Does this coroner’s verdict on another Bedroom Tax-related death seem SICK to you?

Frances McCormack was found hanged on the day she had an eviction notice for unpaid Bedroom Tax [Image: Caters].

Sorry, Assistant Doncaster Coroner Mark Beresford, but I don’t believe a word of it.

Recording a narrative verdict on the death of Frances McCormack, who had been threatened with the Bedroom Tax-related eviction from her house after her son’s suicide, Mr Beresford said she may have been trying to gain leverage over her local council with a “staged arrangement” that went wrong.

It seems he thinks this is why she was found hanged in the same spot her son took his life, with a handwritten note in her bedroom confessing that the Bedroom Tax was causing her enormous hardship.

This seems utter nonsense.

Rather than making up a story, why not look at the evidence?

This is a woman who had been pestered to pay the Bedroom Tax for two years, by the time of her death.

She had clearly reached a point of desperation – as the note in the bedroom suggests. Anyone appealing to David Cameron for mercy is clearly in dire straits indeed.

But the note was not delivered. Instead, Frances McCormack was found hanged in the same spot as her son. Perhaps this was the most secure point in the house from which a person dedicated to such a deed might commit it? Or, more simply, perhaps she chose that spot because she knew she would be successful?

The eviction notice arrived the same day her body was discovered.

This was no “staged arrangement” gone wrong.

It was the final act of a woman who had realised that nothing she could say or do could possibly stop the council from removing her from her home – because its hands had been tied by the Conservative Government.

In failing to acknowledge that this was even a possibility, Mr Beresford has brought the Coroner Service further into disrepute; previous verdicts related to sickness benefit claimants have also harmed its reputation.

How can we get justice for these people when their deaths are so badly misinterpreted?

And why are coroners making such questionable judgements?

A mother threatened with eviction from the house where her son took his own life was found hanged in the same spot, an inquest heard.

Frances McCormack, aged 53, had been badgered for Bedroom Tax after the death of her 16 year old son Jack Allen in 2013, the coroner heard.

The eviction notice arrived at her home the same day Ms McCormack’s body was discovered on August 10 last year.

A handwritten note was found in her bedroom, part of which was addressed to David Cameron on the hardship the Bedroom Tax was causing.

It was dated 10 days earlier and made no mention of the eviction notice, the inquest heard.

Assistant Doncaster coroner, Mark Beresford, recorded a narrative verdict saying she may have been trying to gain leverage over the council with a “staged arrangement” which went tragically awry.

He said: “The method was strikingly similar to that in which Jack ended his life, by which a powerful message could be sent, possibly to the authority dealing with her eviction, providing Ms McCormack with persuasive ammunition.

“The question of whether she intended to take her own life remains unclear.”

Source: Grieving mum found hanged near Bedroom Tax eviction letter had written poverty plea to David Cameron – Mirror Online

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22 thoughts on “Does this coroner’s verdict on another Bedroom Tax-related death seem SICK to you?

  1. John Ingamells

    Seems a sad state of how low this country’s morality and levels of care have dropped. This assistant has little right to speculate about leverage and infer the attempt was not intended questioning her intentions because of the state of mind and depths Ms Mccormack meant she had fought for some time and seen the state in full flow of uncaring disregard transmitted by the ministers that make up this hateful cabinet.

  2. Nick

    most of the DWP / bedroom tax deaths are avoidable but the government departments are well apt at looking at certain vulnerable people and harass them to their death

    i know this more then most as i have been over the years subjected to such harassment and although iv’e had professional care protection and have lived my weight went down to 6 stone through the stress

    i don’t know what the answer is as the mind and body when stressed works in a very odd way in some people and my thoughts are always with those that have died

    To all of the many thousands of relatives i would say that your family member that has died is in a much better place despite the massive pain that you will feel for the rest of your life

    the pain of long term persecution will never leave me despite some excellent treatment the bottom line is you are stuck if your mind wont or cant go forward

    most people thank god don’t know what it’s like but it is a hell that i can assure you as you cant sleep and to this day i still cant sleep so have to live every day 24/7 awake and sleeping tablets only make the matter worse

    for those like myself will understand and the best i can do is just rest as and when there are occasions when i may nod off but that is very rare and only for a few minutes

    the hospital aren’t that great and things are different in hospital anyhow as they use morphine which does work for pain and makes you sleepy as a side effect

    the bottom line is for the relatives to become more pro active when a family member is being persecuted by the DWP or whoever and to make sure all correspondence goes through the strongest family member and to seek legal help from a lawyer for advice only as only a lawyer can protect you from the DWP advances and not the CAB who can only mean well they are not the law and although well meaning they will not be able to oversee and damage that is being done to the family member

    also to make sure your GP and MP are fully in the picture as to what is going on and as a last resort the police especially if you suffer from a mental condition

