptive families, where we know they will have the best possible outcome.
Ann Widdecombe, the former prisons minister, has praised Mr Narey as courageous.
"We all know what we are talking about here, we are talking about families where there is a persistent pattern of failure," she said.
But others warned against "nanny state interference".

Britain’s child protection laws create ‘spoilt generation’ with no respect for adults or authority, psychologist claims

Britains child protection laws have created a spoilt generation with no respect for adults or authority, according to a prominent psychologist.
Dr Aric Sigman claims young people are growing up unprepared for the realities of adult life as parents, teachers and police have lost the power to discipline them.
His new book cites as proof a leaflet left in courts asking visitors politely not to carry knives.
Dr Sigman who believes under-threes should be banned from watching television and fears that social networking websites such as Facebook may damage the health says the sense of entitlement now enjoyed by children is contributing to increased crime, obesity, underage pregnancy and binge-drinking on the countrys streets.
Ahead of the party conference season, he wants politicians to draw up laws that would curtail young peoples rights and reassert the authority of adults, as well as encouraging mothers to care for their babies at home and introducing compulsory civic service.
Dr Sigman, an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, said: Authority is a basic health requirement in children's lives. But, while children have become increasingly 'empowered' in terms of legislation and rights, far from being protected, they are actually suffering in ways that could never have been foreseen.
Children of the spoilt generation are used to having their demands met by their parents and others in authority, and that in turn makes them unprepared for the realities of adult life - this has consequences in every area of society, from the classroom to the workplace, the streets to the criminal courts and rehabilitation clinics.
There is now an urgent moral and legal imperative incumbent upon legislators to help restore authority to children's lives. Adults must be legally empowered to deal with both their own and other people's children without the fear that they may be confronted or prosecuted for doing so.

Haringey Council under pressure over social services

CALLS are growing for a public inquiry into Haringey Council's social services department, in the wake of revelations a child was placed in foster care with relatives of a Muslim terrorist.
Lynne Featherstone, MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, reacted with horror to the disclosure, and demanded answers from council chiefs.
She said: We need answers now to ensure that no other child has, or will, be in danger when they are placed in care.
After the awful tragedy of Baby Peter and the clear failures made by Haringey Council, these new revelations show further evidence of the need for a root and branch review of Haringey Councils childrens services that only a Public Inquiry can provide.
The council is under pressure after it was revealed a child was place into foster care with relatives of Abdullah Ahmed Ali, one of three men convicted of conspiracy to murder for planning to kill thousands by blowing up planes using liquid bombs disguised as soft drinks cans.
Shadow Children's Secretary Michael Gove MP, shadow children's secretary, has called for immediate disclosure of the vetting procedures in place for foster parents in Haringey.
He said: Its truly frightening to think that the social services department of this council placed a child with a terrorist, and even more so to think that the child could
Haringey Council has been criticised for placing a child in the care of relatives of a terrorist have been used as part of the foil for the bomb plot.

We need to protect Whistle Blowing social workers

Too many social workers' careers have crumbled after they raised concerns
In social work at present it never rains but it pours. At a time of continuing public scrutiny, the last thing the sector needs is to be told that nearly half of those frontline social workers who plucked up courage to blow the whistle about poor practice or workplace problems subsequently reported that their employer failed to tackle the issues raised.
The findings, in a survey of more than 500 social workers by the General Social Care Council, confirms what many staff already know. Too often raising concerns at work, never mind blowing the whistle, is a bad career move.
However, 45% worried that their employer would not take action if they raised concerns about a colleague, and nearly half of those who had reported problems about colleagues or "operational difficulties" said their employer had taken no action.
The GSCC has had bad press recently, but the publication of this survey ought to earn it a few bonus marks, not least the GSCC's acceptance that victimisation and career damage were the most common fears of those who said they would not speak up.
Unfortunately this is nothing new. There is a long roll call of those social workers whose careers nosedived after raising concerns, most recently Nevres Kemal whose whistleblowing in Haringey was ignored and led to her unfair dismissal when it ought to have set alarm bells ringing.
The survey results were published on the day that the Unison convenor in Doncaster who has been repeatedly critical of the culture within the council was suspended immediately after speaking out about what he alleged were budgetary pressures distorting professional decisions in child protection.
The failure of staff to whistleblow in the NHS cost dozens of lives at Mid Staffs and Maidstone hospitals in recent years. In social care, the costs are less obvious but no less disastrous. Although social workers and their managers are required as a condition of continued registration to highlight concerns and speak up for those they work with, the inexorable pressure on resources, excessive caseloads and inappropriate delegation of work are a potentially lethal cocktail.
The pressures go to the top. I have spoken to a number of very senior managers who have expressed their concerns at the consequences of questioning budgets and unsafe or unethical resource led decisions. One told me "you can spell out the consequences of inadequate budgets but if you keep waving shrouds, you'll eventually have a P45 waved back at you". Their reluctance to speak out is despite the fact that they would automatically have statutory protection as whistleblowers should they suffer detriment as a result.

Bonnie Lewis Kidnapped By The State They Gagged UK Column And No2Abuse On This Story Copy And Paste It All Over The internet

