Welfare Reform Deaths – The Original Memorial Pages
A MINIMUM OF 60 DISABLED OR VULNERABLE PEOPLE WHO HAVE DIED
We know of these 60 welfare reform deaths from their friends and/or family contacting this website. The UK figure is nearer 4,000 but could be as high as 81,140 welfare reform deaths - government stats: click here. But we have only listed those folk whose family or friends - or even themselves before they die, have gotten in touch. To try and list 4,000 peoples' deaths would kill off the small group left standing at this end of the website. There is already trauma at losing so many people, several of whom became close friends. So our list is just 60+. We really want this welfare reform death toll to stop. Please.
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 Committed Suicide: 4th May 2013
++++++++++++ CALUM’S LIST CONTINUED ++++++++++++++
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.
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
Someone needs to stop THIS DWP nightmare.
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 diabetes 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.
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.
15. Shaun Pilkington: Click Here For Report
There Are Many, Many More On This List…
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