Weeks after his boy killed himself ~ Heartbroken dad reveals agony as decision to axe his son’s benefits is overturned

Daily Record Lion



DAVID Barr committed suicide after the decision to stop his benefit was upheld but the DWP have now admitted that decision has been overturned as there were gaps in the medical history they had for David.

David Barr is devastated by his son's suicide
David Barr is devastated by his son’s suicide

David McNie


A GRIEVING dad revealed his devastation yesterday after learning the decision to axe his son’s benefits had been overturned – after his boy killed himself.

David Barr, who had serious mental health problems, took his own life after he was ruled fit to work and told his money was being stopped.

His dad, also David, met Department for Work and Pensions bosses last week over his son’s case.

Officials told him that the decision had been reversed following a review of the case after his son died. They admitted to him that there were gaps in the medical history they had for David jnr as he was moving about.

David snr last night called for a fatal accident inquiry so lessons could be learned from his son’s tragic death.

He said:

“DWP people agreed to come to see me after I notified them I was making an official complaint.

“They said they had actually changed the decision to stop his benefits – and that he would have won his appeal.

“But they said the decision was only reached after David died. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. It’s too late for us – far too late.

“They told me they are going to have a discussion about his case and that it would be investigated. They also said they were unaware of David’s history as he had changed addresses.

“They said they should have made more effort to study David’s medical reports.

“They said they would change their systems – but it’s no use to us now. We are just heartbroken at what happened to David. They just sat there squirming.

“I am meeting with my lawyer and will press for a fatal accident inquiry in the hope that any lessons can be learned from what our family has gone through.”

We told last month how David blames benefits axemen for driving his son to suicide. David jnr, 28, threw himself from the Forth Road Bridge after the decision to stop his benefit was upheld.

Atos ruled David was fit to work despite being on anti-psychotic sedatives, sleeping tablets and antidepressants. His condition was recorded on a medical assessment as “anxiety and depression”.

But David snr, 57, of Leven, Fife, said his son had problems including memory loss, sleeplessness and paranoia – and believes he may have been schizophrenic.

David jnr worked cleaning buses for three years until 2011. His dad says his son could not cope with the routine of holding down a job.

David jnr was assessed in May. In June, the DWP told him he was fit to work – and his employment and support allowance was being withdrawn.

He was informed on July 17 that the DWP upheld the Atos recommendation. On the evening of Friday, August 23, he got a bus to the bridge, walked to the middle and jumped.

David snr said:

“They said David was fit for work but, in fact, he was fit for hospital. I would say they are 90 per cent to blame for him taking his life. He’d just had enough.”

A DWP spokeswoman said yesterday:

“We remain in close contact with Mr Barr’s family.

“Through a series of independent reviews and by working with medical experts including mental health organisations and charities, we have considerably improved the work capability assessment process since 2010.

“Decisions are made after careful consideration of all the evidence made available to us from the claimant, their GP and their healthcare professional.

“The percentage of people entitled to employment and support allowance is at its highest level, with over half of people completing an assessment eligible for the benefit.”

Atos stressed that their doctors only make recommendations on whether claimants are fit for work, with the decision being taken by the DWP.

A spokeswoman said:

“We do everything we can to minimise people’s anxiety during the work capability assessment process and will continue to strive for improvement in this area.”

A Crown Office spokesman said a report had gone to the procurator fiscal. He added:

“The investigation, under the direction of the Scottish Fatalities Investigation Unit, is ongoing and the family will be kept updated in relation to any significant developments.”

The Scottish Daily Record

Never forgotten: (April 2013) Benefit Cuts Caused Disabled Yorkshire Man Nicholas Barker To Take His Life, Rules Coroner



30 thoughts on “Weeks after his boy killed himself ~ Heartbroken dad reveals agony as decision to axe his son’s benefits is overturned

  1. Colin Leybourne says:

    How many more deaths does it take for this government to see that what they are doing is completely wrong resulting in many innocent people losing their lives? ATOS should be scrapped.

  2. Ian says:

    Just been reading about the mp claiming 3p travel allowance then I read this! what an evil goverment we now have,I just hope everyone uses their right to vote next election and gets rid.Iwish the dad well and hope he carries on with his legal action as these storys never seem to make news headlines.

