Drop-in Centre fire was a tragedy waiting to happen – CoI report

first_imgThe deadly fire at the Hadfield Street Drop-in Centre on July 8, which claimed the lives of siblings, Antonio and Joshua George, was a tragedy waiting to happen.The Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the incident found it was a tragedy waiting to happen and that there was a collective responsibility for the tragic event, which claimed the lives of the George brothers. The report found the system to protect the children failed and therefore all players are collectively responsible.  Six-year-old Antonio and his two-year-old brother, Joshua George, along with three other siblings were taken into the care at the Centre two days prior to their demise.Siblings Antonio and Joshua George perished in the fire on July 8The findings of the inquiry conducted by Retired Colonel Windee Algernon found that the children/staffer ratio was not adhered to and that on the morning of the fire, there were not enough staff members on duty to meet the needs of children. Additionally, the house service supervisor, while she had the authority to call out more staff, failed to do so.The CoI also found that there were written guidelines for the management of crisis situations, including fires; however, the house manager and other senior staff seemed unfamiliar with them. And so when the fire occurred, there was confusion and panic resulting in the tragedy.It also found that the staff on duty at the time cannot be entirely absolved, the two children died in her care. It pointed out that the administration of the Drop-in Centre in collaboration with the Childcare and Protection Agency (CPA) failed to ensure that she possessed the skill set to perform her responsibilities adequately.  The CoI found that the fire was caused by a defective electrical point fitted with exposed wires on the eastern wall of the girl’s dormitory. This, the report said, played a role in the ignition of the fire by subsequent heat transfer.Along with the findings, the CoI made some recommendations, including that the Social Protection Ministry and the CPA continue to focus on overhauling child protection, cutting red tape and improving the skills and knowledge of social workers so that they could adequately protect children in the State’s care.It also recommends that the emergency evacuation plans be developed and practiced at all child care facilities, and that in house training, including rehearsals, be conducted for staff in crises management and child care centres. Recommendations were also made for an inspector to the homes and this appointment should be done immediately to ensure compliance with the Social Protection Ministry. It also recommended that the childcare workers be given additional time away from the working environment to allow them to relax after a period of work or tension and also that suitably satisfied staff be recruited to meet the increasing demands of child care responsibilities.  Revealing the scope of the inquiry, the CoI report said it visited the Sophia Care Centre where children of the Drop-in Centre are now housed. Some 26 persons from the CPA, the Drop-in Centre, civilians and Red Thread were interviewed.The CoI was required to ascertain the causes, condition and surrounding circumstances which led to the deaths of the brothers, whilst in the care, control and custody of the State and to report on whether there was failure on the part of State officials to deal appropriately or adequately with matters which gave rise to the loss of lives and whether there were any unsafe or improper arrangements for the care, custody and welfare of the children.last_img read more

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‘Eyewitness’ to Kingston Seawall shooting lied – Top Cop

