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THE SENTINEL Wednesday June 7, 2006



A breath of fresh air

AN INNOVATIVE scheme helping young asthma patients at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire has been extended to adults. The project allows patients to keep their records and emergency asthma card. It has been developed by specialist nurses at the Hartshill complex together with Staffordshire Moorlands Primary Care Trust and the financial support of the Guy Hilton Asthma Trust. The record provides a consistent source of routine and emergency information for patients, health professionals and others. Besides enabling patients to understand and be in control of their own condition, the emergency card is designed to guide those who may need to help sufferers if they have an asthma attack. Experts say that by helping patients manage their own care it reduces emergency admissions to hospital, cuts the time children take off school through illness and when extended to adults will reduce time taken off work.

Comedienne Jo backs event aimed at overcoming stigma

Specials appeal fails

A POLICE special constable who rang a public telephone and made an obscene suggestion to the young girl who answered has failed to have his conviction overturned at the Court of Appeal. Simon John Walker, aged 40, of Gill Bank Road, Kidsgrove, was found guilty in September last year of inciting a child under the age of 13 to engage in sexual activity He was later given a three. year community rehabilitation order. Yesterday, lawyers for 40year-old Walker argued his conviction was unsafe because the trial judge had given the jury confusing directions. Three top judges were also told that the summing up had led to the jury not properly understanding the charge laid against Walker. But, although Mr Justice Aikens said the directions had been conflicting and the summing up was not the clearest, he concluded the conviction could still be considered safe.

Ever yone will know someone with a mental illness


TOP comedienne Jo Brand has given her support to a festival in Stoke-on-Trent which helps raise awareness of mental health issues. The sixth annual Sanity Fair event takes place in Hanleys Cultural Quarter on Saturday, June 17. More than 30,000 visitors have attended the city centre festival in the past and organisers are hoping to top that figure this year. The idea behind Sanity Fair is to provide the public with a better understanding of mental health issues and help stamp out the traditional stigma towards such illnesses. Jo Brand, who worked as a psychiatric nurse until 1987 before becoming a stand-up

FAIR GAME: Jo Brand, above, has spoken out in support of the Sanity Fair which features a variety of entertainers, like those pictured, and attracts thousands of visitors every year. Main picture: Steve Bould comic, has spoken out on the importance of understanding mental health issues ahead of next weeks event. She said: Any event that attempts to deal with the stigma that still exists in this day and age, where we are supposed to be intelligent people, is a good thing. Around one in three women and one in five men suffer some form of mental health problem, so everyone knows someone. They are often just people who have suffered some sort of bereavement or have been stressed by exams. People with mental health problems need integrating into the community The prob. lem with that is in a lot of big towns and cities, communities dont exist. People stay away from other people, especially people who are a bit different. Providing visitors with information and services about mental health issues will be the North Staffordshire MIND, Rethink, Manic Depression Fellowship and Studentsinmind . As well as the 30 mental health organisations attending the free event, visitors will also be able to enjoy a colourful array of artistic talent, providing a fun, carnival feel to a day of psychic enlightenment. Stilt dancers the Funkadettes will be joined by a fire

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St Peter's CE (A) High School & International Language College, Queens Road, Penkhull, Stoke-on-Trent ST4 7LG. Tel: 01782 233600
Thinking about a career in Teaching? Focus: Secondary School Teaching St. Peters High School, Stoke-on-Trent has recently been awarded Training School status. We are running a short information evening for anybody who might be thinking of a career in teaching. There will be a 1 hour presentation followed by a chance to talk informally over a meal in the training restaurant attached to the school, on Tuesday 13th June at 6.00pm To book a place, please apply to Sandra Topping 01782 233600 extension 215 after 4th June 2006.

eater, magic show and the Planet Sound parade, featuring the designs of costume makers the Cultural Sisters. Balloon modelling, kite making and face painting should help keep the kids entertained, while quizzes for the adults will test your knowledge on a range of mental conditions. Musical talent includes Victorian and punk rock crossover band the Fish Brothers, Steve Hayes & ex-Oasis drummer Alan White, as well as bluegrass band the Toy Hearts and the Mick Gillicker All Stars. Sanity Fair spokesman Emma Edwards said: It is a fun day but there is a serious message behind it. The idea is to give people some ideas and make them think. Stoke South MP Rob Flello also gave his support to the event. He said: Mental health is a bit like cancer, in that everybody knows someone who has had mental health issues, but it is an issue which people dont talk about. There should be no stigma attached, people should feel as comfortable getting help for mental health problems as they are about getting a haircut. More information on Sanity Fair can be found on the organisers website at

Rapists jail sentence increased

AN ILLEGAL mini-cab driver who raped a drunk woman he had given a lift home to has had his unduly lenient jail term increased at the Court of Appeal. Imtiaz Hussain, of Market Street, Longton, was given a five and a half year sentence after being convicted of rape and burglary at Manchester Crown Court in February this year. But yesterday, lawyers acting on behalf of the Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith QC, successfully argued Hussain's jail term was unduly lenient when compared to similar cases. Lord Justice Keene, sitting with Mr Justice Goldring and Mr Justice Aikens, said Hussain, aged 40, should have received a nine-year sentence. The judge imposed an eightyear jail term because Hussain was suffering double jeopardy, being sentenced twice for the same crime. The court heard Hussain had been working as an illegal mini-cab driver for a number of years and offered his 37year-old victim a lift home after she had been on a night out in Manchester last year.

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