High court bid for justice after coroner turns down call for Clapson inquest

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Only hours ago (at the time of writing), This Blog stated that the Conservative Government imposed a draconian, financially-crippling sanction system on jobseekers because they don’t want to pay any money to people who are out of work and simply don’t care if those people come to harm as a result.

Now we have figures showing that the number of sanctions is increasing – dramatically, in the case of Employment and Support Allowance claimants.

These are people who have long-term illnesses and need that money to survive.

Who is monitoring the health of these people while their sanction runs its course? Not the DWP!

And not Her Majesty’s Coroners, either, it seems.

Hertfordshire’s senior coroner, Geoffrey Sullivan, has refused to order an inquest into the death of David Clapson – on very shaky grounds, it seems to This Writer.

He said: “The evidence does not support either a direct or contributory causal link between the imposition of the benefit sanction and Mr Clapson’s death.

“In addition… there is no evidence as to whether the benefit sanction was imposed properly or not.”

Oh, really? So the fact he had less than £4 to his name, an empty stomach, and had not been able to pay for the electricity to keep his insulin at the right temperature did not suggest a link with the withdrawal of his benefits – his only means of financial support?

I don’t think that will stand up in court – which, by the way, is exactly where it is going.

Mr Clapson’s sister, Gill Thompson, has set up a crowdfunding account to pay for the latest stage in her legal battle, and to take the case to the high court.

It raised more than £5,000 of an initial £10,000 target within 48 hours but I’m still going over there to contribute, just as soon as I’ve finished this article.

I strongly urge you to do the same.

The sister of a disabled man who died after being left destitute by having his benefits sanctioned is to seek the help of the high court after a coroner refused for the second time to hold an inquest into his death.

David Clapson (pictured), who had diabetes, died in 2013 as a result of an acute lack of insulin, three weeks after having his jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) sanctioned.

Because he had no money, he couldn’t afford to pay for electricity that would have kept the fridge where he kept his insulin working, in the height of summer, and he had also run out of food.

But despite the circumstances of his death, and clear links with the sanctions system, no inquest was ever held.

Now Clapson’s sister, Gill Thompson, is to ask the high court for a judicial review of the coroner’s decision not to hold an inquest.

Her announcement came as new Department for Work and Pensions figures showed a sharp rise in the number of sanctions imposed on claimants of the out-of-work disability benefit, employment and support allowance.

In May 2016, there were 1,199 decisions taken to impose a sanction on an ESA claimant, but in June that shot up to 1,749. In January, the figure was as low as 900.

The number of JSA sanctions also rose, although not as steeply, from 12,067 in May to 14,049 in June.

Source: Sanction death man’s sister turns to courts after coroner turns down inquest call

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9 thoughts on “High court bid for justice after coroner turns down call for Clapson inquest

  1. jeffrey davies

    culling the stock by benefit denial they wouldnt want the truth out there all part of their aktion t4

  2. Lin Wren

    This nightmare of a Government just do not care. Mike, it is Democide against the people. What is really concerning me right now is the weather prediction. -14 before Christmas. How many will die then?

  3. Dez

    Another nuptee Coroner obviously a government yes person hoping for career progression instead of being an independent professional and doing his
    job properly. Hope some one culls these creeps out of the Coroner service as they are no longer fit for purpose if that cannot do their job properly.

  4. Tim

    I’m a Type 1 diabetic and I’ve had a dud vial of insulin a couple of times in my life. This is what happened:

    Insulin is working normally, then runs out, so I have a new vial before tea. By 7pm, my blood sugar is 20 (about four times what it should be in a non-diabetic) so I do a remedial injection. By 9pm, my blood sugar is 28 – in spite of that remedial injection – so I realise that the new vial is a dud and replace it. Only with a new vial am I able to arrest this dangerous spike in blood sugar.

    What an earth is this coroner talking about? I have no doubt at all that there is a clear chain of causation between having no money, the electricity cut off, the fridge not working and dud insulin and sky-rocketing blood sugar that will inevitably lead to diabetic ketoacidosis.

  5. laurettalottiepearson

    Do we have further evidence? Was his gas and electric cut off as a direct result of sanctions? It clearly would not have helped his situation by having his money stopped, sanctions ARE clearly killing people. Unless it is absolutely clear that the cause was due to sanctions that he had his electric and gas disconnected causing the fact he was unable to cool his insulin then the Coroner may be right in what he says. If it is that sanctions have clearly caused his situation with the electric and gas, then this Coroner needs pressure applying maybe via a petition? I have noticed also doctors seem to be falling into line with the government’s push to send sick and disabled back to work, are they being paid 30 pieces of silver? However, some doctors have been doing this since Labour was last in government, one such doctor in Southampton pushed for my late partner to go back to work and within a few months he was dead from a massive heart attack!

  6. Barry Davies

    I wonder what the cause of death written on the death certificate was and surely this can not be regarded as an expected death so why there should have been a post mortem

  7. casalealex

    A coroner is a person whose standard role is to confirm and certify the death of an individual within a jurisdiction. A coroner may also conduct or order an inquest into the manner or cause of death… In this instant he would have found that David had not taken his insulin or eaten any food for some time.

    To my mind the cause was starvation of food and essential medication. David was penniless – due to a sanction imposed on him, and he could not afford electricity for his insulin to be kept in a fridge.

    Under this tyrannical ‘government’ we have seen many similar cases of, what I can only believe is a form of discriminate passive euthanasia of the sick and disabled.

    The Tories just don’t care, and they don’t even care that we know they don’t care!

  8. Michael Broadhurst

    but surely for anyone to be denied benefit when they need it is illegal,because when he worked he would have paid national INSURANCE.if that is not the case then what are we paying national insurance for ?
    surely a crowdfunded issue on that should be launched ?
    good luck to Mr Clapsons relatives on this issue.

Comments are closed.