Parents who deny their children of love and affection will face prosecution under Britain’s new “Cinderella Law.”
The British government is making changes to child neglect laws in England and Wales, making “emotional cruelty” a crime, according to the Telegraph.
Parents found guilty of deliberately harming the “physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioral development” of a child could face up to 10 years in prison, the maximum sentence in child neglect cases.
The changes will be introduced in the Queen’s Speech in June. Child neglect law currently only covers the deliberate assault, abandonment or exposure a child to suffering or injury to their health.
Under the new law, simply ignoring a child or not showing them affection over long periods of time would be considered a crime.
The British government reports 1.5 million British children are neglected. Lawmakers hope the new measure will allow police and social services to intervene before physical or sexual abuse begins.
Robert Buckland, a Conservative MP and part-time judge, says “the time for change is long overdue.”
“Not too many years after the Brothers Grimm popularized the story of Cinderella, the offence of child neglect was introduced,” Buckland said. “Our criminal law has never reflected the full range of emotional suffering experienced by children who are abused by their parents or carers. The sad truth is that, until now, the Wicked Stepmother would have got away scot-free.”
“We need a clear, concise and workable definition of child maltreatment — an alternative code that reflects the range of harm of done to children and which provides appropriate legal mechanisms to tackle some of the worst cases,” Buckland said.
“There is nothing more important than the protection of children,” said the Prime Minister’s spokesman. “This is an area of concern. One of the issues that has been raised by the groups that have considerable expertise in this area is that the law has not been updated for some time. 'In terms of legislation, I cannot comment on what may or may not be in the Queen’s Speech but it is certainly something that is under very active consideration.”
Kerry Alun Evans, 25, could miss the birth of his first child after being found guilty of numerous charges related to dog fighting.
District Judge John Charles told Evans that all sentencing options were open when he is sentenced at Newport Magistrates’ Court---three days before his baby is due.
Evans denied multiple charges related to keeping or training six Pit Bull Terriers in connection with an animal fight; having possession or custody of a Pit Bull Terrier, and having equipment for use in connection with an animal fight.
But he was found guilty after trial at Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates’ Court, where the underground world of organized dog fighting in Wales was laid bare.
Evans admitted to one count of having a Pit Bull named Mason, but said he was looking after the family pet for his mother. That claim was rejected by District Judge Charles who stated the evidence supported the fact that the dog was used for fighting.
“I am satisfied that what the defendant has done from the outset is try to minimize his involvement in criminal activity by resorting to a pack of lies in the face of overwhelming evidence,” said the judge.
Five of the Pit Bulls were housed individually at a shed at Pengarnddu, Merthyr Tydfil, and Mason, whose ears were cropped at the base, had scars similar to a deceased dog belonging to Evans and used in dog fighting. All of the dogs had multiple scars, leading Veterinarian Mark Evans to conclude: “In my opinion they were most probably resultant from bites from other animals.”
He told the court the dogs displayed numerous facial and bodily scars, most of which had healed but one which was recent.
Dog fighting has been illegal in Wales since 1835 but RSPCA Chief Inspector with the Special Operations Unit Michael Howard Butcher told the court it had a resurgence in the 1980s with the influx of Pit Bulls which were imported to the country, (The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 prohibits Pit Bull Types in the UK.)
“The problem for the defendant was his significant difficulty in telling the difference between truth and lies,” Judge Charles opined. ”The only inference I can draw [from the evidence] is that the purpose for keeping these dogs in the circumstances was for one purpose and one alone – to involve them in future dog fights.”
Evans will appear in court for sentencing on March 3, 2014.
Source: Wales Online
A police officer recently received a large payout after filing a suit against his former department for lost earnings and public humiliation.
Mike Baillon became known after video of him smashing a driver’s window following a 17-minute chase went viral. The video was viewed over 30 million times on YouTube, and soon after, Baillon was facing charges from the man he had chased down.
The incident happened in 2009 when 71-year-old Robert Whatley was pulled over by Baillon for not wearing a seatbelt. After Baillon approached the car to talk to him, Whatley sped away, and the 17-minute chase ensued.
Whatley eventually stopped, and Baillon got out of his car, ran up to the window, and proceeded to smash it repeatedly out of anger.
Whatley was charged with a number of different offenses following the chase, but due to the window smashing, he actually filed a civil claim against the police. That case was settled in 2012.
Baillon was cleared of wrongdoing thanks to an investigation by his department in 2011, but not long after, he wound up lodging a complaint against the Gwent Police for a number of reasons, including being relocated to a local department. At the time, the force insisted his "judgement may be impaired."
A court disagreed.
Baillon has now been awarded over $700,000 from the claim against his former employer.
An elderly woman who was the victim of a burglary recently wrote an open letter to the person responsible.
Dorothy Iris Mayer, 79, returned to her house after a hospital appointment on Jan. 17 to find her front door locked from the inside and that it had been ransacked, WalesOnline reports.
Mayer said money, a phone and jewelry, including her wedding ring and her late husband’s wedding ring, were all taken in the burglary.
What’s worse is the burglary happened as she was preparing for the burial of her grandson Christopher Vaughan, 18, who drowned in an accident, according to the Daily Mail.
Detectives believe the suspect is local to the area and police are conducting an ongoing investigation.
In an appeal for information, Mayer has released a photo of the mess left behind and written an open letter to the culprit in the hope it will encourage anyone with more information to contact police.
In the letter she says: “Pity you didn’t wait one more day, you would have had the house to yourself and maybe left it as you found it, clean and tidy, not like a tip.
