Benefit Cuts Caused Disabled Yorkshire Man Nicholas Barker To
Take His Life, Rules Coroner.
A man took his own life after worrying about how he would survive after his benefits were stopped, a coroner has said.
Nicholas Barker, a former farm labourer from Yorkshire, was already paralysed down the left side of his body after a brain haemorrhage more than a decade before. He was found dead in his garden with a shotgun at his feet on December 10 last year, the
The 51-year-old had been due to attend an appeal hearing a week later against a decision to stop his benefits, his ex-wife told the inquest. Linda Barker said: “He was going for a drink and seemed happy but he wanted me to help him go through his benefit papers because he was worried that he was going to be sent back to work.
“I told him not to worry as he wasn’t able to work and I said I would come and see him.”
Mr Barker’s doctor submitted a note saying he had spoken with the 51-year-old who had been worried after the assessment ruled he did not qualify for certain benefits.
He died from his head injuries, according to coroner Michael Oakley who added: “The main factor worrying him was that his benefits had been stopped and had he attended the appeal he may have been successful, but it did not get that far,” he said. “It is evident that the matter was concerning him greatly.”
In December Ian Lavery, MP for Wansbeck, called on the Prime Minister do more for disabled people after receiving a suicide note in the post from a man who had taken his own life after finding out he was no longer entitled to employment and support allowance and disability benefits.
“Across the UK there are over 1,000 people who have died only months after being told to find work,” he told the Commons, adding that he did not want to name the man in question because he wished to respect his family’s privacy. “This is 2012. We are supposed to be a civilised society. We should be looking after the disabled citizens.”
Father with financial worries who owed payday loan
firms £1,600 set himself on fire after being bombarded
with phone calls and text messages
- Antony Breeze, 36, from Bolton, died saying: ‘I’ve had enough’
- Investigations revealed he owed cash to several loan companiesAntony Breeze with his partner Amanda Lowe. An inquest heard how Mr Breeze, 36, of Horwich, Bolton, set himself on fire after getting into debt with payday loan firms
- Inquest heard he often had to borrow money to make ends meet
- In the hour before he died, Mr Breeze received texts from three of them
A father struggling to cope with mounting debts to payday loan companies died after setting himself on fire, an inquest has heard.
In the hours before his death, Antony Breeze received text messages from three different loan firms reminding him he owed them £1,600.
On the day he ended his life, the 36-year-old told his girlfriend, Amanda Lowe, that he was buying petrol for her father’s lawnmower.
Minutes later he went to a secluded alleyway near his home in Horwich, Bolton, where he set himself on fire.
A man who tried to help him told the inquest that before being put into the ambulance Mr Breeze said to him ‘I’ve had enough. I’m in debt’.
He was taken to Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester, but died a few hours later after suffering burns over 73 per cent of his body.
Miss Lowe said: ‘He had phone calls all night on Thursday night, his phone never stopped ringing, he wouldn’t tell me who it was. He went into the bathroom, I didn’t know who it was.’
She added: ‘I can’t understand why he did it.’
Tories’ benefits cuts killed Stephanie Bottrill – Stop the bedroom
Stephanie Bottrill, a pensioner in Solihull, was losing £20 a week because of the bedroom tax. The council had nowhere smaller for her to move to after her children left home. Stephanie was on constant medication for the auto-immune disease Myasthenia gravis and was too ill to work.
She used hot water bottles instead of central heating all winter to save money. The bedroom tax was the last straw. Stephanie told her neighbours, “I can’t afford to live”. Last week she threw herself under a lorry and died.
In her suicide note to her son Steven Stephanie said, “Don’t blame yourself for me ending my life. The only people to blame are the government.” Anger over Stephanie’s suicide has piled pressure on the government. Thousands of people have signed a petition calling on Iain Duncan Smith to resign for indirectly causing her death.
Even Labour’s shadow chancellor Ed Balls joined the criticism, saying the Tories were pushing people to “the brink of despair”. Steven called on the government to scrap the tax.
“I think my mum wanted to get it out there what happened,” he said.
“Hopefully now someone will listen. Someone will change things.”
Coalition blamed for bedroom tax
A 53-year-old woman who killed herself ten days ago blamed the government’s ‘bedroom tax’ in a suicide note, it has emerged.
Stephanie Bottrill, who lived in Solihull, threw herself in front of a lorry on the M6 motorway after realising she could not cope with the extra £80 a month caused by the coalition government’s changes. “Don’t blame yourself for me ending my life,” she wrote in the note, to her 27-year-old son Steven Bottrill. “The only people to blame are the government.”