Bonnie Lewis Kidnapped by the State
Investigation into the scandalous abuse of a young girl by the Neath Port Talbot State Child
Protection Machinery.
As Social Services get power to section parents as mentally ill - why every parent in Britain should
be fighting for the safety of their children and Child Courts that are open to the full Public scrutiny.
Sick, in constant pain, and frightened after months of medical incompetence, 12 year old Bonnie
Lewis was deliberately and deceitfully taken from her mother by Port Talbot Social Services.
Their aim? Probably to meet government fostering and adoption targets, which reward Councils.
And to help the NHS cover up medical blunders.
This true story is a wake-up call to every parent in UK. Every child is now at risk of kidnapping
by the State, as Social Services can manipulate the law with impunity. Recent new
draconian laws also give social workers powers to section parents who fight back as being
mentally ill. They can then be incarcerated indefinitely. Welcome to the Blair - Brown created
UK soviet. Secret and corrupt courts, mental institutions and collusion between public authorities,
NHS and police.
In our June edition we printed the harrowing story of a very sick young girl called Bonnie.
Kidnapped at gunpoint by police in Florida, the US authorities had in fact been duped' by a
conspiracy of lies concocted by Neath Port Talbot Social Services, Bonnie's loving mother and
grandfather looked on totally helpless as their daughter was taken into care in UK. She never
lived with them again. SS officials used falsified evidence, unlawful passports, and operated in a
deceitful collusion with Hospitals, Courts, Foreign & Commonwealth Office and MPs. Local
police assisted the process.
Devious Social Services staff duped US Social Services into believing that Bonnie had been
diagnosed as suffering from Maunchausen by Proxy, and they submitted a pick up order to
the US authorities, before flying to Florida to kidnap Bonnie.
Even Judge Evans, stated in his had made saying that the child should not be removed from the
jurisdiction was in fact made the day after the child had in fact left the jurisdiction. He added..
and I wanted to make it abundantly clear [to the US Authorities] that I said as far as I was concerned
firstly the child had already left when I made that order so it didnt seem to me that there
was any breach of that order. The judge also indicated that he only had information supplied
by Ms Rzezniczek.
The Judges words clearly indicate that Mrs Lewis and her father had not breached any order
in taking Bonnie to the USA. In that case the question has to be asked - on what authority
did Neath Port Talbot SS and Ms Rzezniczek obtain a passport for Bonnie, and under what
authority did they then take Bonnie from her mother in the USA.
Mrs Rzezniczek Head of Neath Port Talbot Children and Young People Services. Her
responsibilities include leading on child protection, looked after children, fostering and adoption.
Working towards closer relationships with schools and health agencies to deliver a more integrated
service for children and families.
This action, taken without proper legal authority, mirrors the recent admission that Birmingham
Social Services sent five children to the Jersey childrens care home without the necessary
court orders.
After personal investigation, Neath Port Talbot Cllr Davies was prepared to write in a personal
statement dated 2002....
I believe that we [Neath Port Talbot Borough Council] were not entitled to go there
(USA), we relied on Orders that were invalid and there is a possibility that we may have
misled the Courts when those original orders were made.
These are very serious allegations by Cllr Davies, but what action he took inside the Council
is unclear. Allegedly he was threatened.
The kidnap followed major medical mistakes and incompetence in South Wales hospitals.
Passed from one hospital to the next, with no diagnosis or treatment, the desperate mother
eventually sought help from Social Services. This was a huge mistake, which was ultimately
to result in Bonnies kidnap by the SS.
Yet from the time that she was taken by Social Services, Bonnie remained in pain. The same
pain for which her mother and grandfather had worked tirelessly to obtain a proper diagnosis
and treatment. What parent wouldnt?
The mothers reward for her justifiable parental concern was to be branded mentally unwell
and to have her child taken by the State. In doing so, SS officials callously brushed off the
daughters terror at the kidnap in Florida. Then an ordinary social worker, Julie Rzezniczek
described Bonnies trauma at being forcibly taken from her family as being....Tearful..
In the subsequent Contract for Contact, Social Services deliberately and specifically prevented
any discussion between Mrs Lewis and her daughter concerning Bonnies health, illness
or pain. Letters from Bonnie all had to be given to Ms Rzezniczek before they were passed on.
Denied free speech, Bonnie did manage to smuggle out harrowing letters detailing her pain
and longing to come home. None of these were taken into account by Social Services or the
Courts. Blocked behind a Barnados guardian, this little girl was no longer permitted to show
love for her family, or express her feelings.
Bonnie has still not been re-united with her mother. Now adult, she remains held and apparently
controlled in a strange world of Social Services contacts, who have aggressively blocked
attempts by the family to see their daughter.
At the age of 16 Bonnie met her Grandfather in the street. This was the man she had loved
and thought the world of. As he greeted her, she shrank back, and warned him....Granddad, dont
come near me. Theyll know. Theyll know. You mustn't. Sensing his granddaughter's distress,
and fearful for her, he walked on. Programmed and controlled by Neath Port Talbot SS, Bonnie
was now lost in a psychological prison called British child protection. Her strange
was, and still is, totally contrary to the loving letters which she smuggled to her family.
Just what did the SS do to this childs mind?
The June UK Column story produced instant response from the general public. Telephone
calls from parents reporting yet more SS child snatch cases, further information on the Bonnie
case (including allegations of threats by police officers), calls and letters of support for
the work of the paper, demands by Port Talbot Council that they did not want more copies of
the Column.
A few members of the public couldnt believe that the story was true. And this is a critical
point. Not only is Bonnies story true, but the facts of the case are mirrored in thousands of
other cases of child stealing by the state that have occurred in UK over the last 30 years.
Something evil is at work in Great Britain, and it is targeting our children. Just consider
the revelation that Birmingham Social services sent children to Jersey, and now has no record
of them. Most worryingly this is an evil backed and supported by top level government ministers
using secret family courts.
The UK Column promised to continue to help the Lewis family expose the truth. We are
therefore publishing excerpts and quoting from the official documents and letters concerning
the case. Painstakingly obtained by the family, these have all been duplicated for safekeeping.
It is this evidence which must be brought into the light, if our children are to be safely brought
up by their loving families, and not by an increasingly domineering and prescriptive state
The original charges made by the UK Column against Neath Port Talbot Social Services
and local hospitals included:
Failure to diagnose a serious illness. Removal of a healthy appendix by Neath Hospital
with no license to operate.
Cover-up of the severe post operative abscess. Excessive prescription of drugs, some not approved
for use on children. Negligent prescription of oral morphine. Incorrect discharge and prescription
forms. Confused and incompetent hospital referrals, examination and treatment. False denial of
Bonnies pain by Doctors and Social Workers, in
Instead of supporting Mrs Lewis to obtain proper treatment for Bonnie, evidence shows
a number of doctors conspired with Neath Port Talbot Social Services to silence the mother by
branding her mentally ill / unstable and taking Bonnie into care.
Not happy with destroying the family, Social Services then failed to treat Bonnie and left her
in pain and isolated from her family .
Bonnies smuggled letters (actual handwritten letters opposite page), show her trauma and
ongoing pain at the hand of cold callous Social Services minders. The following letters are in
her own words. March 19th 1998 ...they are the only things two things that I want is to be out of
pain and back home with you all.
June 1998 she says (in her own words): I love my Nan and Granddad and my pain if
I say it to my Mum they will stop contact never see you again. Julie Rzezniczek and the Guardian
have told me I am never coming home.
September 1999....Please please help me I miss you all so mum. I hate living with Julie.
I just want to be home and I am still in the same pain.

Cornwall child abuse charges, two charged

A 45-year old man arrested following a child abuse investigation by Cornwall police has been charged with 24 offences of sexual assault on a child.
He has been named as Alan Wills.
a 50-year-old man has also been charged with four offences of sexual assault on a child. He is David Beckett.
Both men will appear at Truro Crown Court on October 16 and are currently on bail.
A 29-year-old man understood to be from the Camborne area has been released without charge.

Secret agenda to score adoptions

A judge has condemned the "disgraceful" conduct of social workers over an adoption case, says Christopher Booker.
The revealing of the names of those responsible for the killing of Baby P reminded us yet again of the failure of Haringey social workers to avert the child's death. What a shocking contrast this provides to the behaviour of East Sussex social workers in the case I reported a month ago, which led to their seizure and putting out for adoption of a girl, now seven years old, from a respectable middle-class home, to the anguish of both her parents and the little girl herself.
The chief reason offered by the social workers for abducting the girl two years ago was that her home had been left in an appalling mess after a raid by RSPCA officials and 18 policemen. They ransacked the premises looking for non-existent guns, and released into the house a pack of dogs kept in kennels outside by her father, a professional dog-breeder. The parents were arrested for protesting at what was happening (the mother suffering a miscarriage while in police custody) and the social workers were summoned to remove their daughter.
Everything about this case is bizarre, not least the apparent complicity of social workers, lawyers and the courts in determining that the child should not be returned to her parents, as she wishes, but rather, after two years in foster care, sent for adoption.
I have now been able to read through many papers relating to the case, including the judgments resulting from the 74 hearings in which the parents attempted to get their daughter back. What stands out is the startling contrast between the two totally different versions of the case given by the social workers and the courts on one hand and, on the other, that presented by the parents themselves and by many who knew them. The latter include their GP, who recently wrote that he had never "encountered such a case of appalling injustice".
The most impressive document was a report by an independent social worker, based on many interviews with those involved, including the child herself and the chief social worker in charge of her. In measured terms, this made mincemeat of the council's case. Nothing about it is more suspicious than the contrast between descriptions of the "clean and tidy" home reported by those who knew the family well and the mess allegedly found by the policemen who burst into it mob-handed on the day in question.
The report found an equally glaring contrast between the social workers' insistence that the child was quite happy to have been removed from her parents, and the abundant evidence, observed at first-hand, that the little girl had an extremely good relationship with her parents and wants nothing more than to be reunited with them. The courts seem to have totally ignored this report, whose author last month expressed astonishment that the child had not been returned home.
What has also come to light is a remarkable judgment by Lord Justice Thorpe and Lord Justice Wall in the Appeal Court last year, in another case which also involved the apparently ruthless determination of East Sussex social workers to send a child for adoption. The judges were fiercely critical. The social workers' conduct, said Lord Justice Thorpe, could only reinforce the suspicions of those who believe "councils have a secret agenda to establish a high score of children they have placed for adoption".

