Welfare Reform Deaths – Memorial Pages
NOW TOTALS 60 DISABLED OR VULNERABLE PEOPLE WHO HAVE DIED.
1. Paul Reekie: Click Here For Report
Born 23rd January 1962. Died 10th June 2010
A doctor has claimed that Paul Reekie, a well respected author, was driven to suicide by the Government’s welfare reforms. Dr Stephen Carty, a Leith GP, told the welfare reform committee yesterday that letters informing Paul Reekie, his incapacity and housing benefits would be stopped were used as the suicide note of the iconoclastic poet and author. Dr Carty said: “Paul Reekie took his life following a work capability assessment”.
“He didn’t leave a suicide note. He left on his desk two letters. One was a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions informing him his incapacity benefit had been stopped and the other was from the council informing him his housing benefits had stopped.”
2. Richard Sanderson: Click Here For Report
An unemployed dad stabbed himself twice through the heart when his family faced losing their home to housing benefit cuts, an inquest chaired by HM Coroner Fiona Wilcox heard. Desperate Richard Sanderson, 44, drew up meticulous suicide plans after learning he could no longer afford the flat he shared with his wife and nine-year-old son. The family had received a letter stating their housing benefit would be cut by £30 a month, leaving them with ‘nowhere to go’, and provided to Westminster Coroners Court.
3. Stephanie Bottrill: Click Here For Report
Stephanie Bottrill Allegedly Died From Toxic DWP Welfare Reforms: 4th May 2013
Due to reasons of legal importance, we have changed the order of folk being remembered on Calum’s List as originally published in 2011. We have placed Stephanie Bottrill here because it irrevocably shows that there is evidence to substantiate alleged Department of Work & Pensions (DWP) lawbreaking:-
In Parliament, on 23rd January 2012 Katy Clark M.P., Asked DWP Ministers Iain Duncan Smith & Chris Grayling:-
“11 disabled people have committed suicide in circumstances in which the coroner said that it was as a result of assessments as part of the Work Capability Assessment. Is that figure right? Can the Minister advise whether he has looked into what legal liability the Government may have and, in particular, whether there is exposure under the Corporate Manslaughter legislation?”
It is of material importance to note that the above question and DWP Welfare Reform systemic fatal flaws were made known to Iain Duncan Smith and Chris Grayling….
DWP Ministers Iain Duncan Smith and Chris Grayling Being Questioned Together About Welfare Reform Corporate Manslaughter By Katy Clark MP In The House Of Commons
…sitting joint and severally side by side on the Government Front Bench in the House of Commons beyond any reasonable doubt on 23rd January 2012 (Hansard: Column 22).
Then, after almost 16 months of failure to make his reforms sufficiently safe, Iain Duncan Smith and his Department of Work & Pensions negligently left the dangerous Welfare Reforms in a fatal and toxic state. The result? FACT – this appalling and avoidable tragedy happened over a year later on 4th May 2013 as evidenced by personal corroboration, and this public domain suicide note:-
Legally this was almost 16 months AFTER “directing mind” Iain Duncan Smith and his deputy Chris Grayling were WARNED on camera, in the highest legal chamber in the country of the dangers of their Welfare Reforms, if left unsafe and unfit for purpose.
When Katy Clark M.P., questioned Iain Duncan Smith about DWP culpability in Welfare Reform Homicide on 23rd January 2012 the minister had well over a year to make his Welfare Reforms fit-for-purpose and safe PRIOR to Stephanie Bottrill committing suicide and leaving prima facie evidence in the form of Stephanie’s suicide note explicitly blaming the Government and by deductive logic, the responsible officials/ministers at the DWP. To be clear the legislation covering this alleged culpability is:
The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007.
Some further reading: Here and Here. This law specifically INCLUDES the DWP as being legally competent for interview by the police, and if the evidence supports a case then the DWP may be liable for caution, charge and criminal prosecution as well as civil court remedy.
Since the alleged culpability of the DWP in Stephanie Bottrill’s death, Calum’s List along with SIX subscribers and EIGHT families here HOPE that there will be NO MORE DWP Welfare Reform deaths. Especially, via the particularly toxic:
Brown Envelopes of Despair, Destitution & Death
Threatening destitution and homelessness to those with disabilities. Posted through taxpayers’ letterboxes. For the avoidance of doubt, EVERY man, woman and child in the UK is a taxpayer. Example: 20% VAT, Council Tax etc. In addition EVERY person in the UK is a benefit claimant. Example: NHS service users – births along a life with taxpayer funded healthcare right up to death. Plus education recipients. Along with Tax Credits for work etc.