Her son told the Sunday People, which reported the story, his mother had rung him saying she was struggling to cope days beforehand. “She was fine before this bedroom tax,” he said. “It was dreamt up in London, by people in offices and big houses. “They have no idea the effect it has on people like my mum.”
David Cameron has been forced to defend the coalition’s decision to end the ‘spare room subsidy’ on a weekly basis in recent prime minister’s questions. The policy sees housing benefit recipients lose 14% of their payout for one spare bedroom and 25% for two spare bedrooms. Stephanie Bottrill had two spare bedrooms in her home, which cost her £320 a month. She had lived in the property for 18 years.
Comments underneath the Sunday People’s article suggested her despair is shared by others. “I TOO HAVE FELT LIKE TAKING MY OWN LIFE READING THIS REPORT IT WAS LIKE READING ABOUT MYSELF,” one reader wrote. “I CRY CONSTANTLY AND WORRY ALL THE TIME SO YES SUICIDE HAS ENTERED MY MIND.”
Dad of two killed himself because he was losing his disability
Former sheep farmer Nick Barker was told he was fit for work even though a brain haemorrhage had left him struggling to walk
George Osborne sobbed in a public show of grief at Margaret Thatcher’s funeral – meanwhile there were private tears for a victim of his government’s welfare cuts. They came after a dad of two killed himself because he was losing his disability benefits, the Sunday People reports.
Former sheep farmer Nick Barker, 51, was told he was fit for work, even though a brain haemorrhage had left him struggling to walk. He shot himself after the shock verdict by Atos, the private drafted in by the Department of Work and Pensions to cut claimants.
His family were still reeling from the tragedy when Tory Chancellor Mr Osborne was pictured weeping at last Wednesday’s service in London for Baroness Thatcher.
Nick’s ex-wife Linda, the mother of his children, said yesterday: “It doesn’t seem right to see George Osborne crying over Margaret Thatcher when tragedies are happening because of the way his government is reforming the benefits system.”
Linda, 52, who was still close friends with Nick, added: “He was a lovely man. I can’t help but feel anger. It was clearly distressing him. He wanted a way out.” Nick had been told he did not score enough points to continue receiving benefits.
But Linda, a chef who was wed to him for 12 years, said: “He clearly couldn’t work. He should have been top of the list for benefits. The points system doesn’t work.”
Bedroom Tax suicide: Brave driver who tried to save Stephanie
Bottrill begs Coalition to scrap charge
He begged David Cameron to scrap the tax to prevent any more householders taking their lives as Stephanie did because she could not afford to pay
A driver last night told how he tried to revive Bedroom Tax victim Stephanie Bottrill after she jumped in front of a lorry. Mike Wallis braved traffic to reach her stricken body, but his efforts to resuscitate the mum of two failed. And he begged David Cameron to scrap the tax to prevent any more householders taking their lives as Stephanie did because she could not afford to pay.
The 27-year-old said: “It’s disgusting. I only found out yesterday she had committed suicide over the Bedroom Tax. “It’s so shocking that it has put someone up to do something so extreme. These politicians sit in cushy offices in London not realising the impact they have on people’s lives.
“They should have given it more thought.” Stephanie left a suicide note blaming the Government for her dire financial plight after she was hit with an £80 Bedroom Tax bill. Her children had left the council house in Solihull, West Mids, leaving two spare rooms.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zbqv62KKeZ0 Steven Bottrill (Bedroom Tax) – This Morning
Balls warns of “despair” over welfare cuts after bedroom tax
“There is no doubt this policy is driving people to the edge of despair,” says the shadow chancellor in response to the case of Stephanie Bottrill.
Today’s Sunday People features the distressing story of a woman who threw herself in front of a motorway lorry because she was worried about how she would pay the “bedroom tax”. One should always be wary of ascribing motives to any suicide, but in this case there does appear to be a direct link.
In a letter to her son, the woman, Stephanie Bottrill, wrote: “Don’t blame yourself for me ending my life, it’s my life, the only people to blame are the government, no one else.”
The son told the paper: “I couldn’t believe it. She said not to blame ourselves, it was the government and what they were doing that caused her to do it. She was fine before this bedroom tax. It was dreamt up in London, by people in offices and big houses. They have no idea the effect it has on people like my mum.”