Details on foster children kept from carers, says report by Fostering Network

Thousands of foster carers are welcoming children into their homes without being given the full facts about the childrens past, including whether they were victims of abuse.
More than half of all foster carers in Britain (51 per cent) say that in the past three years they have been given inadequate information about a child in their care, which has put themselves, their own children and even the foster child at risk.
A third of carers said that they were not told about the childs full medical requirements, almost half were not informed about a history of abuse and two thirds said that they were not made aware of a childs general behaviour.
The research was conducted by the Fostering Network, which represents the 43,000 foster carers in Britain, and comes a decade after two court rulings made clear that local authorities could be sued for failing to meet a duty of care towards foster families. Despite this, social workers are routinely failing to pass on all the necessary information despite assurances that they regard foster carers as equal partners in their work.
Robert Tapsfield, the chief executive of the Fostering Network, said that the findings were extremely worrying. The system is clearly failing to provide foster carers with the information and support they need to care for children safely, putting them, their families and the children in their care at risk, he said. It is accepted and agreed that local authorities have a duty of care to foster carers and their families, as well as to children in care. The regulations and standards are not being implemented, despite high-profile court rulings, and this is cause for great concern. Foster carers should be treated as childcare experts and equal members of the childcare workforce. They are professionals and should be recognised, respected and supported as such.
Mr Tapsfield will meet Baroness Morgan of Drefelin, the Childrens Minister, and request that she write to all local authorities to remind them of their legal duty to ensure that all foster carers are fully informed about the children in their care.
Joanna Nicolas, an independent social worker, said that problems were caused by too many placements being made in a hurry once a previous placement had broken down.
Staff were forced to fill in numerous forms, repeating the same basic information, and so did not have enough time to sit down with the new foster carer and explain the potential risks and problems, she said.
Ms Nicolas also believes that too many social workers are confused about their legal duties with regard to sharing information on a child. For many social workers it may appear like a grey area. The law makes clear that in matters of child protection, any data protection and human rights issues are overridden. But if it is a lower-level concern, such as a child in need, social workers do not have the right to share information without parental consent, so a lot of fine judgments have to be made, she said.

War on Women and Children by Maggie Tuttle

In 1943 I was born in Winston Green Prison Birmingham to a woman who called herself a mother. She was to me the wickedest woman on the planet; she was sentenced because she had gone to London heavily pregnant with me and left a two year old and three year old to look after themselves in the streets at the time my father was serving in the war. On her release from prison a judge order that I be kept at home with her to help stabilize her, my two sisters went into foster care.
So for 13 years I had to endure being beaten, starved, no education, locked for days in a room whilst she was out or away. I had no voice, and at the age of seven I jumped from the bedroom window so that I could end a terrible life; sadly at the time I lived. Who gave a damn and where were the do-gooders, and the judges?
I was just one of millions of children worldwide forced by governments to live a life that there are no words to describe to anyone, nor would anyone understand the plights of abused children, unless they have lived through the same situation.
It is a fact that apart from my two sisters in foster care, I have three other sisters buried in the Leicester cemetery and one child who she burnt in the garden.
She (I can never utter that word M as I never had a true M) left when I was 13 and since then my father who was a good man but totally influenced by her, and had been since the day he married her, suddenly gave me all the things a child should have food, care and love. But most of all he allowed me freedom of speech. Wow can you imagine I am allowed to say what I want at the age of 13?
So here we are, she has gone, and I then made a vow to myself, there will never be anyone in this world to ever rule me or my brain again. For this reason I have never once in my life taken drugs or alcohol. No man, women, politician or government will ever tell me what to do, not without an argument or after they have finished what they started out to do, which is to kill me via their system.
But tell me; has life for a child from my days changed for the better? NO, it has got worse, and still grandparents and dads have no rights, unless they can afford the courts, and in most cases they still get no rights.
Moving On
At the age of 17, I left Leicester and went to London, from where I studied music for two years. After two years I started travelling the world in show biz as a singer, and it was from here I got educated.
On my travels no matter where I was in the world, I was made aware of the childrens sufferings, maybe I kept seeing myself as a child, but my tears were there for them. You cannot go to university or sit in an office or a court and know of the torture of how children are abused and threatened that if they speak out to anyone about what is happening to them they will fear for their little lives, perhaps more beatings, sexual assaults, oh my God the pain.
I remember speaking to a lady who said she was abused by the system, locked in a room for days alone, and for a drink had to drink her own urine. She was age 5. And so it went on until she was able to run away.

Transcript of speech made to the House of Commons, by Sue Reid

It will sound more like life in Stalin'sRussia or Englands Dark Ageswhen women were convicted of witchcrafton concocted allegations, thenburned at the stake.
Yet the destruction of British familiesin the name of state childprotection has frightening similarities.
And it is being encouraged by theGovernment, the legal system, themedical establishment and above all ourby the fatally flawed social services.
In the 22 years since the Cleveland childabuse scandal, when 121children were ripped from innocentfamilies on the say-so of a maverickgroup of doctors and social workers verylittle has changed for thebetter in child protection.
If anything, things have got worse. Andat the heart of the problem arethe deceptively named family courts,which operate behind shut doors inevery town and city up and down the land.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Vetting contact rule under review

The government is to look again at how a new vetting system for those working with children will operate.
England's Children's Secretary Ed Balls said it was "tremendously important" to define "frequent or intensive" contact correctly.
He has asked the chairman of the new Independent Safeguarding Authority to review this and report by December.
The Tories said the plan was still too "vague" amid fears it could affect the running of sport and other clubs.
Mr Balls stressed the rules would not apply where, for example, parents agreed to give friends' children "a lift to school or to Cubs".
"Nor will it cover instances where parents work with children at school or a youth club on 'an occasional or one-off basis'."
He announced the reappraisal in a letter to the chairman of the Commons children, schools and families committee, Barry Sheerman.
Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling said: "All of this is so vague that in reality clubs and other organisations up and down the country will act to be on the safe side.
"So they'll register all of the parents who are involved even loosely. So the result is we'll get this huge expensive and cumbersome bureaucracy as well as volunteers giving up."
Lib Dem home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne welcomed the review as the plans "were so disproportionate that they were going to put off masses of people from volunteering".
Children's charity the NSPCC said new procedures were needed but called on the government to provide more detailed information about how the scheme would work.
It said the new scheme "must be introduced carefully, in a way that does not inadvertently penalise children, weaken community relationships, or provide parents with a false sense of security".
Mr Balls said the scheme had been introduced via legislation in parliament, following the Bichard inquiry into the murders of two schoolgirls in Soham.
It requires those working with children or with vulnerable adults, either on a paid or voluntary basis, to be on a register of suitability which employers can check.
The system will be phased in from next month and will operate in England, Wales and Northern Ireland from next year. A different scheme is being introduced in Scotland.
Mr Balls said there had generally been very strong support for the scheme during extensive consultation.
"Recently, however, some concerns have been expressed about the precise interpretation of a particular aspect of the scheme; that is, the degree of contact with children which should trigger the requirement to register," he added.
There had been "some inaccurate and misleading reports".

Friday, 11 September 2009


A doctor who was commissioned by the family courts to do research on personality disorders has revealed there are many more than first thought.
Dr Pindick was paid Pfund1000567987 by a family judge to assess thousands of parents whos children had been removed by social services.
He discovered that the new personality disorders include
loath and despise syndrome ..... a parents hatred of social workers
your all corrupt lying bastards syndrome..... a parents hatred of family courts.
stick your order up your arse syndrome....... parents refusing to be gagged.
He also discovered a new strain of turrets after observing many parents using language such as " fuck ss, fuck CAFCASS, all lying bastards, twats, Wankers "
He proclaimed these to be wildly abnormal and sectioned all parents to a mental institution on remote island in the Hebrides.
Our reporter visited the hospital and witnessed thousands of parents wearing a straight gag which is a new device fitted around the mouth to prevent them saying obscenities.

Adoption parties aim to match parents with hard-to-place children

Youngsters repeatedly passed over by potential adoptive parents are to meet families over food, drink and games.
Adoption parties that bring hard-to-place children together with prospective parents over food, drinks and games are to be held by the British Association for Adoption and Fostering.
The agency hopes that the controversial events will increase the chances of finding homes for young people repeatedly passed over by potential adoptive parents, such as those aged over five, sibling groups, children of black and minority ethnic origin, and those with mental and physical disabilities.
"It's true that these parties show we are moving up the tariff of risk in the ways we are being forced to seek out families for these children," admitted Mo O'Reilly, director of child placement for the BAAF. "But the truth is that if we don't take this step, these children face the even greater risk of remaining unplaced, perhaps for ever. The project will help children for whom all other family-finding methods have failed and who face a life of multiple moves around foster homes.
"We need to go to the next level for these children," she said. "At the moment, they're not finding families because their disadvantages are building up in the adopters' imaginations, stopping them being able to see the ordinary children behind their difficult circumstances or behaviours.
"This is not just about putting some jelly and ice-cream in a parish hall and inviting everyone along," she added. "We are going to hold these parties professionally and in the best way that we know how, and we are pretty optimistic that these parties could be a success."