  3. Fiona Greig says:

    Iain Duncan Smith, Freud, Hoban…and even Alistair Darling are guilty of this young mans early, unnecessary and tragic death. Such a horrendous waste. God only knows his agony that pushed him to this last act of utter desolation.

    Sincere condolences to David’s family.

  4. patricia wardley says:

    Why are these stories never heard on the tv it really is a nazi state, they don’t want anyone to know what is going on, its really scary that they have all this power to keep things quiet.

  5. David Moynagh BSc(hons) Msc. says:

    Another tragedy engineered by an evil and sinister westminster governmrny , againt the vulnersble sick snd disabled. They have gone too fsr. Each of us should contact the international court of human rights to request that Cameron and Iain Duncan Smith face charges of inciting suicidal deaths amongst the vulnetrable. So if like me , you care enough, then lets get writing to that court NOE. If we do not doi , nobody else will and the suicides will continue.

  6. jay says:

    I would like to offer my deepest sympathies to Mr. Barr. I have a daughter who is the same age as his son.
    In time I hope he will take this as far as possible to get some justice for his loss

    Is it just me or does everyone else feel completely nauseated by the response by those that caused this?

    Infamous DWP spokesman said
    ““Through a series of independent reviews and by working with medical experts including mental health organisations and charities, we have considerably improved the work capability assessment process since 2010.”

    Yet a father has lost his son, so in what way has the WCA been improved? It also provokes the question, Why did the journalist not question the DWP’s statement?

    The DWP also came out with the same unfeeling and heartless response some time ago when a young Scots boy lost his father after Atos/DWP ruled him fit for work. No improvements, no change – people are still dying

    Infamous DWP spokesman also said
    “Decisions are made after careful consideration of all the evidence made available to us from the claimant, their GP and their healthcare professional.”

    Is the suicide of this young man not proof that the decisions of the DWP and their buddy’s Atos are completely worthless as is the whole assessment sham?

    Yet they still issue these stupid statements about improvements and careful consideration.
    The Atos ‘healthcare professional’ responsible for the assessment and the DWP decision maker should both be tried in a court of law for gross negligence at least.

    1. Glynn Ofthesmithfamily says:

      they keep wriggling and twisting and diverting blame. Atos (knowing full well how ‘toxic’ their methods are) feed the DWP with victims then think they can wash their hands of the resultant outcome. The DWP claim that they cannot be at fault as they were supplied a victim by Atos.
      The changes they claim to have made appear to take the form of opening a window, moving a filing cabinet or sketching out a new excuse. Nothing else seems to change and their misplaced pretence of innocence continues.
      They are still using the same tactics.
      They are still conspiring to absolve themselves of blame.
      They should be wondering what form the next ‘Nuremberg’ will take and be aware of where their excuses will fall down.
      Austerity excuses and theft of public services for the UK populace contrasted alongside funeral pageantry, the high speed train, funds for foreign meddling, fees for top solicitors to argue the bonus cap for bankers, corporate tax dodges, ad almost infinitum.
      This isn’t a recession, it’s a robbery with violence.

  7. geoff reynolds says:

    These evil horrible twisted bastards, could’nt give two fucks about the outcome of their brown envelope attack on the weakest in society.

    They gain much pleasure by placing sanctions against the most weakest in society……………………..

    To label them as shit would be complimenting them, they are the new beagles attacking the fox, the new bloodsport of the tory elite………………

    We are no longer a person, we are now the lowest of the lowest, the nadir of fallen Britain.

    Given the chance i would blow these scum into kingdom come…………………….


    These are not human beings, they are devoid of all feeling, an assassination squad built from the squalid remnants of the scum from the decaying matter that hides behind the ivory towers of death.

    Inhumanity is the new, recognised trait that government supports, the rejuvenated SS of the DWP. the most adept killing machine of this century.

    I don’t hate them, i detest them to such an extent i would kill every one of them and take pleasure in the deed, to put them in a category would be hard, how do you describe people who could do this to another human being?

    The answer is you can’t, they drop below all the iconic, shit for brained, non earthly criteria that would bless the lips of someone from hell……………………..