first_img…Nigel Hughes takes Top Cop to task over statement, produces more witnessesAs investigators continue their probe into the Kingston Seawall shooting, the alleged eyewitness to the incident is now being sought by Guyana Police Force after it came to the conclusion that his statements were riddled with flaws.The alleged eyewitness, Devon Lyte, a construction worker of Mc Doom, Greater Georgetown, came out two weeks after the incident and accused the Police of executing the three men.In the presence of his Attorney, Nigel Hughes, Lyte claimed that on the day Dextroy Cordis, called Dutty, of Grove, East Bank Demerara (EBD); Kwame Assanah of Buxton, East Coast Demerara (ECD) and Errol Adams, called Dynamite, were fatally shot, he was working on the roof of the Guyana Softball Association on Carifesta Avenue.The account of the incident he gave vastly differed from that given in a statement issued by the Police.According to Attorney Hughes, the facts presented by Lyte seemed to suggest that it was an execution.As such, a probe was launched by investigators and based on findings, acting Police Commissioner David Ramnarine described Lyte’s statement as “reckless”.In a press conference held with the media on Thursday, Ramnarine rebuked Lyte for attempting to tarnish the “good work” of the Police Force.“It is painful; that you can have someone turn up at your office, give what purports to be a story that has national implications and impugns the good work and reputation of a national institution and its officials rushed to publicise, it is all over the world and then after the fact, you turn up at a location to find that it cannot be substantiated. If it is not grossly reckless, it is truly irresponsible behaviour,” the Top Cop stated.However, Attorney Hughes has taken the Top Cop to task over his statement and produced more witnesses to corroborate Lyte’s account. (See letter on page 5)Since the initial disclosures were made by Lyte to the media and a statement handed over to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), he has been sought by Police.According to Ramnarine, the alleged eyewitness was scheduled to be questioned thoroughly by CID investigators, but he failed to show.Numerous calls made by the Crime Chief, Paul Williams and other senior ranks proved futile.Ramnarine said, “When he (Williams) got on to his learned attorney, we were told that he (Lyte) had family issues. We were then told that he and other witnesses of this learned attorney wanted protection.”In the meantime, investigations saw three “solid” witness statements being given to Police which proved statements Lyte gave to be untrue.“We have several statements, three of which are very instructive to the extent that Mr Devon Lyte was never ever on the roof of the building he claimed he was on…one of the statements is from the contractor, one from the sub-contractor and one from a security supervisor…he was a labourer on the ground floor of the building,” Ramnarine revealed.As such, the Top Cop is calling on credible witnesses to come forward, and further reprimanded Lyte for lying.Further, Ramnarine vowed for the integrity of the ranks involved in the shooting incident and those currently carrying out the investigations.“I want to ask persons with information to come forward, because these are senior officers whose numbers are known, because the Force is more open now, there is nothing to be afraid of … the [Office of Professional Responsibility] OPR is also being led by a very competent Officer who was awarded the best cop award on several occasions,” Ramnarine said.Earlier on Thursday, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon revealed that a coroner’s inquest into the incident would be carried out by the Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP).President David Granger, who initially ordered an investigation into the fatal killings, has decided that following findings from the investigation, it would be determined whether there was any culpability for the shooting incident.“We have ordered an investigation into the circumstances under which the men came to be killed and I believe some actions will be taken to have the files sent to the DPP to determine whether there was any blameworthiness in the death of the persons,” Granger told reporters on Wednesday.On March 15, 2018, the three men who were said to be trailing a customer from a bank in the city to the Seawall were reportedly caught in the act.They engaged Police ranks in a shootout, but were all killed. A fourth suspect is still be sought.last_img read more

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Siblings sue coroner when father cremated, not buried

first_imgLOS ANGELES – Two siblings who claim their father was cremated instead of being buried in a military cemetery sued the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office, court papers showed Friday. Juliette Pinedo Kalevicoglu and Chris Pinedo filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday, alleging negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress and negligent misrepresentation. They are seeking unspecified general and compensatory damages. Craig Harvey of the Coroner’s Office was not available for comment. Attorney Scott D. Bernstein, who represents the children, could not be reached immediately. According to the lawsuit, Henry Pinedo died Oct. 14, 2005, at the Highland Hotel in Van Nuys. The body was brought to the Coroner’s Office, and his daughter was told of Pinedo’s death the same day, according to the lawsuit. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! During the following week, Pinedo’s son and daughter called the Coroner’s Office four times to tell them they wanted to have their father, a military veteran, buried in the Los Angeles National Cemetery in Westwood, according to the lawsuit. Kalevicoglu sent a copy of her father’s military discharge papers to the Coroner’s Office, the lawsuit stated. After the autopsy was done, the Coroner’s Office sent two notices to Kalevicoglu, including one that said her father was cremated March 25, 2006, the lawsuit stated. Both notices, however, were sent to the wrong address, and the siblings did not find out until April 2006 that their father was cremated instead of buried in a military cemetery according to their wishes. In May 2006, the Coroner’s Office sent Kalevicoglu a letter offering an apology and stating the copy of her father’s military discharge had been misplaced, the lawsuit stated. last_img read more