Cafcass; Post-baby Peter hike in care cases continues

Applications for first four months of 2009-10 almost 75% higher than first quarter of 2008-9
Cafcass has revealed that the increase in care order applications to the family courts in the wake of the baby Peter case shows no sign of slowing, with Julys total just below the record high of June.
The family courts body received 755 section 31 care and supervision order requests in July, 270 more than in the same month last year and only 19 fewer than June 2009s record of 774.
Julys figure brings the total for the first third of the 2009-10 financial year to 2,826, almost 75% higher than the same period last year, and averages out at 707 per month, compared with 408 over the same time last year.
As well as increasing cost pressures on Cafcass, the rise in applications is hitting local authorities, who have been responsible for paying court fees of up to Pfund4,825 per case since May 2008, up from Pfund150.
Cafcass family court advisers ensure the rights of children are represented in care cases.
Care summit planned
Cafcass, the Local Government Association and the Association of Directors of Childrens Services plan a joint summit later in the year to discuss the trends in care applications and the impact on children and families.

PM Brown declared 'too ill to run UK'

"The Prime Minister of Great Britain is a man too ill to be holding the Office." This was the conclusion last week of a senior civil servant liaising regularly with Gordon Brown. For reasons which will become clear, the person involved will not go public with the evidence for this conclusion. The same applies to a high-ranking Treasury official who told us "In both a physical and mental sense, the Prime Minister is a very sick man, seriously disabled." Three years ago, an Opposition MP told nby "He is on extremely heavy doses of cutting-edge anti-depressants, but so far they have made little difference". And during the last fortnight, another high-ranking government source claimed "He is now on pills which restrict the foods he can eat and what he can drink. He is losing the sight of his good eye quite rapidly. It's a mess, and nobody knows what to do".
Rumours have circulated about Gordon Brown's health for a number of years. As long ago as 2004, Simon Heffer wrote in the Spectator that he displayed many signs of Asperger's syndrome: humourlessness, lack of irony and obsessional behaviour patterns. Nby itself ran a long piece in February 2007, predicting fairly accurately how Brown's rigid responses to given situations would prove to be inappropriate, and his behaviour in the end dysfunctional. We noted at the time 'If the Labour Party can organise seventy-three signatories to a document of intent named 'Anyone but Gordon', then there must be something about the man which might make him unfit to be Prime Minister'. In fact, we had already been advised by then that the PM had been on large doses of SSRI anti-depressants - the class of drugs derived from Prozac.
The overall story is well known in lobbyist circles. A senior member of this group told us that "Brown is in a very dark place. Sarah [hiswife, Mrs Brown] has begged him on several occasions to seek help, but he resists most offers of advice." Yet another popular journalist said "I'm afraid all the stories about him throwing things around and screaming at secretaries are entirely true. He behaves impeccably in public and can really turn on the charm when he needs to in private - but inside the bunker he behaves appallingly. He's also binging on junk food late at night - you can see he's gaining weight".

We Live In A Nazi World Ruled By Nazi Leaders, We Have To Stop This Genocide.

We are all aware of the Nazi eugenics programs. What we arent aware of are the chilling comparisons between the Nazi Lebensborn program and contemporary American Child Protective Services (CPS) programs. Simplistically, it can be described as follows: In the U.S. parens patriae is the legal principle used to justify state sanctioned kidnapping of children from their families in order to protect them. In Nazi Germany, the Lebensborn program was legally used to justify the kidnapping of Aryan looking children from occupied territories to be Germanized; to be raised as good Germans (younger children) or designated as breeders for the German race to produce 2 3 racially pure children then be killed (older children). But, in reality, the comparison is more complicated and more horrifying than that. PARENS PATRIAE is a legal term in American law that is defined as The right of the government to take care of minors and others who cannot legally take care of themselves.
In a Nazi booklet published by SS Gruppenfuehrer Rediess, The SS for Greater Germany with Sword and Cradle, speaking about the recently Nazi occupied country of Denmark as it related to the Lebensborn program, the German position is stated as, This people is a Germanic people, and hence it is our duty to educate its children and young people and to make the Norwegians a Nordic people again as we understand the term.
The similarity between these two principles is that a government has assumed a certain authority, either by law or by fiat, over the population. This authority can be as extensive or limited as the government chooses and as the population will endure. In both stated instances, the governments assumed authority over children.
The majority of reasonably intelligent people today recognize that Nazi attempts to designate one race as superior to others based on physical racial characteristics was nothing more than superstitious bigotry unsupported by science.
The Nazis actually created a science of racial studies, endorsed by experts and supported with manufactured scientific evidence, in order to support their pet theory that the so-called Aryan race was superior to all others.
They had panels of experts, advisory councils, college courses, and specially trained bureaucrats to develop and implement their racial hygiene policies.
This cadre of experts would devise, implement, oversee, evaluate and propagandize the various racial hygiene programs, including Lebensborn. Nazi society abounded with popular literature, textbooks, and manuals touting this most important Nazi platform. Nazi Germany was inundated with racially based propaganda which extolled the virtues of the Aryan and justified the solutions imposed on inferior races.
Of Pure Blood by Marc Hillel and Clarissa Henry is a 1976 book detailing the Nazi Lebensborn program.

Torture case raises questions over social services

The two brothers involved in the Edlington torture case were well known to social services, the police and the education service, raising questions over whether the tragedy could have been prevented.
At the time of the attack, one was subject to a supervision order after he was convicted of battery and the other was on bail charged with actual bodily harm and burglary.
And in the days before the main attack, the brothers attacked two other youngsters in Edlington.
Children's services in the South Yorkshire town have been under tremendous public scrutiny following the deaths of a number of children known to social workers.
The fact the two boys were known to the department will only increase the pressure on the council. Questions will also be asked about whether more should have been done after they attacked two other young boys in the days leading up to the main incident.
Few details have been released about social services' involvement with the two young defendants and their family. Court hearings have been told both boys were on the child protection register and both had been expelled from school. At the time of the attack, both boys had been placed in foster care in the Edlington area. They had only been there since March 10 about three weeks before the attack.

'More babies should be taken into care to protect them from poor parents'

More new-born children need to be taken into care to stop them being damaged beyond repair by poor parents, according to Martin Narey, chief executive of the children's charity Barnardo's
Mr Narey called for less focus on ''fixing families that can't be fixed'' and for social workers to be more pro-active about removing children at risk.
His comments come in the wake of last week's court case involving two young brothers from Doncaster who viciously attacked an 11-year-old boy and his nine-year-old nephew. The siblings were under the care of social services at the time.
Mr Narey told The Observer: ''We can't keep trying to fix families that are completely broken. It sounds terrible, but I think we try too hard with birth parents.
''I have seen children sent back to homes that I certainly wouldn't have sent them back to. I have been extremely surprised at decisions taken.

'Uppity' parents who challenge the authorities 'risk having children taken away'

"Uppity" parents who challenge doctors or councils over their children's upbringing are increasingly at risk of having them taken away, it has been claimed.
Local authorities are using proceedings in the family courts as "retaliation" against parents who question doctors' diagnoses of their children or challenge other decisions, according to an MP.
John Hemming, the Liberal Democrat MP for Birmingham Yardley, who coordinates a campaign called Justice for Families, which calls for reform of the family court system, said that the practice was becoming common.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

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Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Celeb child case tests media access to family courts

The media's new right to attend family court proceedings should only be overturned in the most exceptional circumstances, the President of the Family Division has been told.
When applications were being made to exclude the media from such hearings, the media also had a right to be properly informed of the application and the reasons behind it, said Gavin Millar QC, representing a group of media organisations.
His comments came at a hearing yesterday at which the media were opposing an application they should be excluded from hearings in a case involving a celebrity, a child and the child's mother.
The hearing was in private, although journalists were allowed to attend.
Richard Spearman QC, for the celebrity, had argued that as a general rule in cases involving celebrities and their children, the requirement to protect their privacy would require that journalists should be excluded from the hearings.
He also argued that protection of celebrities and children's privacy meant that when applications were made for journalists to be excluded from all or parts of hearings, the media should not be told the reasons on which such applications were based.
The case is the first in which the Family Division has had to consider the operation of the new system of openness in the family court and the rule allowing the exclusion of journalists from all or parts of hearings in certain circumstances.
It is believed that Sir Mark Potter, President of the Family Division, intends to use the case to set out guidance for the courts on the approach to be taken.
The new rules allowing the media into family proceedings hearings provide that journalists may be excluded from all or part of a hearing if this is necessary in the interests of any child concerned in or connected with the proceedings, or for the safety or protection of a party or witness or person connected with such a person, or for the orderly conduct of proceedings, or if justice would otherwise be impeded or prejudiced.

