Archive for March, 2009

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(The Story of Sarah, Ian Walton and their Daughter Crystal) (Our Story)

I Ian Walton Take Responsibility For Naming Our Selves In This Article And Not The Sunday Mirror

The Following Article Was Anonymised  By The Sunday Mirror, The Real Names In The Story Are As Follows:

Stephen = Ian; Tanya = Sarah; Emily = Crystal

A couple whose daughter was taken away by social workers at just four days old have lost their last-ditch attempt to be reunited with her.

The Sunday Mirror revealed last month how Baby A, now aged four, was removed because of an unproven claim that her dad harmed his son from a previous marriage.


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The parents of a seriously ill baby have said they are “deeply distressed” by a court ruling allowing him to die.

They said they planned to “enjoy what little time” they had left with their “beautiful and beloved boy”.

He has a rare metabolic disorder and has suffered brain damage and major respiratory failure.

The parents failed to overturn an earlier ruling and it is understood doctors will stop treating the nine-month-old within 24 hours.

“Belief in his humanity” was the reason they had fought the medical advice that he should be allowed to die, they said.

‘Life is worthwhile’

Two appeal judges have upheld a High Court ruling which gives doctors at an unnamed NHS trust powers to turn off the ventilator keeping “baby OT” alive.

There is no further avenue of appeal for the parents.

The couple had sought to appeal against a judge’s ruling on Thursday that it was in the boy’s best interests to withdraw his “life sustaining treatment”.

In a statement, they said they knew of only one other child with their son’s condition and everyone was in “unknown territory”.

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Hordes of lawyers are infesting Britain. Wouldn’t it be better for good judgment to prevail over the loophole seekers?

This is a story about a mystery widely discussed in recent months: the Governor’s eyebrow. Let’s approach the facial hair by way of a riddle. What do the Baby P affair, the assisted suicide debate (rekindled yesterday by Patricia Hewitt), Lord Turner of Ecchinswell’s report this week on the future of financial services regulation and a new scrap between The Guardian and Barclays about the avoidance of taxes, have in common?

In every dispute the Governor’s eyebrow stands twitching at the centre of arguments about methods of adjudication. Oliver Letwin, the Tories’ policy chief, set this out in a speech about Baby P this year: at issue (he said) was a choice between rule-based and judgment-based regulation.

The rule-based approach aims to capture what a regulation means in careful, comprehensive, exhaustively assembled words: an authoritative text. At its best this offers certainty to citizens anxious to know if they are complying with the rules. At its worst it leads to the letter trumping the spirit of regulation: to box-ticking and the recruitment of hordes of lawyers to help people to look for ways round the spirit of the rules while obeying their letter.

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Josef Fritzl used to boast that he was lord over life and death. Today an Austrian court jailed him for life, ensuring that he would almost certainly end his days behind the high walls of a psychiatric unit for the most dangerous of disturbed criminals.

There will be no appeal. “I accept the sentence,” said Fritzl, his shoulders hunched.

But despite the horror of his crimes there are no plans for an investigation into the failings of police and social services, or for new laws such as a sex offenders list.

He was found guilty of throwing his daughter, Elisabeth, into a homemade dungeon when she was 18 and making her a sex slave for almost a quarter of a century. The prosecutor calculated that he had raped her at least 3,000 times.

Fritzl, 73, fathered seven children in the cellar. He murdered one of them, a baby boy who, struggling for breath, was allowed to die while the building engineer went upstairs to watch television. That murder ensured a life sentence.

“I regret from the bottom of my heart what I have done to my family,” Fritzl told the jury in a thin, croaking voice. “Unfortunately I cannot make amends for it. I can only attempt to look for possibilities to try to limit the damage that has been done.”

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In the past decade, Haringey has lost two children in horrific cases of child abuse. ELIZABETH PEARS looks at Lord Laming’s latest report to find out what went wrong In 2001, Lord Laming chaired an inquiry following the death of Victoria Climbie.

Eight-year-old Victoria died after suffering serious abuse while living with her aunt and her boyfriend in a one-bedroom flat in Tottenham in 1999.

She died from malnutrition and at the time of her death, in February 25, 2000, the schoolgirl had endured more than 128 injuries that included burn marks and scars caused by a scabies infection.

The horrific details left the nation in shock and was regarded as one of the worst instances of child abuse in British history.

Following the inquiry led by Lord Laming, it prompted radical reform of child protection laws.

But seven years later, in the same social services department, in a council house just streets away, lightning was set to strike a second time.

On November 23, 2007, a mother from Tottenham, her live-in boyfriend and a lodger, Jason Owen, appeared in court denying the murder of the 17-month-old we know as Baby P.

He had been placed on Haringey Council’s at-risk register and had regular contact with social workers, health visitors and his GP.

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A RETIRED social worker was sent a letter asking her to return to the profession – even though she is 82.

Barbara MacArthur quit her job in 1982 and has spent the past 27 years caring for her 54-year-old autistic son Howard.

But she was stunned to receive a letter offering her up to £50 an hour to return to social work.

Divorced Mrs MacArthur, of Cathays, Cardiff, said: “I knew they were desperate for social workers, but I didn’t think they were this desperate!”

The letter, from Hertfordshire-based Evergood Associates, asks for Mrs MacArthur’s “current availability and future career plan”.

It adds: “We look forward to receiving your completed form with CV if applicable at your earliest convenience.”

The former policewoman previously worked for the Citizens’ Advice Bureau before becoming a social worker in 1960.

She said: “I’ve always wanted to help people and, even when I was a policewoman, I found myself feeling sorry for the people I was supposed to be arresting.

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Sipping a bitter shandy, Otto Baxter is describing to me his ideal girlfriend. He’d like her to be pretty, petite, with a good sense of humour to match his own. Someone like former pop star and Strictly Come Dancing contestant Rachel Stevens would do, he says. ‘I want to meet a nice girl, I want to make love, I want to get married one day,’ he grins, ‘but I don’t want any children. I can’t be doing with getting up in the night and changing nappies.’

So, not very different from other 21-year-old, hot-blooded males. Only Otto has Down’s syndrome and his public quest to find a lover – to be just like his friends – has stirred up a hornet’s nest of controversy over the taboo subject of disability and sex.

This week, his adoptive mother Lucy Baxter, 51, was accused of being ‘odd’, ‘irresponsible’, ‘creepy’, and ‘strange’ after she revealed she was actively helping her son seek a partner, setting up a Bebo page for him on the net and researching dating agencies so Otto can ‘enjoy the same experiences as other men his age’.

Her assertion that she would support him if he ever wanted to seek the services of a prostitute prompted an even more vitriolic response that she would be ‘pimping’ out her son rather than protecting a vulnerable young man. Some readers found the very thought ‘disgusting’.

Far from being hurt, Lucy Baxter welcomes the debate her words have sparked, bringing the whole issue of Down’s syndrome and sexuality into the open.