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‘Significant funds available’ at West Ham, reveal co-owners

first_img West Ham United co-chairman David Sullivan 1 West Ham co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan have vowed to keep splashing the cash and could break the club’s transfer record again as they look to challenge for major honours.Gold and Sullivan are celebrating five-years in charge of the east London club this week and have made massive changes since they first arrived at Upton Park.The duo stuck to their word last summer when they brought in nine players and have now seen Sam Allardyce turn the club’s fortunes around.But with the east London club moving into the Olympic Stadium next year, the club’s owners are not prepared to stop the spending and have issued a ten-point pledge for the next five-years which includes bringing in more big name signings.Gold and Sullivan issued a statement in the club’s website which said: “Our aim is to bring in more world-class players that can play in the ‘West Ham Way’.“We have broken the club’s transfer record twice in the last three years and we will continue to make significant funds available to strengthen the playing squad this summer as we build a team that will befit our new home.“We will also endeavour to hang onto our best players as, too often in the past, previous Boards have sold our most promising players.”last_img read more

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Sofa, Tusker seek bounce after day one losses

first_imgHead coach Robert Matano blamed the crushing Gor loss to defensive mistakes and has worked on the same over the last two weeks.Ties between these two sides have always been tight and hard to call, but Tusker have a slight edge having won seven of their last 22 meetings and losing six with the remaining games ending in draws.Mathare under new coach Salim Ali started the season with a barren draw at home against Bandari and look to chalk their first three points of the season.Meanwhile, Sofapaka who finished third last season started their campaign with a 2-1 defeat at home against Posta Rangers and face soldiers Ulinzi Stars in Nakuru, the military men walking in for their first home game of the season fresh off a winning start with a 2-0 victory away to Kisumu All Stars.Sofapaka’s new Portuguese head coach Divaldo Alves hopes that his players will make a positive response after the first day loss and knows it will not be an easy outing against the soldiers.“I know they are a very tough team with a military fighting spirit. They love to run and contest every ball and we have to go there and battle to win. We have to fight for us to get a win,” the tactician said.He added; “We had a problem of finishing in our first game and that is one of the things we have worked on. Hopefully we will improve. I have trust in my players and believe we can get the maximum points,” Alves further added.KPL match week two fixtures: Saturday: Tusker FC v Mathare United, Posta Rangers v Kakamega Homeboyz (Machakos), Nzoia v Sony (Sudi, Bungoma), Ulinzi v Sofapaka (Nakuru), Western Stima v Wazito (Kisumu).Sunday: AFC Leopards v Kariobangi Sharks (Kasarani), KCB v Kisumu All Stars (Machakos)0Shares0000(Visited 12 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000New Sofapaka head coach Divaldo Alves shares a word on the bench with his assistant John Baraza during their league match against Posta Rangers in Narok on August 30, 2019. PHOTO/SofapakaNAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 14 – After opening day losses, former champions Tusker and Sofapaka will look to bounce back to winning ways when the Kenyan Premier League returns for match week two following the international break.Tusker, 11-time KPL champions started the season in a disastrous way, losing 5-2 to holders Gor Mahia in Kisumu and will be keen to erase that terrible start when they face Mathare in what is expected to be a tight encounter in Machakos.last_img read more

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Ukraine starlet rated at £10m to become Liverpool’s SIXTH summer signing?