MP's fears at child risk register

A Somerset MP has raised concerns about the safety of data held for the government's new child register scheme.
ContactPoint will retain records of all 11 million children in the UK. It aims to provide a database to be used by those working in child protection.
Weston-super-Mare MP John Penrose said he was worried that the data collected in the project could be lost.
However Wansdyke MP Dan Norris, a former social worker, said the data was vital to safeguard children.
The information contained by ContactPoint will be accessible to at least 390,000 people nationwide, including health visitors and social workers.
It aims to provide a single point of contact to help avoid tragedies such as the Victoria Climbie and Baby Peter cases.

Grandparents are left out of the family picture too often

When parents separate, grandparents can find themselves cut off from grandchildren with no rights. The law should change
Stage lights sway beside the tall trees in Regents Park theatre on Saturday night, casting a golden glow on Beatrice and her reluctant wooer, Benedick. It was shivering cold, but our hearts were warm, first because of the play, but also because I was there in the company of my grandson. Much Ado had been a set text at school so he got the plot and understood the rude jokes as much as I did. The following morning we were off again, just the two of us, grandma and grandson, heading for the British Library and its exhibition of Henry VIII. Yes, my grandson is already in his teens and enjoys these one-to-one weekends almost as much as I do.
Jimmy and Margaret Deuchars in Glasgow had a fine time with their granddaughters at half-term, too. The two teenagers stayed over in their home and went on outings to Loch Lomond and such, just the sort of treats grandparents enjoy sharing. But in Jimmy and Margarets case it hasnt always been that easy.
The Deuchars lost their daughter to breast cancer only weeks after her second baby was born. Her husband soon married again and moved away to Liverpool. His new family took precedence in his life and the grandparents found contact hard. Their requests to keep in touch came to nothing. They realised that they had lost more than their daughter. But they werent willing to accept the situation, and went to court. The laws of this country do not acknowledge any legal relationship between grandparents and grandchildren. However, after a somewhat heated negotiation, the families came to an agreement. In the years that followed they would meet their granddaughters once a month at Carlisle Castle or the Tesco near by. It wasnt much of a family life, but it would have to do. However, they didnt stop there.
When I was first a grandparent, about 17 years ago, grandparents didnt have much of a profile. They were simply bundled in with the general family background and not expected to have much of a role. All that has changed, and people such as Miriam Stoppard are writing delicious books about the joys and rewards, but also about the skills and pitfalls of what I suppose must be called grand parenting. Being a grandparent, it seems to me, can be gloriously free of rule books and restrictions. There is only one qualification parentage and after that you make it up as you go along.

Closing the gap on shortage of social workers in West Sussex

West Sussex County Council is starting to 'close the gap' on a shortage of social workers in children's services, members were told.
Cllr James Walsh asked how many of the vacancies required to be filled to meet the demands of the children's delivery programme had been filled since the council last met.
Leader Cllr Henry Smith said he did not have an exact figure to date, but he could say that Pfund500,000 of extra investment provided earlier this year had resulted in more children's social workers being recruited.
"We are starting to close the gap on the number of social worker vacancies for children's services, and for adults' services as well," he added.
This was a key priority for the county council, but it was very
difficult to get people to enter social care at the moment hardly
surprising given the extreme adverse publicity the profession had faced in the last year or so.
The situation was particularly challenging in West Sussex, which was competing with authorities in Greater London for staff.
"This is something we have an absolute commitment to resolve," he told the council.
Cllr Smith was questioned by Cllr Irene Richards about why a target set under a 'local area agreement' involving the county council, police, health service and other local authorities for reducing fatal and serious road accidents had not been met, and whether any additional measures were proposed to achieve this.

Partnership rights in place for gay couples by end of year

THE CIVIL Partnership Bill giving statutory rights to gay and lesbian couples will be enacted and operational by the end of the year, the Government said yesterday.
The Bill was published yesterday by Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern.
It will allow same-sex couples to register their civil partnership and allow them to enjoy the same statutory protection as married couples across a wide range of areas. However, it stops short of allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry.
The rights and obligations include the protection of a shared home, pension rights, the right to succession and equality with married couples of treatment under the tax and social welfare codes.
According to the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network, thousands of couples in Ireland will be in a position to register their relationship from early next year.
The second major feature of the Bill is a new redress scheme for unmarried cohabiting opposite-sex couples, and for same-sex couples who have not registered.
The scheme will afford protection to a financially dependent person when a long-term relationship comes to an end. The cohabitation scheme covers a number of scenarios, including bereavement and the break-up of a relationship.
Green Party leader and Minister for the Environment John Gormley welcomed the Bill, calling it a major breakthrough for gay and lesbian couples in Irish society. He said it had involved many meetings with Mr Ahern and his officials, and had taken a lot of time because of its complex nature.I believe its the start of a process and today is a major step forward in terms of equality.
Mr Gormley said the party still favoured marriage rights for gay and lesbian people. He said any move in that direction was contingent on the outcome of the case that has been taken by Ann Louise Gilligan and Katherine Zappone to have their Canadian marriage recognised in Ireland.

Social services knew toddler was in danger - but failed to stop her being kicked to death by babysitter

Social services are in the dock again after a toddler was left to die at the hands of a schoolboy babysitter despite repeated warnings that she was in grave danger.
Demi-Leigh Mahon, two, was punched, kicked and bitten by 15-year-old Karl McCluney, while her drug-addict mother was out collecting child benefit.
The little girl suffered at least 68 separate injuries.
As McCluney was convicted of murder the catalogue of failings by social services was finally revealed.
An independent report found that social workers should have taken action. They knew that Demi-Leigh was being raised in a drugs den.
Members of the public and neighbours had told children's services that the child was left crying a lot and that her mother, Ann-Marie McDonald, was injecting heroin and was unable to care for her.
Police had reports of domestic abuse.
Yet at no point did social services intervene, and Demi-Leigh was never placed on the 'at risk' register.
The case is the second in two years in which Salford social services - branded inadequate by Ofsted in 2007 - have been found to be at fault.
However, no one has been disciplined over the errors which enabled Demi-Leigh's mother to leave her daughter with McCluney, who had previously threatened to beat up a teacher and stab another man.
In March last year 31-year-old Miss McDonald - known as Sindy - was given a rehabilitation order after being convicted of supplying heroin and cocaine from her flat in Eccles, near Manchester. But she failed to comply and took Demi-Leigh to a friend's flat, resulting in a warrant for her arrest.
On July 15, she left her daughter with McCluney at his father's flat. It was his 15th birthday. When Demi-Leigh began crying he flew into a rage. He subjected the defenceless toddler to an appalling assault, punching her in the face, biting her and kicking her.
View summaries of the case reviews here.

Michael Jackson dies

King of pop music, Michael Jackson has died. He was 50.
As news of his death came through, CNN interviewing legend Larry King said this world is a sad place tonight.
He dies at a time when he was planning one of the biggest comebacks in pop history and was lined-up for gigs in Britain.
Zimdiaspora joins the music fans around the world in mourning the passing of the greatest entertainer of our generation. We cannot imagine the impact his death will have from around the world, including Zimbabwe, Victorial Falls and Harare where he visited in the late 1990s.
Michael suffered a cardiac arrest earlier this afternoon at his Holmby Hill home and paramedics were unable to revive him. We're told when paramedics arrived Jackson had no pulse and they never got a pulse back.
Michael is survived by three children: Michael Joseph Jackson, Jr., Paris Michael Katherine Jackson and Prince "Blanket" Michael Jackson II.
In 2004, Jackson seriously considered a touring Zimbabwe, South Africa and Senegal to raise money to fight AIDS.
Jackson had 13 number one hits during his solo career.
Michael Jackson is referred to as King of Pop in the same manner that "The King of Rock and Roll" is given to rock legend Elvis Presley.
The title "King of Pop" was allegedly first coined by Elizabeth Taylor. The term has commonly been mistaken as being "self proclaimed" by Michael Jackson, though it was his fans that first gave him the title, which was later accepted by mainstream.
Critics have questioned whether Michael Jackson is still the King of Pop. His 1982 album Thriller is the best-selling all-original album of all time, with over 59 million records sold to date.
In February of 2005, Michael Jackson's Thriller music video was voted No.1 on the UK Channel 4's vote for the 100 Greatest Pop Videos of all time.
Michael Joseph Jackson (born August 29, 1958, in Gary, Indiana), is an African-American singer, dancer, screenwriter, songwriter, record producer and one of the recognizable names in the world. Jackson began his career as the lead singer of Motown act The Jackson 5 in the 1960s and 1970s. After beginning a full-fledged solo career in 1979, Jackson went on to become one of the most successful solo artists in music history .He is known as the King of the Music Video and the King of Pop, a nickname that Elizabeth Taylor gave him in 1989 during an awards ceremony.
He has, however, been dogged by media fascination with his alleged transracially changing physical appearance and what some perceive as an eccentric lifestyle, resulting in his being nicknamed Wacko Jacko. Jackson's skin color, which he attributes to vitiligo, is believed to have been bleached by some. Jackson uses makeup in his public appearances, and is protected from the sun by a parasol when he is outdoors. Jackson believes that the media's coverage of him is fueled by racism. Jackson and others claimed, that in 2002, he outsold Elvis Presley, the first white rock star. Comparisons with Elvis are difficult to verify due to the lack of reliable sales information.

