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UK Welfare-Related Deaths: The Black Triangle List / 30 April 2015

The following text taken from the Black Triangle List was found and edited by poet, artist and campaigner Vince Laws in collaboration with film maker, digital artist, and campaigner Andrew Day. 

Made for Dandifest! Norwich launch 27/5/15 with Arts Council England funding from the National Lottery, and donations.

Hello John
I'm a poet, artist, and campaigner in Norfolk. 
I want to list the people who have died within 6 weeks of their benefit ending. 

I think it was at 10,200 or something when the government stopped counting... And any subsequent deaths that are due to DWP/benefit cuts.

Does such a list exist? 

Hi Vince
I’m afraid that was based on a number from a DWP statistics release, and there is no list of names available. 
However, Black Triangle have an ongoing list of cases that have come from media reports of welfare-linked deaths. 
Last time I looked, they were just short of 100 names.

The Black Triangle List

In Memory of those we have lost
In Hope for those who remain

Terry McGarvey, 48. 
Dangerously ill from polycytheamia 
Terry asked for an ambulance 
to be called during his 
Work Capability Assessment. 
He knew that he wasn’t well enough 
to attend his WCA 
but feared his benefits 
would be stopped if he did not. 
He died the following day.

Elaine Lowe, 53. 
Suffering from COPD  
and fearful of losing her benefits. 
In desperation, 
Elaine chose to commit suicide.

Mark Wood, 44. 
Found fit for work by Atos, 
against his Doctors advice and assertions 
that he had complex mental health problems. 
Starved to death after benefits stopped, 
weighing 5st 8lb when he died.

Paul Reekie, 48
the Leith based Poet and Author. 
Suffered from severe depression. 
Committed suicide after DWP stopped his benefits 
due to an Atos ‘fit for work’ decision.

Leanne Chambers, 30. 
Suffered depression for many years 
which took a turn for the worst 
when she was called in for a WCA. 
Leanne committed suicide soon after.

Karen Sherlock, 44. 
Multiple health issues. 
Found fit for work by Atos 
and denied benefits. 
Fought a long battle 
to get placed into the support group of ESA. 
Karen died the following month of a heart attack.

Carl Payne, 42.  
Fears of losing his lifeline benefits 
due to welfare reform 
led this Father of two 
to take his own life.

Tim Salter, 53. 
Blind and suffering from Agoraphobia. 
Tim hanged himself after Atos 
found him fit for work 
and stopped his benefits.

Edward Jacques, 47 
suffering from HIV and Hepatitis C. 
Edward had a history of severe depression and self-harm. 
He took a fatal overdose after Atos 
found him fit for work and stopped his benefits.

Linda Wootton, 49
A double heart and lung transplant patient. 
Died nine days after government found her fit for work, 
their refusal letter arriving as she lay 
desperately ill in her hospital bed.

Steven Cawthra, 55. 
His benefits stopped by the DWP and with rising debts, 
he saw suicide as the only way out of a desperate situation.

Elenore Tatton, 39 
Died just weeks after the government found her fit for work.

John Walker, 57, 
saddled with debt because of the bedroom tax, 
John took his own life.

Brian McArdle, 57 
Suffered a fatal heart attack 
the day after his disability benefits were stopped.

Stephen Hill, 53. 
Died of a heart attack 
one month after being found fit for work, 
even though he was waiting for major heart surgery.

Jacqueline Harris, 53. 
A former Nurse who could hardly walk 
was found fit for work by Atos 
and her benefits withdrawn. 
in desperation, she took her own life.

David Barr, 28. 
Suffering from severe mental difficulties. 
Threw himself from a bridge 
after being found fit for work by Atos 
and failing his appeal.

David Groves, 56. 
Died of a heart attack 
the night before taking his work capability assessment. 
His widow claimed that it was the stress that killed him.

Nicholas Peter Barker, 51. 
Shot himself after being told 
his benefits were being stopped. 
He was unable to work after a brain haemorrhage 
left him paralysed down one side.

Mark and Helen Mullins, 48 and 59 years old. 
Forced to live on £57.50 a week 
and make 12 mile trips each week 
to get free vegetables to make soup. 
Mark and Helen both committed suicide.

Richard Sanderson, 44. 
Unable to find a job 
and with his housing benefit cut 
forcing him to move, 
but with nowhere to go. 
Richard committed suicide.