This Is What Austerity Looks Like – First Suicide Due To
Bedroom Tax Reported
The welfare reform death toll has risen by one more tragic victim the Sunday People is reporting. The papers says:
Ten days ago Stephanie Bottrill sat in the redbrick terrace house which had been home for 18 years to write notes to her loved ones, the Sunday People reports .
She ripped the pages from a spiral-bound notebook and placed them neatly in little brown envelopes.
There was one for her son. Another for her daughter. Her mother. Friends. And a very special one for the year-old grandson she doted on.
Then in the early hours of last Saturday Stephanie, 53, left her home for the last time, leaving her cat Joey behind as the front-door clicked shut.
She crossed her road in Meriden Drive, Solihull, to drop one of her letters and her house keys through a neighbour’s letterbox. Then she walked 15 minutes through the sleeping estate to Junction 4 of the M6.
And at 6.15am she walked straight into the path of a northbound lorry and was killed instantly. Stephanie Bottrill had become the first known suicide victim of the hated Bedroom Tax.
In the letter to her son, Steven, 27, she had written: “Don’t blame yourself for me ending my life. The only people to blame are the Government.”
This is what happens when people are left with nothing at all, something the millionaire scum in Government will never understand. Money runs out for most of us, and very quickly if you are on benefits. It’s hard to even think about anything else if you have no money. If it goes on for days, or weeks or longer it can be torture. Even before welfare reforms the benefits system was not generous. It did contain some strange anomalies, usually down to the huge cost of renting in some parts of the UK, but people on benefits were already living in dire poverty. It was landlords living it up, not claimants. Yet a handful of unusual cases – often large homeless families in expensive, emergency housing – have been presented as the norm and used as cover to slash social security even further.
When you take away money from people in already in poverty it drives them to destitution. Desperate people do desperate things. Yes there will always be a complex combination of factors in tragic deaths such as these. But homelessness, hunger and despair are not trivial matters that can be cleared up with a bit of counselling or a work related activity meeting with some welfare-to-work poverty pimp. They don’t go away – not without money. So whilst Iain Duncan Smith hands about billions to Atos, A4e and his friends in the private sector remember Stephanie Bottrill. She didn’t need incentivising, assessing, motivating to find those ‘hidden vacancies’ or any other bullshit. She was too ill to work, and there aren’t any vacancies, hidden or otherwise in many parts of the UK.
She needed twenty quid a week because she was poor and couldn’t pay her rent and was going to lose her home. What little she had in this world, this Government took away, and now she is dead. And she was someone’s mum. The price of her life was just half of what Iain Duncan Smith spends on breakfast in a day, let alone a week.
Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid
There are a few dark grim shadows that surround us, us being those who live as social housing tenants under the command of either local council or housing associations that today paint a bleak picture of localised housing politics. These grim times are now seeing innocent peace loving individuals become so helpless, so desperate and alone that the thought of loosing their home is enough for them to take their own life.
The black shadows hang menacingly over our lives that doesn’t inspire any pride and shouldn’t of all those who have followed through with implementation of this outrageously cold, heartless and rotten policy. The ‘Bedroom Tax’ has an enormous grim shadow hovering over it, over our heads and has now filtered into our homes and in to our lives. From the moment the Tories paraded this idealism to suit their agenda, into legislation threatening us with eviction, debt, serious poverty or move out of your home, for some the loss of income, the loss of their home became all too much.
This current decisions lacks empathy and the ‘Bedroom Tax’ holds in itself no moral duty towards the social housing tenant, are held in high esteem with Conservative Politicians who know nothing of poverty, who are all privileged themselves and have their own massive accumulation of wealth. What gives them the legitimacy to know us, to know how we live, where is their wisdom or common sense on the matter of being poor?
This Doomsday procedure filled with moving dark shadows reduces the individual to a cheap, worthless commodity, a piece of something, anything but the priceless biological unique computer, the top of its kind, a physical and spiritual human being that we are. All the ‘Bedroom Tax’ creates is regional and community tensions as the poor penalised for being poor gain unsightly grimmer clouds ever menacing and ever tormenting increasing our debt. This ‘Bedroom Tax’ does somehow need serious addressing. It needs challenging, it needs some serious reflection because this is now taking lives, when life isn’t valued beyond priceless and where Governmental figures do not see they have no right to sentence an innocent person to their death over these senseless Welfare Reform Act.
We don’t question Government power and assume their unelected ‘think tanks’ know what they are doing and can be trusted to produce strategic and socio-economic advise on social housing that has our interests at heart, and is for our gain. This trust is unquestionable as with their legitimacy to rule power over us, the people.