Findings due in child death probes

A local authority's child protection system is due to come under fresh scrutiny.
Doncaster Children Safeguarding Board is publishing the findings of the serious case reviews into the deaths of Amy Howson and Alfie Goddard, who were both known to the town's social services department.
The deaths placed the local authority under the national spotlight after it emerged that seven children had died while under the care of Doncaster Council's children's services department since 2004.
Sixteen-month-old Amy died in December 2007 after her spine was snapped in two. Her father, James Howson, 25, from Nelson Road, Doncaster, was found guilty of her murder and sentenced to a minimum of 22 years in prison.
The toddler was malnourished and dehydrated and had been punched and slapped on numerous occasions, suffering fractures to her arms, legs and ribs.
Alfie, from the Toll Bar area of Doncaster, was just three months old when he died at Sheffield Children's Hospital in May 2008.
A post-mortem examination showed he had suffered a fatal head injury two days earlier. His father, Craig Goddard, 24, squeezed, shook and then threw him to the floor after he lost his temper when he refused to stop crying. Goddard had been drinking and had smoked several cannabis joints.

Judge's concern over lack of family court reporting

A judge has today spoken of her disappointment that few journalists are taking up the opportunity to report on family court proceedings.
The Ministry of Justice opened up the family courts to the media at the end of April as part of plans for greater openness in the justice system.
But Lynn Roberts, a judge at the Principal Registry of the Family Division in London, told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme that, after the initial interest, journalists were not attending day-to-day hearings.
And she said it was a shame that journalists only appeared to be interested in the more high-profile cases involving celebrities.
"There was a lot of enthusiasm on the first day - I had three journalists in my court on the first day - but I haven't seen anybody since," she told the programme this morning.
"I think it's going to be cases which are perceived to be of particular public interest rather than the run-of-the-mill cases, which I think in a way is a bit of shame because it would be helpful if the public got an idea of what's happening on a day-to-day basis rather than the spectacular celebrity cases."
Roberts added: "We have a very good system in my view and I'm quite proud of how we do things and I think it would be very good for more people to understand how we reach these very difficult decisions."
Times journalist Camilla Cavendish, who won British Press Awards campaign of the year for her battle to open up the family courts, said: "It is still extremely unclear what we can report on and what we can read.
"The Family court relies heavily on expert witness documents, which are not accessible to the press.

Gas death family's 'justice wait'

The family of two children who died on a holiday in Corfu have reacted angrily after a manslaughter trial was delayed until February.
Christi Shepherd, seven, and her six-year-old brother Robert, of Horbury, West Yorkshire, died of carbon monoxide poisoning in October 2006.
Thomas Cook holiday reps Richard Carson, 27, and Nicola Gibson, 25, face charges of manslaughter and negligence.
The family said Thomas Cook's request for an adjournment was "disrespectful".
The trial was due to start on Thursday but was adjourned until 4 February after legal applications by the defendants.
Paul Wood, the children's stepfather, read a statement saying: "Unfortunately Thomas Cook led us to believe that they wouldn't request the case to be adjourned.
"They continue to play these games with the memory of our children Christi and Bobby and we find this extremely disrespectful.
"We flew from England at great personal cost because we have faith in the Greek justice system. Our pain for the loss of our children cannot be expressed in words.
"We wish for the legal process to come to an end soon, doing justice to our children's memories so we can then try to rebuild our lives."
The defendants are accused of causing manslaughter by negligence in relation to the children, and of causing bodily injury by negligence to Mr Shepherd and Ms Beatson, who recovered after being overcome by fumes.
Ten Greeks, including staff from the Louis Corcyra Beach Hotel in Gouvia, where the family were staying, were also due to be tried.
Mr Shepherd and Ms Beatson flew to Corfu for the trial, as did the children's mother Sharon Wood and her husband Paul.

Agencies failed to safeguard baby

Opportunities to intervene before a 16-month-old girl was killed by her father "were missed" by social services and other agencies, an inquiry has found.
Amy Howson, from Doncaster, South Yorkshire, had her spine snapped by her father James in December 2007.
A serious case review found the town's children's services team failed to take proper action to safeguard the girl, who also was beaten several times.
It identified "three key missed opportunities" to intervene.
Howson, of Nelson Road, Doncaster, was jailed for life with a minimum term of 22 years after being convicted of Amy's murder.
Her mother Tina Hunt was given a 12-month sentence suspended for two years after admitting she allowed the death of a child and child cruelty.
The serious case review referred to Amy as Child B.
In its conclusion, it said: "The murder of Child B by her father... was not predictable given the information and knowledge held on him and other family members by agencies.
"However, there was sufficient information and knowledge on family members, including (the father), held by individual agencies to conclude that, on balance, both Child B and (another child) were at risk of significant harm from him.
"Some agencies within the Doncaster multi-agency child protection system failed to follow basic safeguarding procedures and did not take proper and effective action to safeguard and promote the welfare of Child B and (the other child)."
The review also concluded an "inter-agency working and communications were deficient".
It identified "three key missed opportunities for agencies to intervene with a proper assessment and subsequent child protection plan".

Social services failures resulted in 16-month-old girl's murder

Doncaster agencies failed to follow basic procedures in case of Amy Howson, who died when her spine was snapped by her father, says inquiry report
A series of errors meant child protection agencies missed several opportunities to intervene to protect a 16-month-old girl physically abused and finally murdered by her violent father, a inquiry has found.
Social workers, schools and health visitors all failed to follow basic safeguarding procedures in the case of Amy Howson, from Doncaster, South Yorkshire, who died when her spine was broken by her father, the serious case review says. She had been punched and slapped on numerous occasions in the four weeks before her death, leaving her with fractures to her arms, legs and ribs.
A separate serious case review into the death from abuse of another Doncaster youngster, three-month-old Alfie Goddard, concluded that although there had been no prior evidence of abuse, safeguarding agencies failed to recognise important signs that he was at risk. Alfie died of head injuries after being violently shaken and thrown to the floor by his father.
Although much of the media focus on child protection in recent months has been on Haringey, the council in north London at the centre of the Baby P tragedy, Doncaster has been for some time a focus of concerns about child safeguarding. Seven children known to Doncaster's social services have died as a result of abuse or neglect since 2004.
An Ofsted inspection last year branded children's services in the town "inadequate"and the decision by the children's secretary, Ed Balls, to send in outside experts to overhaul the services helped trigger the departure of former mayor, Martin Winter, who announced in March that he would not be standing for re-election.
The review into the circumstances leading up to Amy's death in December 2007 found social workers and schools critically failed to act on two occasions when presented with evidence of aggressive behaviour by her father, James Howson.