Martin Rust, 36
A schizophrenic man who killed himself 
two months after the government found him fit to work.

Craig Monk, 43. 
A vulnerable gentleman and a partial amputee 
who slipped so far into poverty that he hanged himself.

Colin Traynor, 29, 
suffering from epilepsy 
was stripped of his benefits. 
He appealed. 
Five weeks after his death 
his family found he had won his appeal.

Elaine Christian, 57 
Worried about her work capability assessment, 
she was subsequently found at Holderness drain, 
drowned and with ten self inflicted wrist wounds.

Christelle and Kayjah Pardoe, 32 years and 5 month old. 
Pregnant, her benefits stopped, Christelle, 
clutching her baby son 
jumped from a third floor balcony.

Mark Scott, 46. 
His DLA and housing benefit stopped 
and sinking into deep depression, 
Mark died six weeks later.

Cecilia Burns, 51. 
Found fit for work while undergoing 
treatment for breast cancer. 
She died just a few weeks after 
she won her appeal against the Atos decision.

Chris Cann, 57. 
Found dead in his home 
just months after being told 
he had to undergo
a medical assessment to prove 
he could not work.

Peter Hodgson, 49. 
Called to JCP to see if he was suitable for volunteer work. 
Peter had suffered a stroke, a brain haemorrhage and had a fused leg. 
His appointment letter arrived a few days after he took his own life.

Paul Willcoxsin, 33. 
Suffered with mental health problems 
and worried about government cuts. 
Paul committed suicide by hanging himself.

Stephanie Bottrill, 53. 
After paying £80 a month for bedroom tax, 
Stephanie could not afford heating in the winter, 
and lived on tinned custard. 
In desperation, 
she chose to walk in front of a lorry.

Larry Newman 
suffered from a degenerative lung condition, 
his weight dropping from 10 to 7 stone. 
Atos awarded him zero points, 
he died just three months after submitting his appeal.

Paul Turner, 52. 
After suffering a heart attack, 
he was ordered to find a job in February. 
In April Paul died from ischaemic heart disease.

Christopher Charles Harkness, 39. 
After finding out that the funding 
for his care home was being withdrawn, 
this man who suffered with mental health issues, 
took his own life.

Sandra Louise Moon, 57. 
Suffering from a degenerative back condition, 
depression and increasingly worried 
about losing her incapacity benefit. 
Sandra committed suicide by taking an overdose.

Lee Robinson, 39. 
Took his own life 
after his housing benefit and council tax 
were taken away from him.

David Coupe, 57. 
A Cancer sufferer 
found fit for work by Atos in 2012. 
David lost his sight, 
then his hearing, 
then his mobility, 
and then his life.

Michael McNicholas, 34. 
Severely depressed and a recovering alcoholic. 
Michael committed suicide 
after being called in for a 
Work Capability Assessment by Atos.

Victor Cuff, 59 
suffering from severe depression. 
Victor hanged himself 
after the DWP stopped his benefits.

Charles Barden, 74. 
Charles committed suicide by hanging 
due to fears that the Bedroom Tax 
would leave him destitute 
and unable to cope.

Ian Caress, 43. 
Suffered multiple health issues 
and deteriorating eyesight. 
Ian was found fit for work by Atos, 
he died ten months later 
having lost so much weight 
that his family said 
he resembled a concentration camp victim.

Iain Hodge, 30. 
Suffered from the life threatening illness, 
Hughes Syndrome. 
Found fit for work by Atos and benefits stopped, 
Iain took his own life.

Wayne Grew, 37. 
Severely depressed due to government cuts 
and the fear of losing his job, 
Wayne committed suicide by hanging.

Kevin Bennett, 40. 
Kevin a sufferer of schizophrenia and mental illness 
became so depressed after his JSA was stopped 
that he became a virtual recluse. 
Kevin was found dead in his flat several months later.

David Elwyn Hughs Harries, 48. 
A disabled man who could no longer cope 
after his parents died, 
could find no help from the government via benefits. 
David took an overdose as a way out of his solitude.

Denis Jones, 58. 
A disabled man crushed by the pressures of government cuts, 
in particular the Bedroom Tax, 
and unable to survive by himself. 
Denis was found dead in his flat.

Shaun Pilkington, 58. 
Unable to cope any more, 
Shaun shot himself dead 
after receiving a letter from the DWP 
informing him that his ESA was being stopped.

