Thursday, January 22, 2009

‘Schoolgirl was inhaling aerosols before she died’

Witness tells trial of Naomi’s last hours

A 14-YEAR-OLD girl who was found dead in a North-east house was inhaling aerosols on the night she died, a court heard today.
A girl witness who cannot be named, told the court how Naomi Thomson was one of three girls who consumed four bottles of alcopops.
She was today giving evidence at the trial in Peterhead Sheriff Court of Amanda Williamson and Christine Stewart who deny allowing Naomi to take part in a booze binge.
The pair are alleged to have allowed three underage girls – including 14-year-old Naomi Thomson – to binge on alcohol.
Naomi, of Saltoun Place, Fraserburgh, was discovered dead in a Fraserburgh house.
It is alleged the youngster was left “moaning” and “gurgling” and without the proper medical care.
Procurator Fiscal Sandy Hutchison asked the girl witness what the three girls including Naomi had been drinking and where they got the alcohol from.
She said that a bottle of WKD had been given to her by Stewart and that Williamson had provided another.
Williamson also gave the girls permission to drink two further bottles of alcopop from her fridge. Mr Hutchison asked the girl if anything else might have affected Naomi.
She replied: “She was inhaling aerosols.”
She said heard she had inhaled them through a towel in a bathroom.
The court earlier heard the schoolgirl said she was paid with alcopops instead of cash for doing a household chore for Williamson.
The girl agreed to help her in exchange for two bottles of blue WKD.
Williamson, of 34 Watermill Road, and Stewart of 2 Marconi Terrace both Fraserburgh, are alleged to have had three teenage girls including Naomi in their care on November 18 and 19, 2006 and allowed them to drink alcohol.
The charge further alleges Stewart, 49, failed to care for Naomi while she was staying at her home and failed to realise the teenager was intoxicated with alcohol and get the necessary medical help.

The trial continues.

By Lynn Kernan in The Evening Express

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Study finds Irish schoolchildren aged 10 are sniffing glue

By Eilish O'Regan Health Correspondent
Wednesday January 07 2009

A small number of children, some aged as young as 10, have admitted sniffing glue, according to a new study.
The extent of experimentation with glue and solvents among primary school children is a source of concern given its potentially lethal consequences, the research warned.
The study, which involved 1,254 children in 43 schools, found that 4.2pc admitted having abused glue or solvents "at least once or twice".
The children surveyed in Limerick, Clare and north Tipperary ranged in age from 10-14 years and were split between fifth and sixth class.
It found that 1pc reported they had used cannabis, the authors, from Limerick Institute of Technology and the Department of Public Health in the HSE West, said.
"Only two respondents reported having used cannabis more than once or twice," the 'Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine' said.
More than eight in 10 said they had heard of cannabis, but 16.2pc said they had not.
The report said that seven in 10 reported they had ever taken alcohol, even if it was only a sip. However, only 10.8pc reported having consumed a whole alcoholic drink.
"When asked whether they had ever had so much alcohol they were drunk, 6pc admitting to having been drunk."
taken from

Monday, January 05, 2009

95% of Kathmandu street children sniff glue

KATHMANDU, Jan 2 - With the onset of winter, it is usual for people to buy warm clothes and heaters to warm up their rooms and snuggle up in the quilt till late morning.
However, looking at skimpily dressed street children, you may wonder how they survive the freezing cold of Kathmandu. But they have their own
way of keeping warm: they sniff dendrite.
Bibek Moktan, 12, who hails from Hetauda, warms up his winter morning by blowing into and inhaling from a plastic bag containing dendrite.
"I sniff one tube (50 grams) of dendrite a day," said Moktan. "When I first tried sniffing, I felt a current flowing inside me, but slowly I got used to it."
Kale Pariyar, 15, from Kalimati, was also sniffing from a dirty plastic with glue inside it. "I sniff, because I want to enjoy as others do,"said Pariyar.
Bibek and Kale are not the only ones who sniff glue to keep warm and to be happy. There are hundreds of children on the streets of the capital addicted to glue despite various health hazards associated with it.
According to a research conducted by Child Workers in Nepal Concerned Centre (CWIN), glue sniffing affects various organs including the brain, nervous system, eyes, blood, lungs and heart and even causes death.
However, the number of glue sniffers has gone up dramatically not only on the streets of the capital but also in other urban areas.
According to a CWIN survey, around 95 percent of 1,200 street children in the capital sniff glue, whereas there were only 51.7 percent street children who sniffed in 2002.
Director of Voice of Children, an non-governmental organisation, Krishna Thapa said, "Street children suffer various psychological problems in society before they end up on the streets. They think sniffing glue empowers them to face any vulnerable situation on the street."
Director Thapa also said, "Dendrite is easily accessible in both hardware shops and from street vendors at a very cheap price."
"We have seen street vendors selling small packets of dendrite targeting other street children. But we have no authority to take legal action against them." "The government does not have any legal agency to discourage such acts."
"Until and unless the government builds a strong mechanism to control the sale of glue; and until all organisations working for children ally to create pressure on the government, the problems will not be solved," said Sanu Giri, Programme Officer at CWIN.

Taken from