Child protection: cash 'not the reason for failures'

The leader of Dundee City Council today said he agreed with the Scottish Government that a lack of central funding was not responsible for the failures in the citys child protection services (writes David Clegg).
It had appeared Councillor Ken Guild was at odds with his SNP colleagues in Holyrood yesterday when he confirmed the council had set aside an extra Pfund500,000 to help fund improvements.
That was despite the Scottish Government claiming improving childrens services in the city was not about spending more a view echoed by Dundees two SNP MSPs, Shona Robison and Joe FitzPatrick.
But speaking to the Tele today, Mr Guild said he agreed that money was not the solution to the problem and that the Pfund500,000 had only been put aside in the event it was needed.
I would absolutely agree (with the government), he said.
We are looking at ways of improving how the system works. What we have said now is that if we need to spend money rapidly it will be there. But the solution is not to throw money at it we need to ensure the existing service is mobilised so it works properly.
But I know there has been considerable pressure from the opposition politicians to throw money at it. If we do find we need to spend money to improve the service it will be there on standby.
The money has been set aside as part of an improvement plan for child protection in light of this weeks damning report into child protection services in the city.
Inspectors found major deficiencies and said they were not confident children at risk were not being identified or receiving the protection they needed.
The report sparked calls from Labour and Tories for a review of Scotlands child protection services and an increase in funding.
Rory Malone, Dundee branch secretary of the union Unison, also claimed a lack of government funding was behind the poor performance.

Let's get rid of social work's blame culture

Social workers should be able to complain without being sacked, and be allowed make practice mistakes in a supportive learning environment, says Liz Davies
I recently visited Maria Ward and Gillie Christou the social worker and team manager, respectively, for Baby Peter. It was how I imagine it might be visiting someone under house arrest. Shutters drawn, secret venues, sneaking out at night when no one would recognise them, and jumping at every sound. I've also spoken to Lisa Arthurworrey this week, social worker for Victoria Climbie.
Nearly 10 years on from Victoria's death and having presented evidence at the criminal trial of the murderers, the serious case review, the Haringey disciplinary hearings, employment tribunals and appeal, the appeal against the General Social Care Council (GSCC) for refusing her social worker registration, and the appeal to the Care Standards Tribunal against her name being placed on the Protection of Children Act list, Lisa is also mainly confined to her house. She is also 10 years older and still awaits GSCC registration three years after a judge said she was fit for practice "as of today".
This is a very depressing picture to paint for my social work students who fear that when they make a mistake, which is inevitable in a profession that works with the complexity of human beings, they may also be subject to such relentless punishment.
Maria and Gillie have just begun these legal processes with three sets of investigations ongoing. They have already given evidence at two serious case reviews, the criminal trial, and the GSCC and Haringey disciplinary hearings. Thanks to a recent House of Lords ruling, no social worker can be placed on the Protection of Children Act list without a hearing. It is also to be hoped that the legal decision in Lisa's case about the use of the list for professional mistakes as "an unusual occurrence, to be used only in the most clear cut of cases" will bode well for them in this respect.
Nevres Kemal, social worker and whistleblower, was sacked by Haringey council but fought it at employment tribunal and won an out of court settlement. She remains out of work, despite still being registered. Who wants to employ a whistleblower? These are four ex-Haringey social workers who have no salaries and no professional employment, and three who fear public recrimination every moment of every day.
What can be done to end this misery? None of these social workers acted maliciously in any way. They all worked very hard, often late into the night, struggled with massive caseloads, lack of quality supervision and essential child protection training and practiced in the midst of service uncertainty and restructuring. All of them had previous spotless employment records; in fact Maria was made into a permanent worker after Baby Peter's death. Having supported Lisa through her various hearings I wonder where Maria and Gillie will have got to in nine years time. There has to be another way.

Today's tragic victim, tomorrow's feral brat

Frankly, it's distressing how illogical we are about cruelty to children. Remember the national spasm of grief when we saw that smudgy picture of Baby P: the blond curls, the wistful expression? We grieved like sentimental saps, gripped by the thought of the poor soul dying in agony, unloved and abused. And we hugged our own children tighter, congratulating ourselves that they would never experience anything like Peter's brief, terrible existence. I did it; every mother did it. It was a kind of surreptitious mother porn.
And then we promptly switched off our brains to wait for the next harrowing death. Where was the outcry when we read of the thousands of children, some only 18 months older than Peter, who are excluded from primary school for bad behaviour? Nowhere to be seen.
Where was the special response to the evidence of biting, swearing, kicking and inappropriate sexual behaviour among infants - other than the usual litany of moans: it's dreadful, isn't it? An indictment of society. It has to be dealt with, punished. Those children must learn respect and the difference between right and wrong before they come to school. The parents must be told. And other children certainly shouldn't have their education disrupted by that kind of thing.
If we were rational, of course, we would be moved to a different kind of outrage. But we aren't. It is a plain fact that, while we emote for the Baby Peters and Brandon Muirs of this world - those who die in terrible circumstances at the hands of their parents - we are remarkably less sympathetic to the Peters and Brandons who survive long enough to get to school and to manifest the results of their terrible start in life. Somewhere, without any change in circumstances, pity has turned to antipathy; everyone's tragic victim has become tomorrow's feral brat.
According to research by The Times, revealed before this week's Ofsted report, the number of children temporarily excluded from primary school rose by 14 per cent in the past year to 27,000. Of those 12,000 were under the age of 8.
But the really damning statistic for me is that more than 1,200 of the fixed-term exclusions from schools in England and Wales in 2007 involved children aged 4 and under. Dwell on that, mothers. Think about an average child of 4, its considerable needs, its curiosity, its innocence, its desire to laugh, its trust in adults.
Then understand that there are some infants of that age already so profoundly damaged by an absence of love and attention that many of their chances of participating fully in the world have probably already been taken away. Children who, according to Ofsted, don't understand that adults are in charge or that no means no. Who have witnessed nothing but aggression at home, who see smack cooked up more often than sausages. That's not me being emotional - that's a fact.

Expulsion is not the answer

Children displaying sexualised behaviour need better support, not a fast track to bored and angry unemployment
Ofsted inspectors investigating an increase in exclusions from primary schools have discovered "worrying" levels of sexual behaviour among very young children.
It would be easy to tip into yet another moral panic, with the tabloid headlines writing themselves. The figures, however, show that the numbers are small, though they are on the increase.
What also causes concern is that the solutions applied in some schools expulsion and/or the immediate involvement of social services may do still more harm to both the infant victimisers and those who are the recipients of inappropriate sexual behaviour. "Sexualised behaviour" covers a wide range of invasive behaviour not all of which signals the child is her/himself being sexually abused although possibly equally as damaging, they might be witnessing adult sexual behaviour.
In the middle ages, there was no childhood; infants were deemed miniature adults and there were few sexual boundaries. Now, in some families, short of intelligence and life skills, the same attitudes apply. Yet, arguably, while some of those parents may be incapable of giving love and protection, others can and will change, given the right kind of support. If this kind of parenting support, mentoring from parents from a similar background and intensive help in schools, sounds like the nanny state, that's still infinitely preferable to children being placed in care or poor fostering arrangements that only add to the damage.
Better and more imaginative support for families; greater investment in schools with a high proportion of challenging pupils; expulsion only used in extremis (while properly protecting children on the receiving end of physical and sexual assault) and a sense of perspective is required.
According to Ofsted's chief inspector, Christine Gilbert, exclusion of children under seven is still very rare.
The latest figures for 2006-07 show there were 13,460 fixed-term exclusions (suspensions) and 260 permanent exclusions with boys 10 times more likely to be excluded. Eight of the 69 schools visited by Ofsted inspectors had suspended children for behaviour that was perceived to have an inappropriate sexual element. Most schools had instigated child protection proceedings or contacted social workers.

Search continues for missing 2-year-old Indiana girl, Jada Justice

As the family of Haylee Donathan rejoice at her safe return home, the family of Jada Justice are desperate to find their little girl, who disappeared almost two weeks ago.
Jada Justice, 2, went missing on June 16 at about 9:40 p.m., when her 18-year-old babysitter said she left Jada in the back seat of the car while she went into a gas station convenience store to buy cigarettes and milk.
According to Jadas mother, Melissa Swiontek, police are working around the clock to find Jada.
Swiontek told Nancy Grace that she asked the babysitter, Engelica Castillo why she left the car unlocked and parked on the side of the gas station instead of the front. she just keeps telling me I dont know, I dont know. I was just running in real quick.
She said she spoke to a gas station attendant who saw Castillo. He told Swiontek that Castillos demeanor was normal until she returned appearing to be hysterical.
Swiontek and Jadas father, who has regular visitation with the toddler, have both taken polygraph tests, however, as of Tuesday, Castillo had not taken one.