    Carry on killing, after all it is in your remit to do so, but please glance back once in a while to rediscover that your sanction has taken someones life………….a father, a mother, brother or sister, a living organism that you decided was not fit for the likes of this world…………….

    Scum is a compliment, you are below this many times, nothing but murderers who issue brown envelopes of death…….

    Carry on and be proud of the increasing death rates that are frantically hidden from the electorate thanks to the twisted media you support……………..

    The noose is tightening as the chains on the gates of the DWP cemetery shame buckle from the deaths you support…….


    1. Glynn Ofthesmithfamily says:

      geoff, it would be equally inhuman to carry out your threats.
      I presume you made your comments to accentuate how deeply you detest what the DWP and Atos have under instruction from ‘our leaders’ without mandate.
      It’s counter-productive to point out that these people are heartless killers and then declare yourself willing to be the same.
      The rest of your response is understandably angry, practically poetic at times but the threats are totally OTT and, as already stated, counter-productive. The article you are commenting on illustrates that it’s not alright to not care about human life.

      1. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

        Whereas i recognise your sad loss, you must remember that i, like many others on this site, are undergoing the same trauma that caused your loved one to take his own life……………

        It’s easy to stand and watch the picture unfold, but you will never really understand the pressure of what they are doing to the most vulnerable and weakest.

        You cannot sleep at night, the dilemma is with you every minute of every day, you are boiling inside and it plays havoc with your nerves in every concept of your daily life. It is a mental torture like no other as it strips you of your dignity and starves you at the same time.

        Having your neck broken in a trap is painless and fast, this is quite different and has been engineered to strip away the final veneer of your character.

        Hitlers henchman had a choice. They took on the duties of their feuhrer oblivious to the callous crimes that they perceived as a normal days work. Business as usual……..

        Afterward they all said the same thing, “we were only following orders”.

        Knowing you are doing something wrong, then carrying it out is no excuse whatsoever!

        The DWP is a finely honed killing machine that has been unleashed on those offering the least resistance. More will die if something isn’t done quickly.

        To walk away is easy, the issue will not disappear.
        It’s no good in years to come, saying what we should have done, is, it wants doing now, this minute.

  8. PAUL says:

    “Atos stressed that their doctors only make recommendations on whether claimants are fit for work, with the decision being taken by the DWP”.

    who are they kidding… it is transparent to all but them…(they are in denial) that dwp invariably upholds what atos recommend.

  9. geoff reynolds says:

    PURE EVIL……………………………………

  10. nick says:

    firstly The DWP staff who make the decisions aren’t normal as no normal person would go out to work knowing that death if they made an error would cause a death that isn’t a job that’s more of an executioner a very different type of person without any normal feelings at all a type of psychopath

    This type of person wasn’t born to kill but none the less likes to inflict pain on others while hiding in the background keeping their name a secret the type of person that probably killed animals as a child

  11. Glynn Ofthesmithfamily says:

    Jaquie, many will be ordinary working folk. We are all aware that jobs are hard to come by, these people probably more acutely so. They need to work, they need to earn, they see what becomes of people who have lost their jobs and are possibly terrified of joining them. It’s probably very depressing. They know exactly how cruel this system is. Some won’t have the courage to speak out. Mixed in with them will be some who are too self interested to care and who would be quite happy to let things be terrible for others, including their workmates.
    I do know that some DWP staff find the current rules abhorrent. They try to keep balance but this ‘government’ have forced themselves onto the flight deck and are steering the course. Normal people work in many of the DWP jobs. They find it stressful, they have breakdowns, they have to take time off sick…read here what happens when their union, the PCS, try to get involved..


  12. Stepping Razor Sound Plate says:

    Emotional Blackmail Policy !! Goes hand in hand with the Contradiction Policy. Crowd Control the Masses with anger that is counter productive.

    The DWPs DPO [DWPs Data Protection Officer] don`t like facts.
    That way it gets the DWP angry & yes yet more mistakes are made on the DWPs behalf.

    Emotional Blackmail PLC – Contradictory PLC – Contradiction Policy.