Crawley Independent Tenants Association can only send out love to the recent suicide victim, and know how Callums List holds more dear names over cuts to the welfare system (ATOS) that seriously hurts certain individuals. We can only hope that Iain Duncan Smith grows some compassion over this tragedy, admits the Bedroom Tax is not worth tormenting the poor further and risk their lives, but let us not hold our breaths. For Iain Duncan Smith is a lot of things, but sentimental isn’t one of them, or warm and compassionate and may just continue thrashing his weight, slashing the finances away from the poor, moving ahead as planned to suit his cold callous far right Tory agenda of Bedroom Tax or move!
Debbie Simmons, Council Tenant, CITA.
Bedroom Tax victim commits suicide in
a world that doesn’t care
(well, the government doesn’t)
Sunday, 12 May 2013 11:32
For fuck’s sake, how long are people going to take this shit? Human Race GET OFF YOUR KNEES!
Stephanie Bottrill Bedroom tax death story. Copy of letter left to son Steven
Bedroom Tax tragedy must act as a
The Sunday People has been campaigning against the Bedroom Tax … not in our worst nightmares did we imagine that it would it claim a life
Her suicide note urges her family not to blame themselves. Stephanie was quite clear. She blamed the Government. She blamed the Government for charging her an extra £20 a week she could not afford. She blamed the Government for hounding her from the home where she brought up her children and where she had lived happily for 18 years.
She blamed the Government for a cruel tax which would part her from the family, friends and neighbours she cherished. She blamed the Government for not being able to afford to live any more.
We Are Taxing the Bedrooms of Dead Children
A DISABLED Scot has told of her fears that Coalition benefit cuts will force her from her home.
Wheelchair-bound Janice Martin, 50, from Old Monklands in Coatbridge, told her MP Tom Clarke:
“I feel suicidal about this bedroom tax”.
Bedroom tax: ‘I am struggling trying to
Published on 01/04/2013 02:05
THE plight of many disabled people across the UK losing out because of the “bedroom tax” was highlighted in the case of Janice Martin, of Coatbridge, who said the changes had made her “suicidal”. The 50-year-old’s case was raised during Prime Minister’s Questions by her local Labour MP, Tom Clarke, last month when he read out a letter that she had sent him.
She revealed that the tax would leave her with such little money that her quality of life would be deeply affected. She also told how she had begun to suffer from depression because she was so worried about how the new tax would affect her.
Mrs Martin has osteoporosis and has had her three-bedroom council house adapted to her needs, but will lose 25 per cent of her housing benefit for having two unoccupied rooms. This would cost her about £33 a week, or more than £1,700 a year.
no the government dont care about the average bloke in the street. bedroom tax is so i believe (facebook campaign) only applicable to empty roomsover 70 square foot the advice on face book is 1 put partition walls in thus reducing square footage ie an 80 suare foot foom becomes 2 40 ft square rooms therefore exempt tax 2 built in wardrobes reduce square footage
as for not being here in this unforgiving world dont try to take your own life , it is the last resort and those that get left behind hurt forever think of your children having that knowledge for the rest of their lives
I am unemployed living to a budget so tight that what live on a week a working person would spend on a take away on a sat night. i have twice cracked up and attempted suicide in the last 6 months , first time i took 140 paracetamol with a bottle of vodka , and looked at the pics of my children on the wall and dialled 999 had i left in 10 more minutes i would not be here. spent 6 days in hospital. second time near christmas i slit my wrists just as my ex had reported me to the police as being a danger to my self, so after medical treatment i was arrested for a breach of the peace and spent time in the cells not a good experience. both my wrists have pronounced scars which are visible to all and i see them all the time and my children ask me how i got them, not an easy thing to explain to them that daddy was so desperate he wanted to die. SO DONT DO IT , THERE IS ALWAYS AN ANSWER , talk to the SAMARITANS , they will listen wont phone you back but will listen nothing you can say to them will shock them. Talk to friends be frank and honest with them they probably only see you happy. If you are not on facebook , join it there are loads of cool discussion groups and people post some poignant and funny sayings on it and you will get a group of friend who have been there and triumphed , if you need someone to talk to you can talk to me and we could swap war stories about life the universe and everthing all the best . jon
Southfields dad committed suicide after housing benefit cut
by RoseCrystal @ Saturday, Mar. 30, 2013 – 12:42:19