However some families on this website are preparing to refer their cases to the police if the tipping point is reached. In the meantime the new subscribers to Calum’s List are still trying to persuade the DWP to make Welfare Reform SAFE and fit for purpose.
Subsequently, from the point where Katy Clark phoned Calum to discuss the matter in further detail, the Welfare Reform Death Toll had gone from the figure quoted by the M.P., in the House of Commons of 11, to a new total of 30 DWP Welfare Reform Deaths. A few months later it was in excess of 42 DWP Deaths as detailed on Calum’s List at the point where one of the website subscribers died and the site went offline. In fact our current total being uploaded here on the new Calum’s List website as of September 2015 is 60. We are only a small website remembering those who either we know personally, or have received information from friends and family of those who have gone this way. The total on this website does NOT include the details of the 50,580 who have died after being found “Fit For Work” by the Department of Work & Pensions. Nor those 30,560 tormented souls on the DWP Severe Disablement list who have died. Many under inhumane pressure from the DWP. TOTAL DWP DEATHS 81,140. Source: Here.
4. Paul Willcoxson: Click Here For Report
A man with mental health problems who was worried about benefit cuts killed himself while he was searching for a job on the south coast, an inquest heard. A suicide letter and next of kin note were found in which Paul Willcoxson expressed concerns about Government cuts Southampton Coroner’s Court heard – chaired by Deputy HM Coroner Gordon Denson.
5. Leanne Chambers: Click Here For Report
Leanne Chambers, aged 30 from Sunderland, drowned herself after receiving a Department of Work & Pensions brown envelope of despair, destitution and death – stating that she was fit to return to work. She had battled depression and the symptoms of this illness for years.
On 14th September 2015 we got a bit of a surprise – a pleasant one. Against all odds, a friend who has spoken passionately in the House of Commons about the wretched welfare reforms – crookedly manipulated by Iain Duncan-Smith and his ilk – has found himself in a position not many would have thought impossible. John McDonnell MP has just been appointed Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer.
There is now a glimmer of hope that the current gerrymandered welfare reforms and demonisation of the disabled will be advanced to a point on the political agenda where it can be addressed by senior politicians. Our hope is that no more families will have the heart-rending news a loved one has been despatched from this life by the dogmatic cripple-cleansing policy orgy of Iain Duncan-Smith and his ilk. In case ‘journalists’ like Brendan O’Neill are reading this – before you go off on an uninformed bias rant, please note every word on this website is written by a people who have serious disabilities. So by all means criticise this website, but understand it is kept alive by disabled people sick and tired of having their friends and family members killed off by your Conservative zealots who wish to see the end of the social security system.
As for John McDonnell MP. Here is a moving speech he gave a while ago. On reflection at John’s new appointment as Shadow Chancellor, it gives many people with disabilities real hope. Thank you John.
Click on the above picture to hear the speech by John McDonnell MP
6. Christelle Pardo: Click Here For Report
Unthinkable Torment And A Step To Death
HM Coroner Dr Andrew Reid said: ‘She was not in a position around the time her son was born to be actively seeking work, and was not in a position to claim Income Support, which eventually stopped her housing benefit. In lay terms it seems a very parlous situation. Ms Pardo twice appealed against the decision to refuse income support and was in the process of taking the Department of Work and Pensions to a tribunal. Her last phone call to DWP was made the day before she died
7. Kayjah Pardo: Click Here For FOI Details
HM Coroner Dr Andrew Reid recorded a verdict of suicide for Christelle Pardo and a verdict of unlawful killing for the death of her son Kayjah Pardo. In its serious case review, the City and Hackney Safeguarding Children Board acknowledged what it called a ‘fundamental perversity’. The panel felt that Christelle may have developed severe depression. There were no concerns for their physical health or mental well-being, although she was becoming increasingly frustrated and demoralised at the continuing denial of benefits, and the protracted process of appealing against this decision…. the stresses arising from being refused benefits would have been the most significant factor in precipitating the development of mental illness. The Panel considered that [Christelle], in a developing psychosis, may have quite quickly come to see herself as a worthless person in a hopeless position. The Panel discussed the fact that her actions had brought about the death of her son, whom she loved. It was suggested that [Christelle] may not have seen herself and [Kayjah] as being separate – that they were, in her mind, a single entity, so that the appropriate action for her was inescapably also right for her son.