Children's services staff praised

Council employees in Bridgend have been praised for "sustained and substantial improvement" in children's services.
It has led to the lifting of a "serious concern" protocol after a review by the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW).
Inspectors said Bridgend County Borough Council now responded "much more promptly and effectively" to initial concerns about children.
Council leader Mel Nott called it "excellent news".
"As a cabinet we have been determined to see a sustained and substantial improvement in this area, and I have been very closely involved in monitoring progress," he said.
"I know how dedicated staff within the children's directorate have been to making this happen."
The council said the review of children's services by CSSIW found that social services staff and managers had "have continued to work hard to secure further improvements and have established more robust systems for consistent assessment of risk and effective decision making".
The authority said staff were "supported by strong corporate leadership for children's services and performance management arrangements have been established".
Reviewing progress
CSSIW chief inspector Rob Pickford said the council was also much more reliable in planning for children's welfare and reviewing progress.
He added: "The relationship between the inspectorate and the authority can now revert to one of normal business, with the Inspectorate checking progress through our normal programme of inspection and reviews."

Children's services failed in Doncaster child deaths

Children's organisations across health, education and social services have been criticised in the serious case reviews into the deaths of two children in Doncaster. The first review, into the death of a 16-month-old girl known as Child B, who was killed by her father in 2007, found that children's agencies missed three key opportunities to intervene. They also failed to follow basic safeguarding procedures. Doncaster Primary Care Trust's health visiting team and Doncaster Council's community and schools social work service came in for particular criticism for failing to safeguard Child B as well as her brother, known in the report...

Four-year-olds excluded over violence

Children as young as four are being excluded from school for displaying violent and inappropriate sexual behaviour, according to an Ofsted report published today. Children were excluded for offences including biting other students and attacking school staff. Fourteen of the schools visited by Ofsted reported problems with pupils' sexualised behaviour. Teachers told Ofsted that the young children who were excluded had all experienced varying degrees of trauma. Many had experienced family breakdown or domestic violence. In one case a child who saw his mother killed in a refugee camp before moving to England was excluded for bad behaviour. The watchdog...

Woman 'social worker' approached child in Abingdon

Police today issued a warning about a woman posing as a social worker who approached a two-year-old child in Abingdon.
At about 1.40pm yesterday, a woman was looking after a two-year-old girl in the communal garden area in Stratton Way when another woman went up to the girl.
The woman claiming to be from social services asked questions about the girl. She then went back over to a man who was waiting on the pavement and they walked away.
The woman is white, aged between 35 and 40 and of medium build. She was wearing a floral top and white trousers and had brown hair with red streaks in it.
Det Con Jon Shaw said: Although no offences were committed, this incident has understandably concerned the parents of the little girl.

Brandon Muir death: Social work department blasted over failings

WATCHDOGS yesterday savaged the social work department that failed to save tragic Brandon Muir.
But the head of child protection in Dundee at the time of the toddler's brutal killing wasn't around to hear the damning verdict.
Fred McBride was enjoying a sunshine holiday before moving to a new top post - on a salary of Pfund107,000 a year.
After the boyfriend of Brandon's junkie mum battered the little boy to death, McBride claimed there was no "systemic failure" in the way the authorities handled the case.
But yesterday's official report reveals that child protection in Dundee was a shambles.
The watchdogs found that:
Kids at risk of abuse or neglect were not spotted or helped in time
Risks facing children were not assessed quickly enough
Bosses failed to give social workers a clear idea of how to do their jobs
Bad parents were often allowed to carry on severely neglecting their children.
The report is the latest in a long line of calls for improvements to child protection in Scotland. But despite repeated promises to improve the system, children continue to die.
Government inspectors looked at 18 key performance areas in Dundee and ruled that NINE were weak or unsatisfactory.
They were: operational planning; policies and procedures; vision, values and aims; leadership and direction; leadership of change; meeting children's needs; spotting and assessing risks; effectiveness of planning and responding to concerns.

Earl Spencer fails to win blanket press ban in divorce proceedings

Earl Spencer and his former wife, Caroline, were united yesterday in an attempt to oust the media from their battle for a divorce settlement at the High Court.
In the first high-profile test of reforms that allowed reporters into family courts, including divorce hearings, Lord Spencer and his former wife wanted a blanket ban on any publicity.
But the High Court judge hearing the case, Mr Justice Munby, rejected their request and instead asked the parties to put forward a request for restrictions on the coverage of the hearing, expected to last all week.
Nicholas Mostyn, QC, representing Lord Spencer, brother of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, said that the reason why the media were allowed in to the once-private Family Division hearings was because of lobbying to open up secret proceedings involving battles over children.
He said it was not the object of the reforms to allow the press to report anything of news interest, particularly battles over how assets are split after a divorce. These parties have a reasonable expectation of privacy.
Thousands of family court hearings that previously would have taken place in private were opened to the media in April after pressure from fathers groups, campaigners and the media, including The Times.
Mr Mostyn said that the parties expectation of privacy should override the limited freedom of expression allowed under the European Convention on Human Rights.
There is nothing interesting about this case apart from the fact that it is Earl and Countess Spencer. If this were two anonymous people there would be no press in here at all. It would be fundamentally boring. We are going to be looking at housing and budget. In these circumstances there is no overreaching freedom of expression consideration and privacy must prevail.

Earl Spencer and former wife settle divorce out of court to avoid glare of publicity

Earl Spencer and his former wife Caroline have opted to settle their bitterly contested divorce out of court to avoid details of their lives being revealed in the press.
The pair and their lawyers made the decision overnight after a High Court judge told them that if they wanted him to help divide up their assets, he would do so in public.
It came after parliament passed new legislation which instructed that all family court hearings should be open to public scrutiny in the same way as criminal proceedings.
The judge was told that as well as the details of the couple's wealth, assets, financial commitments and lifestyles, the court would hear "allegations of conduct on both sides which it may be necessary to explore in evidence".
The 41-year-old Countess was granted a decree nisi of her six-year marriage to 44-year-old Lord Spencer in March 2007 on the grounds of his "unreasonable behaviour".
Lord Spencer, who was previously married to Victoria Lockwood, left Caroline, their four month-old daughter and two year-old son nearly three years ago and shortly afterwards is alleged to have begun a relationship with a US television reporter.
The pair have not yet had a decree absolute because of wrangling over the division of their assets, including the former family home overlooking the Regent's Canal in Little Venice, West London, which Lord Spencer bought from Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour.
On Tuesday, Earl Spencer and the Countess attended London's High Court court to hear their lawyers ask Mr Justice Munby for a blanket ban on media coverage of the case, despite the change in law opening up the family courts.
Mr Justice Munby declined, saying such a ban would suggest there was one law for celebrities and "another law for those who live their lives in tranquillity and anonymity" when really theirs was simply another "big money case".

Partnership Committee responds to city child protection report

The committee responsible for coordinating the protection of children and young people in the North-east of Scotland has responded to the findings of a follow-up report on provision in Aberdeen city.
HM Inspectorate of Education (HMIe), which carried out an inspection during April this year, published its report on Wednesday, June 24.
Inspectors examined how the agencies work individually and together to protect children and assessed progress made on points identified for action in the initial report published last November.
The agencies tasked with child protection in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray, are members of the North East Scotland Child Protection Committee (NESCPC).
NESCPC chairman Chief Constable Colin McKerracher welcomed the report on behalf of the committee.
Chief Constable Colin McKerracher said: "I am pleased this report recognises all the good work and improvements made in Aberdeen.
"Agencies and their staff have worked closely together and this helps us all to strengthen services for children across the city.
"We must now continue driving forward improvements to ensure children across the city and the North-east of Scotland provide the best possible outcomes."
Aberdeen City Council Chief Executive Sue Bruce said: "It is very encouraging to see the progress made to date.
"The report recognises the progress made in the areas identified for action. This is a very good start on our long-term programme to improve services for vulnerable children.
"Staff at all levels have worked very hard to implement the changes made to date and I am confident that their continued commitment will bring about further improvements to these vital services."
Aberdeen City Council Social Care and Wellbeing Programme Director Philip Cotterill added: "Significant advances have been made since the initial inspection last November.