Stripped of his income, the 59-year-old 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.
Tonight his distraught sister Gill Thompson told how she believes he may have stopped injecting himself with the life-saving drug after becoming so desperate over his lack of cash and work.
Choking back tears, she said: “I think he just gave up. I want the lessons to be learned. I don’t want anybody else to die. He shouldn’t have died like that. You wouldn’t let an animal die like that, would you?
“I just, I look at food now and think, ‘My brother didn’t have any.’
"My brother was not a scrounger. He was getting £71.70 a week. He was not living on champagne and caviar. They should have taken into account his past work and his condition.”
Stevenage council leader Sharon Taylor slammed Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith over David’s treatment.
She stormed: “He should hang his head in shame. David served his country. Treating him like this is disgusting.
When David died he had just £3.44 to his name, six tea bags, a tin of soup and an out-of-date can of sardines. His electricity card was out of credit meaning the fridge where he should have kept his insulin chilled was not working.
A coroner also found he had no food in his stomach.
A pile of CVs for job applications were found near David’s body.
Gill, 57, demanded a change to the welfare system she believes caused her brother’s death. She said officials knew he was diabetic as he nearly died when his benefits were stopped once before.
David, of Stevenage, Herts, had his benefits axed last summer for missing the appointment. There have been more than a million stoppages since the Coalition came to power in 2012.
Post by nickd (Mylegal) on Aug 3, 2014 18:45:55 GMT
'No one should die penniless and alone': the victims of Britain's harsh welfare sanctions
David Clapson was found dead last year after his benefits were stopped on the grounds that he wasn't taking the search for work seriously. He had an empty stomach, and just £3.44 to his name. Now thousands of other claimants are being left in similarly dire straits by tough new welfare sanctions
By Amelia Gentlemen 3rd August 2014
David Clapson when he was in the army … he was found dead last year, after his benefits were stopped. Photograph: Linda Nylind for the Guardian
We know that David Clapson was actively searching for work when he died because a pile of CVs he had just printed out was found a few metres from his body. The last time he spoke to his sister, a few days before he died, he told her he was waiting to hear back about an application he had made to the supermarket chain Lidl.
But officials at the Jobcentre believed he was not taking his search for work seriously enough, and early last July, they sanctioned him – cutting off his benefit payments entirely, as a punishment for his failure to attend two appointments.
Clapson, 59, who had diabetes, died on 20 July 2013, from diabetic ketoacidosis (caused by an acute lack of insulin). When Gill Thompson, his younger sister, discovered his body, she found his electricity had been cut off (meaning that the fridge where he kept his insulin was no longer working). There was very little left to eat in the flat – six tea bags, an out-of-date tin of sardines and a can of tomato soup. His pay-as-you-go mobile phone had just 5p credit left on it and he had only £3.44 in his bank account. The autopsy notes reveal that his stomach was empty.
The circumstances of Clapson's death have been scrutinised by many of the groups campaigning for a reform of the government's increasingly punitive (or rigorous, depending on your perspective) sanctions system, by which the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) stops benefitspayments to claimants who have not met the agreed conditions every job-seeker signs up to when they start to claim support. While sanctions have long been a part of the benefits system, and have cross-party support, new regulations introduced in October 2012 have meant that they are being handed out with greater frequency and for longer stretches of time. In 2013, 871,000 people were sanctioned, losing some or all of their benefits payments for a minimum of four weeks, rising to three years in exceptional cases. There are hardship payments for those who are struggling, but only a minority are told about them, leaving many to survive on zero income.
The economic crisis in Europe and North America led to more than 10,000 extra suicides, according to figures from UK researchers.
A study, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, showed "suicides have risen markedly".
The research group said some deaths may have been avoidable as some countries showed no increase in suicide rate.
Campaign groups said the findings showed how important good mental health services were.
The study by the University of Oxford and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine analysed data from 24 EU countries, the US and Canada.