The review also highlighted ‘inadequate customer care’ by the DWP and made a recommendation that they ‘review the apparent anomaly identified in this case, which meant that financial support to a family was reduced when their needs became greater.’
As it turned out, an appeal tribunal in September 2010 ruled that Christelle Pardo qualified for permanent right to reside and was in fact entitled to benefits.
8. Elaine Christian: Click Here For Report
Elaine Christian, 57 was found dead in a drain, had been worried about attending a medical appointment to assess disability benefits, an inquest heard. A post mortem revealed she had died from drowning, despite having more than ten self-inflicted cuts on her wrists. The Coroner’s Inquest in Hull was told Mrs Christian had been worrying about a meeting she was due to have to discuss her entitlement to disability benefits.
Her spiralling health problems meant she had to give up her job at Cooplands bakery in Greenwich Avenue, where she was described as a cheerful, hardworking and trusted staff member.
Mr Christian told the inquest he had woken up on February 7 to find his wife of 28 years missing.
He discovered a suicide note, empty packets of painkillers and pools of blood.
Asked by Hull and East Riding Coroner Geoffrey Saul if anything had been troubling his wife, Mr Christian said: “She was upset about going to a medical appointment the next day.”
Despite the presence of a suicide note, which was not read out to the court, HM Coroner Mr Saul said he was unable to say, with certainty, that Mrs Christian had intended to kill herself at the drain.
9. Robert Christian: Click Here For Report
10. David Clapson: Click Here For Report 1
and also: Click Here For Report 2
David died in Stevenage, Hertfordshire with just £3.44 left in his account. In earlier employment as as a soldier, he faced death on a daily basis serving his country. when he left the British Army he went straight into the workplace with British Telecom before becoming a full-time carer for his sick mother.
After his mum went into a home, David turned to the state for help while he looked for work. But under the Coalition’s callous new benefits rules he had his £71.70 a week Jobseeker’s Allowance was “sanctioned”. Apparently because he missed an appointment with an adviser – the DWP have sanction targets in place. This can be proven, but the DWP deny it.
Stripped of his income, David Clapson could not afford food or electricity and died starving, penniless and alone at his home.
His death was from diabetic ketoacidosis – caused by not taking his insulin.
His distraught sister Gill Thompson believes he may have stopped injecting himself with the life-saving drug after becoming so desperate over his lack of cash and work, and not being able to afford electricity tokens to keep the fridge working. A vital thing as this kept his life preserving diabetetes medicine fit for purpose.
Diabetes sufferer David Clapson died from lack of insulin, 18 days after his Jobseeker’s Allowance was sanctioned in July 2014. His sister, Gill Thompson, said more than 211,000 people signed her petition calling for an inquiry.
As of March 2015 this petition by David’s sister had 211,822 signatories. Parliamentary etiquette provides that any petition with over 100,000 signatures is “eligible” for a debate in the House of Commons. It is considered bad form not to allow this. So when will the debate into David’s DWP death, and hopefully ways to stop more DWP deaths be held?
11. George From Chesterfield: Click Here For Report
George, from Chesterfield, Derbyshire, worked all his life, first as a miner and foundry worker, then as a communications engineer, until his first heart attack in 2006 when he was 53.
After marginal recovery George took a stint working self-employed. However after medical examination, his doctor told him to stop. George applied for ESA. This required an ATOS/DWP Work Capability Examination.
In George’s 39-minute exam by the DWP’s Work Capability assessors, ATOS, the “disability analyst” noted that George had angina, heart disease and chest pain, even when resting. But the assessor pontificated this wasn’t “uncontrollable or life-threatening” and George “should be able to walk at least 200 metres”.
The Atos report went to the Department for Work and Pensions, where George’s heart problems were ignored and he got six sick “points”, as he could only stand up for less than half an hour due to pain.
Short of the 15 points needed to get ESA, George was put on Jobseeker’s Allowance and told to find work. He appealed, waiting eight months for his case to go to an independent tribunal. There George got nine more points, as he could only walk 100 metres before stopping. He was put on the “work related activity” group where he got the lower rate of benefit and special help finding a suitable job.
After months of stress George collapsed and died of a heart attack, the day before another Atos medical. His widow is convinced the stress of claiming killed him.
