Man partially paralysed with brain haemorrhage shot himself after benefits stopped



‘Benefits withdrawal led to man’s suicide’

12:19pm Wednesday 17th April 2013 in News By Karen Darley

A FORMER farm labourer shot himself after learning that his benefits were being stopped, an inquest heard.

Nicholas Peter Barker, of Bridge Farm Close, Helmsley, was found dead in his front garden with a shotgun at his feet by his neighbour on December 10 last year.

In a statement, Keith Howes said he had known Mr Barker for 11 years and described him as a “nice chap who got on with everyone”.

“I saw him that morning as he was putting out his bin and he seemed to be happy and his normal self, not depressed or sad,”

Mr Howes told the inquest at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court. 

“That evening I was in my front room watching the television, when at about 6pm I heard a long bang. It was so loud I nearly shot out of my skin, but it was very dark outside and I couldn’t see anything.”

Mr Howes said he went outside and saw Mr Barker slumped in a chair.

“I also saw that there was a gun on the floor. I ran inside and phoned 999,”

he said.

A post mortem examination revealed that Mr Barker, who was 51, had died from a massive head injury due to a gunshot wound.

The report added that no drugs or alcohol had been detected.

Mr Barker’s former wife, Linda Barker, who gave evidence at the inquest, said they had been married for 12 years and separated in 1995, although they still saw each other on a regular basis.

“During the first half of our marriage he suffered a brain haemorrhage and although he was ok and could still do things, one side was quite paralysed and he was not able to work,”

Mrs Barker told the inquest.

“I know he had been on some sort of benefit for a number of years.”

Mrs Barker said she had last seen Mr Barker on December 8 when he had called to see her at work.

“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,”

she added.

“I told him not to worry as he wasn’t able to work and I said I would come and see him.”

Mrs Barker said he was due to attend an appeal hearing on December 18 against a decision to stop his benefits.

“He was always a happy man and never spoke about private matters in public, so I knew this was worrying him as he had talked about it in front of other people,”

she said.

A statement from Mr Barker’s doctor said they had spoken on the phone on December 4 and he had been upset because his benefits were being stopped after an annual assessment as he did not have the required number of points to qualify.

Coroner Michael Oakley said that Mr Barker’s death had been a deliberate act and that he had killed himself:


“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.” 

Hambleton Gazette and Herald

See also: Here Endeth The First Lesson Posted on April 17, 2013

Atos ‘apologises’ to long-term sick wrongly assessed as fit for work


28 thoughts on “Man partially paralysed with brain haemorrhage shot himself after benefits stopped

  1. Peter Morris says:

    Two ladies I know with Multiple Sclerosis were awarded NIL disability points by ATOS / DWP – it is an incurable and debilitating disease for Chrissake.

    1. Bebe says:

      My daughter with recently diagnosed MS was given unconditional support for a year, when she’ll be re-assessed. Relapsing/remitting diseases have never been properly supported, though, even under the old system – they look at what you can do on your best days while in jobs, housing etc you realistically have to plan for how you cope with the worst days.

  2. JudeB says:

    You really do have to be made of stern stuff to get through the dreadful waiting game involved leading up to an appeal. I finally had mine last Friday, and won! It’s taken about 3 days for it to finally sink in that I don’t have to worry anymore ……. or at least until the PIP thing comes along!!! A DREADFUL outcome of this ridiculous and callous system, my heart breaks for his family and friends.

  3. What makes me sick... says:

    How many more? I have an assessment coming up even though last year I ‘passed’. It was only 6 months before that I won a tribunal. The whole sickening process keeps happening over and over. How many more people will die?

  4. Humanity2012 says:

    Scrap the Scum System Break the Chains of Oppression and Slavery

    Shame upon System Collaborator Scum

  5. jeffery davies says:

    atos another one dead by their hands when is it going to end ids still thinks he,s on a winner with atos but dwp should now better so more abuse by them how long nbefore there another one dead because its not fit for the perpose but no please pick up your bar of soap and towel and go quietly jeff3

  6. there is no justice under this government says:

    Unfortunately they are getting away with doing this because the disabled are not shouting loud enough about their plight,without doubt the current WCA is flawed and totally biased in favour of the DWP.Surely their is ample evidence to put this system in front of the human rights courts?
    People who are genuinely to ill to work need to stand firm as one unit…cohesive action is called for by those being denied what is rightfully theirs …as to what i do not know…mass hunger strikes?!!!god only knows but what i do know is that people are being made to suffer for no good reason and it is against everything a caring society should be.