first_img1 Liverpool are monitoring the availability of emerging Shakhtar Donetsk playmaker Viktor Kovalenko.The Kop club have scouted the 19-year-old but face strong competition from Barcelona to land the Ukraine youth international.Kovalenko made his first-team breakthrough last season and recently starred at the FIFA under-20 World Cup in New Zealand, but contract renewal talks between the central midfielder and his hometown club have stalled.This has sparked more speculation Kovalenko could move to the Premier League or La Liga and, according to Corriere dello Sport, Liverpool and Barca are at the front of the queue to sign him.Chelsea and Manchester United are also said to be in the running for the Ukraine teenager, who is reportedly valued at £10m and is contracted at the Donbass Arena until 2017. Viktor Kovalenko last_img read more

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RETIRED FARMER SAID HE WOULD HAVE SHOT HIMSELF IF HE THOUGHT HE ABUSED NEPHEW

first_imgA retired farmer accused of sexually abusing his nephew said he would have shot himself if he thought he had committed the offence.Retired farmer Sam Cunningham denies he was event at house in Downings during alleged assault.Samuel Cunningham, 66, is accused of four counts of sexual assault against his then 14 year old nephew at a holiday home in Co Donegal in 1993. The alleged victim, Patrick Cunningham, now a 35 father-of-four, claims he was assaulted when he went to do repairs with his uncle on the holiday home at Rosguill, Downings.Patrick Cunningham says he was fondled and that his uncle performed oral sex on him at the farmhouse.However Samuel Cunningham stressed “There is no way on this earth I would have done that to any young person. If I thought I had done that I would have taken myself out the back and shot myself.”The alleged victim, who waived his right to anonymity, claims the alleged sexual assaults were sparked when water was splashed on his trousers when they were fetching water from a well.“He told me to take off my clothes because I would get a flu. He then made a makeshift bed on a sofa.“He said there were only a few blankets in the house and told me to get in beside him,” he said.Mr Cunningham then alleged the four assaults took place.Sobbing in the witness box at Letterkenny Circuit Court today, he said he counted flowers on some curtains and thought of his dead grandfather to block out the pain and stop himself getting an erection.Patrick Cunningham said he kept the assaults to himself until a number of years later when he told his cousin Seamus.He said he became introverted after the alleged assaults.He also partially blamed the assaults for falling in with the wrong crowd and eventually being convicted of two armed robberies in Northern Ireland.However the accused, Sam Cunningham, denied that any such assaults ever took place.In fact, the retired farmer from Glenside Road, Dunmurray in Belfast, said he always spent the New Year period at his late wife Rose’s family home in Cavan.He alleged that his own son Francis along with the alleged victim Patrick and his cousin Seamus had now formed a “team”.“This is the worst thing I have ever witnessed. The devastation to the family who have been turned upside down has ben unbelievable.“The only thing I can think of is that the want to keep me away form my farm,” he said.A niece of Mr Sam Cunningham, Mrs Doreen Robinson, said she does not believe the holiday home was even in the possession of the family claiming it had been sold in 1992She also said she not believe the allegations against her uncle.“I don’t believe it. A paedophile does it over and over again and doesn’t stop after just once,” she said.The trial before a jury of eight men and four women continues before Judge Keenan Johnson on Tuesday next.ALL COMMENTS ON THIS TRIAL WILL NOT BE PUBLISHED AS THE CASE IS ONGOING.RETIRED FARMER SAID HE WOULD HAVE SHOT HIMSELF IF HE THOUGHT HE ABUSED NEPHEW was last modified: April 5th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalDowningsjudge keenan johnsonjuryLetterkenny Circuit CourtPatrick CunninghamSamuel Cunninghamsex assaultlast_img read more