Colin Hampton of the Derbyshire Unemployed Workers’ Centre says he’s had four identical cases.
12. Tuvalu Widow: Click Here For Discourse
Can anyone out there suggest a good solicitor so I can persue a criminal or civil prosecution against both Atos Healthcare and DWP.
My late husband died just before Christmas, although we were not together we were still legally married and still cared for each others welfare. I was in Australia when he died and returned immediately to sort this out. I have been through his paper work and firmly believe the DWP were negligent, Cruel, Inept and he also suffered discrimination. I have a small occupational pension and am not on benefits myself, so they cannot threaten me with fear.
My late husband was only on ESA for a few months, and had not claimed any benefit for over 30 years. I would like a criminal case if possible, Civil if I have to. I cant find any records of court cases on the web. I would be really grateful for all suggestions
Thank you in advance, Tuvalu Widow.
Dear Tuvalu Widow, please get in touch : Calumslist.org Contact Page
13. David Groves: Click Here For Report
David Groves: Picture – Roland Leon SM
David Groves, 56, died of a massive heart attack the night before his DWP/ATOS medical as he scoured the internet for ways to raise cash in case he lost his entitlement.
He had claimed incapacity benefit for three years after doctors ordered him to stop working following a heart attack and several strokes. His widow Sandra, 57, said being lumped in with “dole scroungers” and the fear of financial hardship had a devastating effect.
David – who worked for 40 years as a miner and telecoms engineer – had already gone through a stressful eight-month appeal process to keep his £91-a-week benefits.
14. Elaine Lowe: Click Here For Report
Elaine Lowe was a seriously ill woman who died just two days after her suicide attempt following a DWP Brown Envelope of Destitution Despair & Death stopped her the incapacity benefit. This information was provided to HM Coroner at a formal inquest in Westminster.
The Coroner’s Court was told she had received a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions saying she should go back to work. The 53-year-old, who suffered life-limiting breathlessness because of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, was so distressed she took a cocktail of drugs. Dr Sana Hamid, who treated Ms Lowe at St George’s Hospital, Tooting, said: “She wasn’t depressed when I saw her but she added how distressed she had been about the decision by the Benefits Agency. She said that she saw the letter and decided to take her own life“. Witness Dr Hamid.
A suicide note had been left by Ms Lowe in a sealed envelope and some medication was around the floor, the court was told.
Please Note: This website was originally started in 2011 after a disabled person called Calum asked a simple question on a disability website support forum:-
“Was Paul Reekie the only one to commit suicide where Welfare Reforms had some culpability”.
One of Calum’s friends started an independent website called Calum’s List. Soon this list of disabled and vulnerable people who had tragically gone that way, or died in other ways at the hands of alleged DWP negligence had many more names added. However the list website ceased after the death of one of it’s subscribers and advancing disability of another.
The website is now being reinstated due to the continual carnage, distress, death and painful toll being exacted on those directly affected and their familles and friends that the current crooked Welfare Reform system is meant to protect. Universal Credit, the Bedroom Tax, PIP and punitive, gerrymandered Sanctions Targets are just some of the defective elements that still have not been made fit-for-any purpose, other than take billions from the most vulnerable in society.
This paragraph is where we are at the moment in rebuilding this website. Please check back again as time goes by to see the reinstated compilation of information and of course the Memorial List of folk who have gone, but whose families and friends are doing their utmost to stop more people dying at the hands of the DWP.
Also there is a way that Welfare Reform will be made safe and fit for purpose. As John Pring’s respected Disability News Service narrates stonewalling by the DWP only goes so far. We believe legal action against those allegedly committing malfeasance in public office and other infractions may be inevitable unless the DWP make their system SAFE and fit-for-purpose. In spite of stonewalling and denials that there has been any wrongdoing by the DWP, there is a relevant fact. For the “mere” act of THEFT after the MP Expenses Scandal, FIVE Members of Parliament were jailed and TWO Lords were also imprisoned. Prior to these MPs and Lords going to jail, ALL protested their innocence. So we have legal counsel preparing for that next DWP Brown Envelope of Death, Destitution & Despair to top what is currently a fairly large offsite box of evidence and files ready for the police start interviewing DWP officials and those legally responsible ministers at the DWP. More of that in due course.
15. Shaun Pilkington: Click Here For Report
There Are Many, Many More On This List…