Paul ?, 51. 
Died in a freezing cold flat 
after his ESA was stopped. 
Paul appealed the decision and won
on the day that he lost his battle to live.

Chris MaGuire, 61. 
Deeply depressed and incapable of work, 
Chris was summonsed by Atos 
for a Work Capability Assessment 
and deemed fit for work. 
On appeal, a judge overturned the Atos decision 
and ordered them to leave him alone 
for at least a year, 
which they did not do. 
In desperation, 
Chris took his own life, 
unable to cope anymore.

Peter Duut, 
a Dutch national with terminal cancer
living in the UK for many years 
found that he was not entitled to benefits 
unless he was active in the labour market. 
Peter died leaving his wife destitute, 
and unable to pay for his funeral.

George Scollen, age unknown. 
Took his own life 
after the government closed 
the Remploy factory 
he had worked in for 40 years.

Julian Little, 47. 
Wheelchair bound and suffering from kidney failure, 
Julian faced the harsh restrictions of the Bedroom Tax 
and the loss of his essential dialysis room. 
He died shortly after being ordered to downgrade.

Miss DE, Early 50’s. 
Suffering from mental illness, 
this lady committed suicide less 
than a month after an Atos assessor 
gave her zero points and declared her fit for work.

Robert Barlow, 47. 
Suffering from a brain tumour, 
a heart defect and awaiting a transplant, 
Robert was deemed fit for work by Atos 
and his benefits were withdrawn. 
He died penniless less than two years later.

Carl Joseph Foster-Brown, 58. 
As a direct consequence 
of the wholly unjustifiable actions of the Job centre and DWP, 
this man took his own life.

Martin Hadfield, 20 years old. 
Disillusioned with the lack of jobs available in this country 
but too proud to claim benefits. 
Utterly demoralised, 
Martin took his own life by hanging himself.

Annette Francis, 30. 
A mum-of-one suffering from severe mental illness, 
found dead after her disability benefits were ceased.

Ian Jordan, 60. 
His benefits slashed after Atos and the DWP declared Ian, 
a sufferer of Barratt’s Oesophagus, fit for work, 
caused him to run up massive debts in order to survive. 
Ian was found dead in his flat after taking an overdose.

Janet McCall, 53. 
Terminally ill with pulmonary fibrosis 
and declared ‘Fit for Work’ by Atos and the DWP, 
this lady died 5 months after 
her benefits were stopped.

Stuart Holley, 23. 
A man driven to suicide by the DWP’s incessant pressure 
and threat of sanctions for not being able to find a job.

Graham Shawcross, 63. 
A sufferer of the debilitating disease, Addison’s. 
Died of a heart attack due to the stress of an Atos ‘Fit for Work’ decision.

David Clapson, 59 years old. 
A diabetic ex-soldier deprived of the means to survive 
by the DWP and the governments harsh welfare reforms, 
David died all but penniless, 
starving and alone, 
his electricity run out.

Chris Smith, 59. 
Declared ‘Fit for Work’ by Atos 
as he lay dying of Cancer in his hospital bed.

Nathan Hartwell, 36 
died of heart failure after an 18-month battle 
with the ­Department for Works and Pensions.

Michael Connolly, 60. 
A Father of One, 
worried about finances after his benefits were cut. 
Committed suicide by taking 13 times the fatal dose 
of prescription medicine on His Birthday.

Jan Mandeville, 52 
A lady suffering from Fibromyalgia, 
driven to the point of mental and physical breakdown 
by this governments welfare reforms. 
Jan was found dead in her home 
after battling the DWP for ESA and DLA.

Trevor Drakard, 50 years old. 
A shy and reserved, 
severe epileptic 
who suffered regular 
and terrifying fits almost his entire life, 
hounded to suicide by the DWP 
who threatened to stop his life-line benefits.

Death of a severely disabled Dorset resident, unnamed, 
who took her own life while battling the bedroom tax.

The black triangle was a badge 
used in Nazi concentration camps 
to mark prisoners as "asocial" 
or "arbeitsscheu" (work-shy). 
It was later adopted as a lesbian 
or feminist symbol of pride and solidarity, 
on the assumption that the Nazis
included lesbians in the "asocial" category. 

More recently it has been adopted 
by UK disabled people's organisations 
responding to increasing press allegations 
that disabled benefit recipients are workshy.
08457 90 90 90

It doesn't have to be like this.
There are better alternatives
like the UK Disabled People's Manifesto
published by Inclusion London