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Heathens come from 12 down to defeat rivals Kobs

first_img Tags: BetWay KobsHeathensNile Special Rugby Premiership Nile Special Rugby Premiership Heathens 15-12 Betway KobsKYADONDO – Heathens versus Kobs is the biggest game in Ugandan rugby, and with both teams sitting high on the table of the 2018/19 Nile Special Rugby Premiership, it was expected to be a highly contested affair.Their first encounter of the premiership season was a game of two halves though Kobs who have just recently won the Uganda Cup were the pregame favourites.Kobs dominated the first half taking it 12-00 with Ronald Musajjagulanyago who recently returned from Kenya based Harlequins scoring the first try of the game that Ivan Kirabo failed to convert.The Kobs went on to dominate most of the phases of play and this resulted into another try from former Rhinos player, Robert Aziku. The try was supplemented by a conversion from former Kabras Sugar star Kirabo bringing the score to 12-00.The Heathens came more determined in the second half, putting alot of pressure on the Kobs, resulting into tries from veteran Alex Mubiru and Micheal Wokorach. The extras were added by the flawless boot of former Buffaloes winger Kevin Keremundu to bring the Heathens to a come from behind 15-12 win.Wokorach was named man of the match.Comments last_img read more

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Lady Rugby Cranes depart for South Africa ahead of World Cup qualifiers

first_imgThe Uganda Lady Rugby Cranes have on Wednesday morning departed for the Rugby Africa Women’s Cup 2019.The tournament which will also double as the qualifiers of the World Cup 2021 will be played from August 9th-17th, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.The team which was also flagged off at Kyadonod Rugby Club on Tuesday consists of 26 players and will be captained by Winnie Atyang.Speaking before departure, assistant coach Leonard Rwitare explained how the players were picked.“The camp has been really good and the mood there has been positive, Rwaitare stated.“The players were picked on skill set, experience and availability.”At the tournament which starts this Friday, Uganda will tussle it out with three other nations including hosts South Africa, East African rivals Kenya and Madagascar.Uganda earned their ticket via the basis of the level and frequency of play of the female players.However, the Lady Rugby Cranes have only played two competitive games in over 5 years, highlighting the gulf between the men’s and women’s game on the continent.The Lady Rugby Cranes have played only two competitive matches in the last 5 years or so.Uganda’s two build-up games came against Kenya in the Elgon Cup, which they lost 19-79 over two legs.Rwitare narrates that the Elgon Cup result is a wrong litmus paper to judge the Lady Cranes charges but better still they benefited the most from it.“We achieved from the Elgon Cup despite the result not going our way.“The team was exposed to what is ahead of them.“We can now beat Kenya in a main tournament.  Rwitare added.”The Rugby Africa Women’s Cup will be played on round-robin format and the winner will qualify directly for the World Cup while the runners up will play a match against a selected team from South America and join the global repechage tournament if victorious.On Friday, Uganda will play their first game against hosts South Africa, then face Kenya on Tuesday and wrap up the tournament against Madagascar next Saturday.The Lady Rugby Cranes team–Faith Namugga Nakato-Irene Nzige-Evelyn Aweku-Christine Nakayiza-Yvonne Najjuma-Peace Mirembe-Charity Atimango-Helen Gizamba-Teddy Iwutung-Beatrice Atim Lamunu-Winnie Atyang (C)-Mary Gloria Ayot-Loy Mbabazi-Harriet Kayojo-Claire Anena-Rosenburg Kayonyozi-Christine Nakamya-Asha Nakityo Nambulime-Peace Lekuru-Julie Nandawula-Joan Andika-Emmanuella Oroma-Agnes Nakuya-Saamiya Ayikuro-Esther Tino-Mary KoitaThe tournament fixturesFriday, August 9-Madagascar vs Kenya-South Africa vs UgandaTuesday, August 13-Kenya vs Uganda-Madagascar vs South AfricaSaturday, August 17-Madagascar vs Uganda-South Africa vs KenyaComments Tags: 2021 Women’s Rugby World CupLady Rugby CranesLeonard RwitareRugby Africa Women’s CuptopWinnie Atyanglast_img read more

