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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.

Fargo86 Sat 20-Apr-13 20:18:56

I haven't really got that much sympathy here. The guy was going for a drink but wasn't able to cope with being on JSA instead of Incapacity benefit? I think the problem is that so many people have been put on long term sick and left alone for years or decades, and the fact that this is ending comes as a major shock to them.

ssd Sat 20-Apr-13 20:19:15

reminds me of the boy on BGT the other week who was disabled......he said I'm glad I'm disabled, I get to keep my benefits.....

some folk just have it so easy, don't they maggy, being paralysed and stuff, whilst the rest of us walk to work, jesus they don't know they've got it made, its ok for some

AThingInYourLife Sat 20-Apr-13 20:21:58

"The guy was going for a drink but wasn't able to cope with being on JSA instead of Incapacity benefit?"


That makes no fucking sense at all.

ssd Sat 20-Apr-13 20:22:49

god he was going for a drink as well?

some folk just have it made

BurnBabyBurn Sat 20-Apr-13 20:23:30

I'm not the slightest bit interested in sympathy from you, Maggy.

I'd like the incapacity benefits I paid my National Insurance for, when I was out earning my living, before I got sick. It's not even a question of getting a bit less: it's a case of getting none at all.

My life got harder when I got ill. But I survived being ill, including the shock of becoming suddenly powerless and dependent, when I'd always believed myself in charge of my own destiny and revelled in the power to make choices.

I'm getting back some of that power - but earning my living is still not within it. I don't have a choice about being dependent. The question is whether there's anyone or anything to be dependent on.

So for the moment, hanging on here, thanks, Mistress. Some days I do quite well. Others... not so well. Crunch coming up, and could do with strength to pack away and open when I need it.

AThingInYourLife Sat 20-Apr-13 20:23:47

Well only one side of his body was paralysed.

What about the other side?

Why couldn't it be out earning money like the rest of us?

TheChaoGoesMu Sat 20-Apr-13 20:23:51

Not really Fargo. Moving on to JSA obviously brings the expectation that he would need to find a job. And with a left sided paralysis he obviously felt he wouldnt be physically able to do that.

crazynanna Sat 20-Apr-13 20:24:32

Well of are not allowed any alcohol,nicotine,sugar when you claim benefits

TheChaoGoesMu Sat 20-Apr-13 20:25:11

What jobs do you think he should have done athing?

ssd Sat 20-Apr-13 20:25:43

sorry, am really amazed this man took his own life, he must have woke up every morning and had to pinch himself, he probably couldn't believe his luck

TheChaoGoesMu Sat 20-Apr-13 20:26:50

Of course not crazynanna, thats right. If you have a disability then you have no right to enjoy the things that other people enjoy.

AThingInYourLife Sat 20-Apr-13 20:27:21

I know a bloke on benefits and I saw him in the street the other day smiling and laughing.

The fucker looked happy!


ssd Sat 20-Apr-13 20:27:48

oh great BBB is here, she/he is talking some amount of shite on another thread, maggy's got a soulmate here

crazynanna Sat 20-Apr-13 20:28:55

Yep TheChaos...bread and water for the bastards.

Seriously...I cannot believe I live in a so-called 'caring' society.

ssd Sat 20-Apr-13 20:29:46

BBB apologies, getting you confused with another poster who was on another thread with you on it, was it maggy there too I wonder?

AThingInYourLife Sat 20-Apr-13 20:29:52

TheChao - he could have used a bit of entrepreneurial spirit and found someone paralysed on the other side of their body.

Then they could have looked for work as one functional person.

mercibucket Sat 20-Apr-13 20:30:40

Bread n water that's all they need, and should be damned grateful too hey maggie

mercibucket Sat 20-Apr-13 20:30:40

Bread n water that's all they need, and should be damned grateful too hey maggie

BasilBabyEater Sat 20-Apr-13 20:31:02

I hear some of those greedy bastards wear shoes as well.

Fucking shoes.

Like they needed to walk somewhere or something.

And they have loo-roll in their bathrooms.

The sheer greed of it.

No wonder the country's broke.

It's got nothing to do with bankers or corporations not paying corporation tax, no it's all to do with uppity disabled people thinking they have a right to have a life like anyone else. How very dare they.

BurnBabyBurn Sat 20-Apr-13 20:31:10

Nicholas Barker may not have been eligible for JSA, as to get it you have to be available to work, and that full time.

Some people are being told by one part of the DWP that they are not sick enough for ESA. And by another part that they are not well enough for JSA. If they don't have children, they may not be eligible for any income at all.

And unlike an able-bodied person, they don't even have the distant hope of being likely to get work (certainly, sufficient work) due to being ill.

TheChaoGoesMu Sat 20-Apr-13 20:35:55

grin athing.

I guess thats the problem these days, people don't think hard enough about how they can overcome these little problems.

TheChaoGoesMu Sat 20-Apr-13 20:37:56

I know a bloke on benefits and I saw him in the street the other day smiling and laughing.

The fucker looked happy!

Fucking happy? You should have drop kicked him to the kerb.

expatinscotland Sat 20-Apr-13 20:40:10

NO way! Vouchers for bread and water. C'mon, people!

twofingerstoGideon Sat 20-Apr-13 20:42:18

They should all have a big yellow 'S' sewn on their clothes, too, so we know they're Scroungers.

crazynanna Sat 20-Apr-13 20:45:15

Don't forget the 'F' in front of the 'S' Twofingers...Feckless Scrounger

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