Unemployment, repossessions and debt
It said suicides had been declining in Europe until 2007. By 2009 there was a 6.5% increase, a level that was sustained until 2011.
It was the equivalent of 7,950 more suicides than would have been expected if previous trends continued, the research group said.
Deaths by suicide were also falling in Canada, but there was a marked increase when the recession took hold in 2008, leading to 240 more suicides.
The number of people taking their own life was already increasing in the US, but the rate "accelerated" with the economic crisis, leading to 4,750 additional deaths.
The report said losing a job, having a home repossessed and being in debt were the main risk factors.
However, some countries bucked the trend. Sweden, Finland and Austria all avoided increases in the suicide rate during the recession.
One of the researchers, Dr Aaron Reeves, of the University of Oxford, said: "A critical question for policy and psychiatric practice is whether suicide rises are inevitable."
'Policy potentially matters'
He told the BBC: "There's a lot of good evidence showing recessions lead to rising suicides, but what is surprising is this hasn't happened everywhere - Austria, Sweden and Finland.
"It shows policy potentially matters. One of the features of these countries is they invest in schemes that help people return to work, such as training, advice and even subsidised wages.
"There are always hard choices to make in a recession, but for me one of the things government does is provide support and protection for vulnerable groups - these services help people who are bearing the brunt of an economic crisis."
Andy Bell, of the Centre for Mental Health, said: "The study says what we feared for some time: that unemployment, job insecurity and many other factors associated with the recession are associated with poor mental health and suicide.
"It reminds us how important it is to respond to that need and take preventative action where we can, and that primary care is properly resourced and able to identify people who are at risk."
Beth Murphy, of the charity Mind, said: "Since 2008, we've seen an increasing number of people contact the Mind Infoline concerned about the impact of money and unemployment on their mental health.
"Redundancy and other life circumstances brought about by the recession can trigger depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts for anyone, whether they have previously experienced a mental health problem or not.
"For some people, these factors can become so difficult to cope with that suicide may feel like the only option."
Post by nickd (Mylegal) on Oct 4, 2014 22:09:34 GMT
Plymouth man unable to pay rent killed himself when he faced eviction
30th September 2014
A GARDENER who was unable to pay his housing association rent may have taken his own life on the day he was to be evicted, an inquest heard.
The body of Peter Kelleher was found on June 25 by police after a neighbour alerted them to a build up of post, an abundance of flies and a strange smell coming from his ground floor flat in Diamond Avenue, Greenbank
Officers forced their way into the property and found the 44-year-old kneeling behind the flat door, a ligature round his neck attached to the door handle.
Police reported that Mr Kelleher’s body was in a state of decomposition and that all windows and doors were closed and locked.
Det Con Matt Wood, who investigated the circumstances of Mr Kelleher’s death told the inquest the deceased was one of four siblings.
He had been born in Ealing, London and brought up by his mother. After his parent’s divorce he had initially went to live with his father in Fulham but seven years ago his mother and he both moved to Plymouth.
When his mum became ill, Mr Kelleher gave up his job as a gardener for SERCO and became her carer.
His mother passed away in September last year and in February this year his brother, Michael Kellerher, helped him moved out of her home into a flat of his own. When their father then fell ill, Michael returned to care for him in London.
Det Con Wood said during his investigation, Michael – who attended his brother’s inquest – explained how Peter was a shy person, who he felt had a “type of mild autism but never diagnosed”.
His inquiries found that Peter had been prescribed Fluoxetine, but had not taken the anti-depressant.
Michael Kellerher told Plymouth coroner Ian Arrow that he had found a series of letters from a housing association addressed to his brother in the pile at the front door demanding rent payments, highlighting the bills went from “£200” to “£700”.
He said had also found a notice of eviction set for June 17 – the date he believes his brother took his own life.
Coroner Ian Arrow said a post mortem report found that Mr Kelleher’s bladder and stomach was empty.