  7. kelpiemare says:

    The coroner recognised dwp withdrawal of benefit as the tipping point to Mr Barker’s suicide. How many more will be victims of IDS’ immoral policy..and how long until he, and it, is thrown out….

  8. OwenWilliams says:

    “It is evident that the matter was concerning him greatly.”


    Mr Oakley, your professional ability to understate such matters both astounds and appalls me.

    The FAIL is strong with this one, methinks, guys… ¬_¬

  9. jay says:

    A woman left a message today using Twitter on the Boycott Workfare blog she wrote this

    “Last Tuesday my father was deemed by DWP as ‘fit to work.’ He died on Thursday of terminal cancer.”

    My sympathy goes out to her and the above affected families.

    It’s barbaric, Atos & DWP causing this stress and misery for people that are seriously ill.
    How long are our supposed opposition MP’s going to stand aside and ignore what is happening in this country.

    In the future this time we are living in will be looked upon as one of the darkest episodes in Britain’s history.

    Surely medical professionals in the NHS such as Doctors and Consultants are getting worried by the situation. We need them to voice their opinions and make them heard above the ConDem propaganda.

    The following is from a work provider memo

    “It has now been agreed Work Programme providers will be able to use mandatory work placements as another measure through which to help ESA WRAG participants move closer to the labour market.

    It will help these participants to address barriers to work such as lack of work experience due to their limited capability for work.

    The introduction of WRA for ESA participants is in line with the view that long term absence from work is bad for the health (Who is it that holds these dangerous views?) and well being of individuals and their families. Evidence (What evidence?) also suggests that work can have a positive impact on the long term health of people with disabilities and health conditions. (Do they mean a positive impact in keeping undertakers busy?)

    Summary and action
    The opportunity for ESA WRAG participants to take part in mandatory community benefit work placements will be introduced from the 3rd December 2012.”
    (Aren’t we all champing at the bit for this wonderful opportunity)

    So there you have it folks. Atos & the DWP will cure us all by forcing us to work it’s beneficial, yes even working for no pay. At the end of the mandated period we will all be cured. Jesus Christ has risen again and is now working as Chief Medical Officer for the DWP.

    The NHS has seen mass redundancies as highly experienced Doctors, Consultants and Surgeons are no longer needed.
    Atos will recruit only those with a Disability Deny ‘er certificate. Ayone who has medical qualifications obtained from three to five year courses will be considered ineligible due to being too highly qualified.

    There may be some positions available as DWP decision makers but these will be limited due to the unprecedented and astonishing figures achieved by Atos and the DWP in curing the sick.

  10. George Woodward says:

    The Torries don’t care about anyone who is poor or in need,today’s £10million outing with the undertaker proves that,for God’s sake help to vote the buggers out next time.

  11. Bebe says:

    My daughter with recently diagnosed MS was given unconditional support for a year, when she’ll be re-assessed. Relapsing/remitting diseases have never been properly supported, though, even under the old system – they look at what you can do on your best days while in jobs, housing etc you realistically have to plan for how you cope with the worst days.

  12. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

    Yet another suicide, a human being suffering from a disability, robbed o not only his benefits, but his life…………..

    BILL GUNNYEON of the DWP signed this and all the other death warrants.

    His job at the DWP is supposed to be Chief Medical Officer, a position that should at least show some human traits….

    This demon in a suit has no feelings whatsoever, his twisted heinous policies take away life at an astounding rate.

    Sadly the DWP try and pretend nothing is happening, whilst shielding this evil man. One day his time will come, the sooner the better…………

    Ignorance of the facts is never an alibi for taking lives.
    The DWP has blood on its hands. No matter how they try to wash it off, it will come back to haunt them……

    Callums list is real, an epitaph to GUNNYEONS victims…………

  13. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

    This man, GUNNYEONS victim, had worked as a farm labourer….

    This type of job was heavy, demanding long hours and little pay and a frugal lifestyle. He grafted hard and succumbed to a brain haemorrhage.

    They stole his benefit and drove him to take his life…………

    My sympathy is with his friends and family.

    Sadly, had he gone back to working on the farm, his wages would have also been reduced because the agricultural wages board has just been abolished………

    Why do they call this place GREAT BRITAIN?

  14. jennifer burton says:

    This goverment has a lot to answer for, i have also lost my benifit because of this goverment there must be some way to get this goverment out. they wont give benifits to the people who really need it but will pay all that money for maggies funeral what a sham this country is since cameron has taken over. i send my sympathy to all friends and family of this poor man.

