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Benefit Cuts Caused Disabled Yorkshire Man Nicholas Barker To Take His Life, Rules Coroner

(101 Posts)
ttosca Sat 20-Apr-13 16:59:25

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."

Commenting on the death of Nicholas Barker, Mr Lavery told the Huffington Post UK: "This unfortunate case is not uncommon. The frightening reality is we will never know how many individuals have and will resort to this most drastic action.

"These people can not see any way forward at all, they live to exist, without luxury, often choosing between eating and heating. What type of civilised nation would allow sick and disabled people to feel that insecure that they choose to end their life. It's so sad it's gut-wrenching politics. It is a class issue."

Scotland's Evening Times reported earlier in March that thousands of people have inundated Glasgow's Citizen's Advice Bureau seeking help over government benefit changes, with many telling staff and volunteers they were contemplating suicide.

If you've been affected by the issues in this article, please call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90.

JakeBullet Sat 20-Apr-13 17:01:30


NicholasTeakozy Sat 20-Apr-13 17:13:13

The way this government is treating the disabled and unemployed is disgraceful. That they lie about it is even worse.

noisytoys Sat 20-Apr-13 17:19:22


BurnBabyBurn Sat 20-Apr-13 17:31:03

This is getting closer and closer to being me.

I know I'm supposed to exhaust the complaints and appeals system before giving in. But it may exhaust me first.

The sun is out today. I think I'll make it.

When it's cold, and I scrape up fragments of strength to get out the paperwork and do one more letter, I wonder what I'm even trying for. Mandatory Work Activity when I can't even do my own housework? A "life" begging from kind friends? "Relationships" for money? No good answers. No end in sight.

But today the sun is out. I think I'll make it.

MistressoftheYoniverse Sat 20-Apr-13 17:43:04

Hold on Burn I'm so sorry..<<hugs>>

MistressoftheYoniverse Sat 20-Apr-13 17:44:20

people need to get their local MP's involved and the media..they can only do this because no one challenges them...

HeySoulSister Sat 20-Apr-13 18:37:57

over 1,000 people!! shock

Maggysinge Sat 20-Apr-13 19:40:40

Oh for gods sake stop being so dramatic bbb.

HeySoulSister Sat 20-Apr-13 19:50:22

why so nasty?

ssd Sat 20-Apr-13 19:54:54

maggy, you're one arse, you know that don't you?

Maggysinge Sat 20-Apr-13 19:58:53

Coming onto a website and moaning that your benefits are being reduced is not going to get any sympathy from me. This country is broke and everyone has to feel the pinch. People who have had it pretty easy for years are suddenly realising that life is about to get harder and they are actually going to have to go out and earn their money now, like the rest of the majority of people do.

MadCap Sat 20-Apr-13 20:01:41

Yeah those poor disabled people...they've had it so easy. Maggy, why don't you just fuck off love.

TheChaoGoesMu Sat 20-Apr-13 20:03:22

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TheHumancatapult Sat 20-Apr-13 20:04:38

maggu you not read it paralisyed on left side hardly think he was having it easy even before all this.Guess your not offer to of taken his place and lived with it

Maggysinge Sat 20-Apr-13 20:05:40

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MistressoftheYoniverse Sat 20-Apr-13 20:06:07

ditto Madcap...Maggy what the fuk are they spending our tax money on? not be fooled

TheHumancatapult Sat 20-Apr-13 20:06:19

or please maggy come and take my place, or my sons place and see how easy it is .course when swapped places i can then heckle you

TheHumancatapult Sat 20-Apr-13 20:07:04

Maggy read it that man was not fit to work .Dr said no but some pen pusher decided he knew better than years of medical training

TheChaoGoesMu Sat 20-Apr-13 20:08:25

So you think that man should have gone and got a job even though he was paralysed down the left side of his body Maggy?

ssd Sat 20-Apr-13 20:08:35

yup. a total arse

MadCap Sat 20-Apr-13 20:12:19

No, no guys. It's all about survival of the fittest dontcha know. If disabled people can't work they should starve and die in the gutter.

ssd Sat 20-Apr-13 20:14:30

no madcap, they should just try harder and get fit, really why haven't they thought of that?

expatinscotland Sat 20-Apr-13 20:15:50

Because being paralysed on one side of your body is the life of fucking Riley, Maggy. FFS.

AThingInYourLife Sat 20-Apr-13 20:16:43

"If you are fit and able to work then you should no? It's called survival of the fittest."


No, it isn't.

Stupid does often go hand in hand with being a cunt.

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