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UK: News In Brief

Wednesday, April 21, 1999 Published at 07:08 GMT 08:08 UK

Travellers warned away from Jamaica

The Foreign Office is advising people not to travel to Jamaica unless their trips are essential.

The warning comes after two people died and six others were hurt in violent disturbances sparked by an increase in petrol prices.

Tourists already in Jamaica were advised to stay in their hotels unless absolutely essential and to exercise "extreme caution" if they had to travel.

The demonstrations have affected Kingston, Montego Bay and other areas in Jamaica, mostly at road blocks with violent confrontations with the police.

Mother fights for son's right to live

A mother from Hampshire has gone to the High Court in London to try to ensure that her severely disabled son receives hospital treatment if he becomes seriously ill.

Carol Glass claims doctors at St Mary's Hospital in Portsmouth refused 12-year-old David potentially life-saving treatment last year and gave him a drug that could have hastened his death.

David was diagnosed with hydrocephalus at birth and currently suffers from blindness, spastic quadriplegia and severe learning difficulties.

Last October, 15 members of his family clashed with doctors and police to revive David after clinicians indicated that he was dying and nature should be allowed "to take its course". He is now at home and said to laugh and play with his sisters.

Five charged in abuse inquiry

Five people have been charged with indecent assault after a police inquiry into two Lancashire public schools revealed allegations spanning 30 years.

Police say they have carried out an extensive investigation into Stoneyhurst College and its prep school, St Mary's Hall, near Clitheroe. The operation, codenamed Whiting, is continuing to look into allegations concerning events between 1968 and 1998.

It is likely more arrests will be made within the next few months, police say, but they are stressing there is no evidence that pupils currently at the schools are at any risk. All of the five arrested will appear before Blackburn magistrates on Thursday.

The school's headmaster, Adrian Ellwood, is co-operating fully with the inquiry, and said the college has clearly laid-down procedures for child protection. He said it is regularly assessed by social services.

'Haunted' house sold

A house at the centre of a legal dispute over claims that it was haunted has been sold to a member of a Christian organisation specialising in the supernatural.

In January, the previous owners, Andrew and Josie Smith, said they had been subjected to a four-year campaign of terror by spirits in the 250-year-old house and held back the final instalment of 3,482.

The Smiths were sued by the original vendors and ordered to pay up by the judge who ruled that Lowes Cottage near Ashbourne, Derbyshire, was not in fact haunted. The cottage was then repossessed after they failed to keep up mortgage repayments.

On Tuesday, the house was sold at auction to Tim Chitern, a member of the London-based Churches Fellowship for Psychical and Spiritual Studies. A spokesman for the organisation said: "I am sure it is just coincidence that one of our members has bought it."

Police look to identify murder victim

Police who launched a murder hunt after a man was found with severe head injuries in a ditch hope to identify the body soon.

The submerged body of a man, in his 20s, was recovered from a hollow near a lay-by on the A421 at Stratton Audley in Oxfordshire.

Police believe that the man, whose body was spotted by a member of the public, was dumped between Sunday evening and Tuesday afternoon.

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