    1. Landless Peasant says:

      The Government are criminals who lie to the public and to Parliament. They serve the Rich, and wage a crazed ideological war on the sick and poor, like a perverse Robin Hood, and they do so under false pretences. The Rich Global Elite have creamed-off the profits, paid no Tax, and the Capitalist bubble has burst, and their hideous puppets in Government blame and punish the People, starting with those at the bottom, the sick and the poor.

      Astonishingly, and much to their shame, Labour are echoing Tory words and sentiments about “skivers” etc. and talk of a “tough Welfare system” from ex-Merchant Banker, Liam Byrne.

      Something that should concern anyone who cares about Democracy, is the fact that BOTH Labour and Conservative Governments have used the dubious services of Lord Freud (or ‘Lord Fraud’ as he has come to be known in some circles.) to help them to well and truly sodomize the Welfare system.

      And finally, anyone who still believes in Democracy, but are sick of the Two-Party system and understandably dismayed at the frightening similarities that can now be seen to exist between Labour and Conservative, would be well advised to study the Hegelian Dialectic…

  15. David Moynagh says:

    Surely the international court of human rights should be notified of the growing numbers of Atos related suicides. Ian Duncan Smith is guilty of crimes against humanity for his continual use of Atos in the face of these tragic deaths. In my world, he would be made to stand trial for his sinister policies against the sick and disabled. Tis a pity that hanging is no longer a sentence for such an evil crime.

  16. Linda says:

    If they removed his benefits and he couldn’t work, whatever ATOS,s silly tick boxing exercise says. How could he go on living. Someone should be held accountable for his death.

  17. guy fawkes says:

    Words cannot express the sorrow i feel for this victim, not the revulsion I feel for those that caused his premature death.

  18. guy fawkes says:

    ps sorry that should read NOR the revulsion I fell for those that cause his premature death.

    Adding now to what is becoming an ever increasing list of victims.

  19. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

    Something to think about…………………..

    I may have a disability but those bastards in government are spineless bastards!

  20. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

    The Boston bombers used pressure cookers laden with explosives and packed with nails, ballbearings and small metal shrapnel. They took lives and caused terrible disabilities. The bombs were hidden in a rucksacks and the story has dominated world media headlines…………..

    Meanwhile the coalition government issues legislation that is carried out by the DWP. The impact is carefully buried in the small print. Hundreds of people are dying and the media turn a blind eye………….

    The truth is out there…………………………………..

  21. Landless Peasant says:

    If Mr. Barker has any relatives I think they should press for a further Inquiry, if that’s possible (?) and which ought to include a posthumous Appeal (by an High Court Judge) of the Benefit decision that officially lead to his tragic and untimely death. If that Appeal is successful, then someone should be held as being culpable and therefore forced to resign at the very least. Ultimately the main two people responsible for this poor man’s awful death are I.D.S. and Lord Fraud, who should just do the right thing and go now. In fact, the entire Government should GO! Their brutal attack against the sick and poor is criminal.

  22. jay says:

    By James Bloodworth | Published: April 19, 2013

    At its AGM on April 14 2013, Amnesty International UK passed a resolution on the Human Rights of sick and disabled people in the UK.

    The resolution read:

    “This AGM calls for urgent action to halt the abrogation of the human rights of sick and disabled people by the ruling Coalition government and its associated corporate contractors.

    Calls for Amnesty International UK to urgently work with grassroots human rights campaigns by and for sick and disabled people, carers and their families. And to set up a specialist Disability Human Rights network…..

    To protect the human rights of people with disabilities, ill people and carers to halt this regressive and lethal assault on our rights.”

    This month saw the introduction of the notorious Bedroom Tax; it’s has been estimated that two thirds of the households hit by the tax contain disabled people. Atos Healthcare’s ‘fitness to work’ assessments of disabled people – a linchpin of the coalition’s welfare reforms – have also been slammed by charities and paralympians.

    The full resolution can be found here:

  23. nigel simmons says:

    The man in charge of our National Health Service has been found totally lacking in his ability to manage it with any semblance of credibility .Over a THOUSAND DEATHS caused by his lack of COMPASSION & PATIENT COMMITTMNENT in One Hospital – Stafford .Thatcher brought him in to close all the mental hospitals and implement Ken Clarkes ‘Care in the Community’ in 1990 which caused suicides galore and since then he has run the NHS on Profitability Grounds rather than any Patient Care and Respect .We the British Public owe it to the Victims of all Patients that have suffered under his Callous Regime .Ask yourself before you sign the Petition “Why hasn’t he been sacked” because he knows too much and he would take too many others with him .Please Make A Stand Against Our Ever Eroding Rights As Members of the British Public

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