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Man who killed eight in Buncrana crash asks for prison release

first_imgThe Buncrana man jailed for killing eight people in Ireland’s worst ever single road traffic crash has asked to be released from prison. Shaun Kelly (29) of Hill Road, Ballymagan, Buncrana asked the Hugh Court today to grant his release under claims he was due one third enhanced remission. Shaun Kelly was initially jailed for two years when he pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing the deaths of seven of his friends and a pensioner in July 2010. However, the Appeal Court decided that sentence was too lenient and added another two years to the sentence originally handed down in December, 2014.On 11 July 2010, Kelly was driving a Volkswagen Passat which collided with a car travelling in the opposite direction in Buncrana. Seven of those who died were young men aged between 19 and 23 who were passengers in Kelly’s car. The eighth was a 66-year-old man on his way back from bingo.The Irish Independent reports that Kelly’s counsel said that he should have already been released, as of last Friday.High Court judge Ms Justice Mary Faherty heard from Micheal P.O’Higgins SC that with a full third remission, Kelly should have been already released in mid-August.Solicitor Niamh Kelly, of Michael J. Staines and Company, told the court in an affidavit that Mr Kelly’s release date, based on a remission rate of one-quarter, was due on December 16 next.Based on a one third enhanced remission he should have been freed last Friday.Mr O’Higgins said the Minister for Justice had refused to release Mr Kelly from Loughan House Open Centre, Blacklion, Co Cavan.  He was now seeking to quash the Minister decision by way of judicial review.Kelly is also seeking to quash the Ministers order of February last revoking his temporary release following negative media coverage with pictures of him working on the family farm. Kelly also seeks an order directing the re-consideration by the Minister of his application for enhanced remission.What was described as a Media Book opened to the court outlined headlines in the various newspapers that covered Kelly’s temporary release including: Driver in worst car crash ever  victim families horrified Daily Mail; Secret Day release for driver who killed eight Herald;  Anger as man jailed for killing eight released Examiner.Mr O’Higgins told the court there was nothing in prison legislation entitling the Minister to refuse temporary release on the basis of newspaper coverage and none of the articles indicated any danger to the safety and protection of Mr Kelly by being granted temporary release.He said Mr Kelly’s mother, Mrs Pauline Kelly, took up her son’s case following cancellation of his temporary release and had been told by the Irish Prison Service that his release had led to unprecedented media attention all of which was negative.Mr O’Higgins said that in order to qualify for enhanced remission Mr Kelly had engaged in authorised structured activity involving computers, woodwork, art, catering, laundry, horticulture and industrial cleaning.Through his art classes he had designed, made and engraved seven memorial plaques to be placed on the graves of his friends who lost their lives in the accident.In his application to the Minister for enhanced remission Kelly stated: ‘I am truly sorry for my actions and the devastating losses which flowed from them culminating in the on-going grief of the families of my close friends and my own cousin who lost their lives on that fateful night’.He said he had tried to use his time in prison positively and constructively and he believed he had put himself in a position to successfully reintegrate into society although he would always carry the burden of his actions along with the pain of all concerned.Judge Faherty granted Mr Kellys legal team, Micheal OHiggins SC; Karl Monahan BL and Niamh Kelly, of Michael J. Staines Solicitors, leave to judicially challenge the Minister’s refusal for early enhanced release;  leave to quash his decision revoking temporary release, and leave to seek an order directing the Minister to reconsider both matters.Those who perished in the two car collision were Eamonn McDaid, 22, of Ballymagan, Buncrana; Mark McLaughlin, 21, of Ballinahone, Fahan; Paul Doherty, 19, of Ardagh, Ballyliffin; Ciaran Sweeney 19, of Ballyliffin; PJ McLaughlin, 21, of Rockstown, Burnfoot; James McEleney, 23, of Meenaduff, Clonmany and Damien McLaughlin, 21, of Umricam, Buncrana and 66 year old Hugh Friel who was returning from bingo in Buncrana when the tragedy occurred.Man who killed eight in Buncrana crash asks for prison release was last modified: August 26th, 2017 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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