“You obviously went with your muddy boots straight to the bedrooms where you left muddy prints all over my cream carpets, even the goods you threw on the floor, you walked over without any concern.
“You must have poor eyesight, as you even changed the bedroom light bulbs from the modern to the older brighter ones so you could sort the stamped jewellery.
“The sentimental gold locket and chain from my daughters on my 50th, my deceased husband’s snake ring, my engagement and wedding rings, watches, necklaces, watch and bracelet sets, anything you could sell.”
Police speculate that the person or person’s responsible gained access to the back of the house through a footpath that runs between Keystone road and Tangmere Drive.
Detective Constable Geraint Higgins, South Wales Police, said: “This elderly victim has been left devastated by what has happened.
“Whoever was responsible mercilessly ransacked her home to look for something to steal. The victim has shown tremendous bravery and we are appealing for information that will help us make an arrest.”
(Photo and letter courtesy of WalesOnline)
11Overweight Man Forced to Buy Two Plane Tickets To Accommodate Size and Discovers Seats are in Different Rows
It’s pretty normal for an overweight person to have to buy more than one seat on a flight because they can’t fit in just one, but for a 500-pound man flying round trip from Wales to Ireland, the two seats didn’t do him any good.
Les Price, 43, says he was flying to Ireland from Wales when he realized the two seats he purchased were not next to each other. One of the seats was next to the window, and the other was on the aisle. Another passenger occupied the seat in between, so Price had to switch. On the flight back to Wales, Price found out that the seats weren’t even in the same row. One was in row 17, and the other was in row 19.
“When I got to the airport I had to explain to all the staff why I had two tickets, they didn’t have a clue,” said Price. “When I finally got on the plane one was an aisle seat and the other was by the window – in a three-seat row. On the way back from Ireland one seat was in row 17 and the other in row 19.”
Price says that his weight started to get out of control after he injured himself and was forced to be bedridden for three months. Then, after his wife died of cancer in 2009, the situation became much worse.
Now, the man is set to star in BBC’s Live Longer Wales, a television program that chronicles the weight loss journeys of overweight people in Wales, and provides a commentary on the increasing weight problem in the country.
Queen Elizabeth II signed a bill into law on Wednesday that legalizes gay marriage in Great Britain.
The same-sex marriage law first had to be passed by the House of Lords and House of Commons, but was expected to be signed by the queen.
Ironically, it was Prime Minister David Cameron, of the Conservative Party, who proposed the legislation. In the U.S., that would be like a Republican president proposing a same-sex marriage law.
The law, which legalizes same-sex marriages in England and Wales, was backed by all three political parties in the UK: Conservative, Liberal and Labor, noted the Associated Press.
“This is a historic moment that will resonate in many people’s lives,” Equalities Minister Maria Miller said in a statement. “I am proud that we have made it happen and I look forward to the first same sex wedding by next summer.”
Steven Fielding, a political scientist at the University of Nottingham, added: “The opposition seemed restricted to a very small number of people very vigorous in their views. It was restricted to the back benchers of the Conservative Party. It wasn’t shared across the political spectrum. It was an issue whose time had come. To oppose it seemed slightly strange.”
Under the new law, the Church of England does not have to perform same-sex marriages.
Source: Associated Press
The head of the National Showcaves Centre in Brecon Beacons National Park claims “inaccurate” forecasts of gloomy weather are damaging the Welsh tourism industry.
The chairman of the Dan-Yr-Ogof cave, Ashford Price, is threatening to sue the United Kingdom’s National Weather Service, the Met Office, for putting off visitors.
“What is happening all too frequently nowadays are too many gloom and doom reports by the weather forecasters,” Price said.
"The big problem is that we can't afford for the Met Office to get it wrong on key holiday dates for the tourism industry.”
Price alleged a Good Friday forecast called for snow in South and West Wales, which never came. The holiday is usually the kickstarter for the tourist season, but many tourists cancelled plans because of the predicted snow.
“It is true that the weather over the Easter period was very cold, but it was also sunny with clear blue skies,” said Price.
The Met Office claims it did not predict snow in the area on that day.
Price said the loss of tourism cost the Showcaves thousands of pounds and claimed the Met Office had a history of getting it wrong.
“On many occasions last year the same thing happened with predictions being made by the weather people early in the week that the weekend would contain bad weather, only for the weekend in fact to turn out to be free of rain,” he said.
Price said the forecasts carry a great deal of weight for potential visitors.
“People listen avidly to weather forecasts and plan accordingly, but with the high cost of petrol and the recession limiting the amount people can spend, if the weather is predicted to be bad they now stay at home.”
Price did not name a specific meteorologist or forecaster in his claim.
Met Office spokeswoman Sarah Holland noted that the forecast for Easter from the Met Office was “cold but dry.”
“The Met Office has worked with the tourist industry in recent years to provide detailed forecasts for resorts, beaches and attractions with local forecasts for up to 5,000 locations across the UK,” Holland said.
Attorney Irwin Mitchell claims that in order for a weather forecaster to be “negligent” there has to be a breach in duty.
“Obviously there was no contract with any weather station in the first place, and nor would there ever be with a member of the public, or broadcasters would never predict the weather again,” he said.
Despite sympathizing with weather prediction as “not an exact science,” Price says it can have an adverse impact on the Welsh economy.
“My legal team is looking to see if these predictions by weather experts can be given more of a ‘health warning’ as to their accuracy and if compensation can be claimed for Welsh tourism operators when forecasts are completely wrong,” Price said.