  3. mohandeer

    Beresford is not the only coroner to bring our justice system into disrepute. The Litvinenko case was a fraud perpetrated by a coroner acting beyond the boundaries of his position aided and abetted by Cameron and Theresa May in a vendetta against Putin. This poor woman is maligned by a man who did not know her, had no understanding of her state of mind or extent of her grief. Who the hell was he to do a psycho analysis (something he is not qualified to pass comment on let alone slander her) and make a presumptive judgement based on evidence from facts suggesting a totally different perspective.The moral compass of some people is totally skewed and the justice system is now a sad joke.

  4. Samuel Miller (@Hephaestus7)

    I strongly disagree with the coroner’s comments and verdict. He’s denigrating her suicide by insinuating that it was “staged” and accidental. According to the Daily Express, the coroner said it was “unclear” whether Ms McCormack really intended to take her own life or whether she had “wanted to be discovered”.

    This suicide was “staged” (, but it was intentional; the pensioner wanted to send the Greek government a clear message. His anguish was unbearable, and he was driven to suicide by the hyper-austerity that the troika had imposed on Greece.

    I absolutely agree with you regarding the Frances McCormack case. It would certainly be helpful if you could request sight of the coroner’s report—but I doubt that he would comply. A public inquiry into benefit claimant deaths is urgently needed.

  5. Mr.Angry

    Will this make the mainstream press or receive coverage by the BBC, very much doubt it.

    This poor woman what she must have gone through as a result of this evil bunch of criminals running this country.

    My blood boils !!! As for the coroners verdict words fail me what an appalling state of affairs, no doubt he supports the Tories.

  6. Bookworm

    This is a sick suggestion from a representative of a sick society. The poor woman must’ve been in utter despair. How dare anyone attempt to denigrate her last actions. My respects to her remaining loved ones.

  7. NMac

    This coroner needs to be taken to task for his speculative comments. The evidence that this poor lady was desperate appears to be overwhelming.

  8. Dez

    God, so the coroners are now losing their independent thinking and erring on the side of the establishment rather than stating the facts that may have led up to this suicide. I am very disappointed that these officials are now towing the party line rather than ensuring the safety of the rest of the population. I think this is one Coroner that desperately needs a refresher course or finds another job with IDS storm troopers.

  9. Barry Davies

    surely the time she actually died would would have a bearing on the likelihood of her being found, but this is not mentioned. The coroner is supposed to make a decision on facts not speculation and as such the decision should be regarded as unsafe.

  10. John

    Something I’m curious about: “The eviction notice arrived at her home the same day Ms McCormack’s body was discovered on August 10 last year.”. You may argue that this is a minor point, but how do they know exactly that the eviction notice arrived on the same day. Was it just a letter sent, or did an official actually visit? If it was just a letter, that letter could have been lying there for days?

  11. Dave

    Without evidence to prove a statement the the statement is just an opinion, opinions have nothing to do with facts and should not be treated as such.

  12. amnesiaclinic

    The persecution is unforgivable but the comment that the family and friends and community are key in helping to prevent this is paramount.
    We need to look after ourselves and keep ourselves calm and focused. Many natural herbal supplements will help with sleep. Many like chamomile tea cost very little. Walking as much as possible in fresh air is free. So is yoga and meditation, stretching and skipping. Whatever will help you to relax and feel better. We have to stop the deaths.

  13. Nick

    the government knows that the majority of people are like myself who are dignified to the end and will not seek help in the way of food parcels etc

    and that we will kill ourselves as and when the time is right to do so as we will not live under any dictatorship types of people like David Cameron and IDS

    The EU needs to understand that David Cameron is a dictator and as time goes by they will see that very plainly what we as a country have to do thou is to hope they see his dictatorship values fast and not at the last minute when the uk fails to stay in the EU leaving the uk gates wide open for a full conservative dictatorship to take over to the detriment to the rest of the world and death to all of the weakest in society

  14. Tracie Wayling

    In a word, yes :'(

    She couldn’t bear to leave her home, her memories, ‘her son’. Bedroom Tax was forcing an eviction. She had tried to help other parents that had gone through the same thing, desperately trying to pick up the pieces of what remained of her life. The Government decided to smash the remaining pieces. The fact it was the exact same spot tells me she was simply not ready to leave her son, and probably never would be.

    It sickens me that a coroner can record ifs, buts and maybes to try and damage her reputation when it’s so blatantly obvious to anyone with even half an ounce of empathy that she had been utterly destroyed from the inside out :'(

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