Michael told the coroner he had learned that from the day his brother moved into the address: “He wasn’t receiving any benefit whatsoever.”
Sadly, he said his brother had given his family no indication that his financial situation was “so severe”.
He said: “These letters were saying ‘you owe us £200’ and ‘you owe us £700’.
“But for him not to have told us this is just unknown to us. I’m having major trouble with that part of it.
“He must’ve gone hungry for more than a day. Why didn’t he tell me?”
Michael Kellerher revealed his brother had left a note bearing two names and two phone numbers.
Mr Arrow recorded a verdict that Mr Kellerher had taken his own life.
The Herald later learned the property was managed by DCH, formerly Devon & Cornwall Housing.
Asked what efforts they made to assist Mr Kellerher with his finances, a spokesperson from DCH said: “Our thoughts are with Mr Kelleher's family at this time and we will continue to offer our support to them.
“We are unable to discuss the circumstances of individual residents however we are committed to ensuring each and every one of our residents has access to the relevant support and advice they need and our teams work hard to deliver this, working closely where possible with each individual resident.”
Updated tragic list of welfare-related deaths of UK’s sick and/or disabled people.
This is the tip on the iceberg:
They shall be remembered forevermore.
Avenge the dead. Resuscitate the living. We must fight on for freedom from Westminster’s murderous policies and support the struggle of all Britain’s sick and/or disabled people simultaneously. Saor Alba.
Terry McGarvey, 48. Dangerously ill from polycytheamia, Terry asked for an ambulance to be called during his Work Capability Assessment. He knew that he wasn’t well enough to attend his WCA but feared that his benefits would be stopped if he did not. He died the following day.
Elaine Lowe, 53. Suffering from COPD and fearful of losing her benefits. In desperation, Elaine chose to commit suicide.
Mark Wood, 44. Found fit for work by Atos, against his Doctors advice and assertions that he had complex mental health problems. Starved to death after benefits stopped, weighing only 5st 8lb when he died.
Paul Reekie, 48, the Leith based Poet and Author. Suffered from severe depression. Committed suicide after DWP stopped his benefits due to an Atos ‘fit for work’ decision.
Leanne Chambers, 30. Suffered depression for many years which took a turn for the worst when she was called in for a WCA. Leanne committed suicide soon after.
Karen Sherlock, 44. Multiple health issues. Found fit for work by Atos and denied benefits. Fought a long battle to get placed into the support group of ESA. Karen died the following month of a heart attack.
Carl Payne, 42. Fears of losing his lifeline benefits due to welfare reform led this Father of two to take his own life.
Tim Salter, 53. Blind and suffering from Agoraphobia. Tim hanged himself after Atos found him fit for work and stopped his benefits.
Edward Jacques, 47 years old and suffering from HIV and Hepatitis C. Edward had a history of severe depression and self-harm. He took a fatal overdose after Atos found him fit for work and stopped his benefits.
Linda Wootton, 49 years old. A double heart and lung transplant patient. Died just nine days after the government found her fit for work, their refusal letter arriving as she lay desperately ill in her hospital bed.
Steven Cawthra, 55. His benefits stopped by the DWP and with rising debts, he saw suicide as the only way out of a desperate situation
Elenore Tatton, 39 years old. Died just weeks after the government found her fit for work.
John Walker, 57, saddled with debt because of the bedroom tax, John took his own life.
Brian McArdle, 57 years old. Suffered a fatal heart attack the day after his disability benefits were stopped.
Stephen Hill, 53. Died of a heart attack one month after being found fit for work, even though he was waiting for major heart surgery.
Jacqueline Harris, 53. A former Nurse who could hardly walk was found fit for work by Atos and her benefits withdrawn. in desperation, she took her own life.
David Barr, 28. Suffering from severe mental difficulties. Threw himself from a bridge after being found fit for work by Atos and failing his appeal.
David Groves, 56. Died of a heart attack the night before taking his work capability assessment. His widow claimed that it was the stress that killed him.
