Page last updated at 05:37 GMT, Saturday, 14 February 2009

Press outrage over new father, 13


There's almost universal outrage about the case of Alfie Patten, 13, who was pictured on the front of Friday's Sun with his newborn baby daughter.

In the Daily Express, former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith argues that the story exemplifies what he calls the "breakdown in British society".

The Daily Mail says Alfie, his baby and the child's 15-year-old mother have been let down by a "liberal establishment".

It says children have been given choice before they even know their own minds.


The Times offers optimism in the case of 13-year-old father Alfie Patten by recalling Jamie Sutton, of Manchester, who fathered twins in 1999, aged 12.

A decade on, Mr Sutton and his girlfriend are still together, he has a job and a three-bedroom house.

The Daily Telegraph takes a light-hearted look at the story, with cartoonist, Matt, depicting a little boy sitting on a park bench.

He tells a suspicious policeman: "It's not truancy, I'm on paternity leave."


The Daily Mirror carries an interview with Nadya Suleman - the American woman who gave birth to octuplets through fertility treatment.

The paper's columnist, Miriam Stoppard, says Ms Suleman has no grasp of the daily care her children will need.

The Independent, Sun and Times tell of Beverly Eckert, who died in Thursday's Buffalo plane crash.

Mrs Eckert had lost her husband, Sean Rooney, in the 11 September attacks on New York and subsequently became a figurehead for victims' families.

Freak show

The Mail is furious that Prince Charles is going on an environmental tour of South America - in a private jet.

It calls him "Prince of Hypocrites", even though his aides tell the paper he will offset the carbon emissions from the trip.

The Independent reports on an exhibition in Blackpool, featuring post-war fairground freak shows.

Attractions include Cleo the Girl in the Goldfish Bowl; the Zebra Man and the Living Half Lady.

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