Nicholas Peter Barker, 51. Shot himself after being told his benefits were being stopped. He was unable to work after a brain haemorrhage left him paralysed down one side.
Richard Sanderson, 44. Unable to find a job and with his housing benefit cut forcing him to move, but with nowhere to go. Richard committed suicide.
Martin Rust, 36 years old. A schizophrenic man who killed himself two months after the government found him fit to work.
Craig Monk, 43. A vulnerable gentleman and a partial amputee who slipped so far into poverty that he hanged himself.
Colin Traynor, 29, and suffering from epilepsy was stripped of his benefits. He appealed. Five weeks after his death his family found he had won his appeal.
Elaine Christian, 57 years old. Worried about her work capability assessment, she was subsequently found at Holderness drain, drowned and with ten self inflicted wrist wounds.
Christelle and Kayjah Pardoe, 32 years and 5 month old. Pregnant, her benefits stopped, Christelle, clutching her baby son jumped from a third floor balcony.
Mark Scott, 46. His DLA and housing benefit stopped and sinking into deep depression, Mark died six weeks later.
Cecilia Burns, 51. Found fit for work while undergoing treatment for breast cancer. She died just a few weeks after she won her appeal against the Atos decision.
Chris Cann, 57 years old. Found dead in his home just months after being told he had to undergo a medical assessment to prove he could not work.
Peter Hodgson, 49. Called to JCP to see if he was suitable for volunteer work. Peter had suffered a stroke, a brain haemorrhage and had a fused leg. His appointment letter arrived a few days after he took his own life.
Paul Willcoxsin, 33 years old. Suffered with mental health problems and worried about government cuts. Paul committed suicide by hanging himself.
Stephanie Bottrill, 53. After paying £80 a month for bedroom tax, Stephanie could not afford heating in the winter, and lived on tinned custard. In desperation, she chose to walk in front of a lorry.
Larry Newman suffered from a degenerative lung condition, his weight dropping from 10 to 7 stone. Atos awarded him zero points, he died just three months after submitting his appeal.
Paul Turner, 52 years old. After suffering a heart attack, he was ordered to find a job in February. In April Paul died from ischaemic heart disease.
Christopher Charles Harkness, 39. After finding out that the funding for his care home was being withdrawn, this man who suffered with mental health issues, took his own life.
Sandra Louise Moon, 57. Suffering from a degenerative back condition, depression and increasingly worried about losing her incapacity benefit. Sandra committed suicide by taking an overdose.
Lee Robinson, 39 years old. Took his own life after his housing benefit and council tax were taken away from him.
David Coupe, 57. A Cancer sufferer found fit for work by Atos in 2012. David lost his sight, then his hearing, then his mobility, and then his life.
Michael McNicholas, 34. Severely depressed and a recovering alcoholic. Michael committed suicide after being called in for a Work Capability Assessment by Atos.
Victor Cuff, 59 and suffering from severe depression. Victor hanged himself after the DWP stopped his benefits.
Charles Barden, 74. Charles committed suicide by hanging due to fears that the Bedroom Tax would leave him destitute and unable to cope.
Ian Caress, 43. Suffered multiple health issues and deteriorating eyesight. Ian was found fit for work by Atos, he died ten months later having lost so much weight that his family said that he resembled a concentration camp victim.
Iain Hodge, 30. Suffered from the life threatening illness, Hughes Syndrome. Found fit for work by Atos and benefits stopped, Iain took his own life.
Wayne Grew, 37. Severely depressed due to government cuts and the fear of losing his job, Wayne committed suicide by hanging.
Kevin Bennett, 40. Kevin a sufferer of schizophrenia and mental illness became so depressed after his JSA was stopped that he became a virtual recluse. Kevin was found dead in his flat several months later.
David Elwyn Hughs Harries, 48. A disabled man who could no longer cope after his parents died, could find no help from the government via benefits. David took an overdose as a way out of his solitude.
Denis Jones, 58. A disabled man crushed by the pressures of government cuts, in particular the Bedroom Tax, and unable to survive by himself. Denis was found dead in his flat.
Shaun Pilkington, 58. Unable to cope any more, Shaun shot himself dead after receiving a letter from the DWP informing him that his ESA was being stopped.
Paul ?, 51. Died in a freezing cold flat after his ESA was stopped. Paul appealed the decision and won on the day that he lost his battle to live.
Chris MaGuire, 61. Deeply depressed and incapable of work, Chris was summonsed by Atos for a Work Capability Assessment and deemed fit for work. On appeal, a judge overturned the Atos decision and ordered them to leave him alone for at least a year, which they did not do. In desperation, Chris took his own life, unable to cope anymore.
Peter Duut, a Dutch national with terminal cancer living in the UK for many years found that he was not entitled to benefits unless he was active in the labour market. Peter died leaving his wife destitute, and unable to pay for his funeral.
George Scollen, age unknown. Took his own life after the government closed the Remploy factory he had worked in for 40 years.
Julian Little, 47. Wheelchair bound and suffering from kidney failure, Julian faced the harsh restrictions of the Bedroom Tax and the loss of his essential dialysis room. He died shortly after being ordered to downgrade.
Miss DE, Early 50’s. Suffering from mental illness, this lady committed suicide less than a month after an Atos assessor gave her zero points and declared her fit for work.
Robert Barlow, 47. Suffering from a brain tumour, a heart defect and awaiting a transplant, Robert was deemed fit for work by Atos and his benefits were withdrawn. He died penniless less than two years later.
Carl Joseph Foster-Brown, 58. As a direct consequence of the wholly unjustifiable actions of the Job centre and DWP, this man took his own life.
Martin Hadfield, 20 years old. Disillusioned with the lack of jobs available in this country but too proud to claim benefits. Utterly demoralised, Martin took his own life by hanging himself.
Annette Francis, 30. A mum-of-one suffering from severe mental illness, found dead after her disability benefits were ceased.
Ian Jordan, 60. His benefits slashed after Atos and the DWP declared Ian, a sufferer of Barratt’s Oesophagus, fit for work, caused him to run up massive debts in order to survive. Ian was found dead in his flat after taking an overdose.
Janet McCall, 53. Terminally ill with pulmonary fibrosis and declared ‘Fit for Work’ by Atos and the DWP, this lady died 5 months after her benefits were stopped.
Stuart Holley, 23. A man driven to suicide by the DWP’s incessant pressure and threat of sanctions for not being able to find a job.
Graham Shawcross, 63. A sufferer of the debilitating disease, Addison’s. Died of a heart attack due to the stress of an Atos ‘Fit for Work’ decision.
David Clapson, 59 years old. A diabetic ex-soldier deprived of the means to survive by the DWP and the governments harsh welfare reforms, David died all but penniless, starving and alone, his electricity run out.
Chris Smith, 59. Declared ‘Fit for Work’ by Atos as he lay dying of Cancer in his hospital bed.
Nathan Hartwell, 36, died of heart failure after an 18-month battle with the Department for Works and Pensions.
Michael Connolly, 60. A Father of One, increasingly worried about finances after his benefits were cut. Committed suicide by taking 13 times the fatal dose of prescription medicine on the 30th October – His Birthday.
Jan Mandeville, 52, A lady suffering from Fibromyalgia, driven to the point of mental and physical breakdown by this governments welfare reforms. Jan was found dead in her home after battling the DWP for ESA and DLA.
Trevor Drakard, 50 years old. A shy and reserved, severe epileptic who suffered regular and terrifying fits almost his entire life, hounded to suicide by the DWP who threatened to stop his life-line benefits.
Death of a severely disabled Dorset resident, unnamed, who took her own life while battling the bedroom tax.
May their deaths be avenged.
See also: UK ‘is first country to face UN inquiry into disability rights violations’ ~ Disability News Service