  13. carol.moran says:

    Hello to all of you,my son suffered the same lies by atos…As i have volunteered for Drugs and alchol services/mental illness drop ins.
    I had insight to tenderers of Drs. ect..
    it came to light hospitals and Drs. not looked after my son.
    The new Dr. of the new Tenders ..Gave me a letter stating such.
    infact my sons Dr.(Nice person)(old Dr.)..(got draged in to a bit of a scandel relating to his clients.By chance the chemist mentioned to me about the medical profesional panel.It was on the internet.
    That the Dr. he could only work with certain clients..By chance I only heard about it on ground level..It was never in the papers ,it was kept quiet..There has been a few charities that have supposed to have helped my son.they closed down (all in it together)I could say a lot more but have to be careful.
    Well we won the appeal.But it wore me out…It was the principal of the thing that kept me going..We are modern day Jews to the slaughter. I also suffer health problems.but I am now 65. and getting by.

  14. AL says:

    In this culture of hatred for scroungers few in society want to speak out for the disadvantaged. In this culture of hatred of lazy, scrounging, scivers, no-one dare speak out against injustice at work, for fear of losing their jobs and letting their families down. No-one want’s to know when you are unemployed, that you are that way because you did the right thing according to your conscience. I know. You can only fight injustice of this kind by asking for the only thing the oppressors value. Money. The DWP and ATOS should be sued for failure in their duty of care. ATOS are medically trained and so have no excuse for making such mistakes about a claimants health. (All these appeals say they are failing in their duty) If their guidance is not sufficient to protect the vulnerable then they are at fault. If the Decision maker needs to be medically trained to understand their advice, ATOS should demand that this is so. It is no excuse to keep passing the buck. If you make a report, then you are responsible for how it is understood. If you make a decision, you are resposible for the outcome. You cannot side step. It’s time families got help and fought back in the only way the Govt will understand. They have to sue. They have lost a child, and however sick that sounds, they need compensation, justice. He had value. Imagine getting justice for David Barr and using the money in his memory to help others. His name would mean justice not failure, not victim. Suicide is the refuge of those who fail to fit. We need a Britian for all, not just those who fit. Some of us know that already we don’t want to lose the people who are different.

  15. kasbah says:

    The fact that the so called WCA is not only biaised, but extremely dangerous could not be clearer, yet the DWP comment portrays it as a “service” that is thorough and sensitive, while admitting in the same breath that they had not looked at all the information relating to David Jnr’s history. I can not find the words to express my sympathy for David Jnr and Snr. I can not find the words to express the depth of my disgust at the willing negligence of the agencies and personnel responsible.

    I think this could be a police matter – as their negligence is in contradiction to the Hippocratic Oath that medical practitioners take, namely “do no harm”. The Decision Maker should also be investigated. In fact investigate the blinking lot and build a jail especially for them from top civil servants and Ministers, to the Decision Makers and the scandal that is ATOS.

      1. Kasbah says:

        Ian I’m not sure about that-CAB may know.

        The Court of Human Rights is another avenue but is a very slow process.

    1. nick says:

      There should indeed be a police review into why a decision maker at the DWP has made such a gross error of judgement and ATOS as the deaths toll of sick and disabled people is very high with no end in sight that the correct procedures are being followed

      The deaths of the sick and disabled will continue until the public as a whole says stop

      the majority of the public at this time is still in the dark as to what goes on in most cases behind closed doors especially those that live alone and it is this group of sick and disabled invariably all of them end up dead

  16. Grace says:

    my opinion everyone of them should be shot,the goverment say they are trying 2 help you,oh yeah they are doing that allright trying 2 leave people with no money at all 2 live on,its allright for them they got plenty of cash,for someone to commit suicide through pressure of the DWPis only provoking 2 put people over the age,what for for a sake of a penny or more they have got 2 give you something 2 live on as the law says every claiment is entitled to whatever their circumstances are a set amount of money each week.fortnightly 2 live on,so i dont understand why they are allowed to take money off you when they know you are only getting money thats not even enough to survive on.what ive got 2 laugh at is if there were jobs going in Scotland everyone would be out working and not needing 2 claim any benefits its the unemployed etc that is gave all staff of the DWP a job 2 begin with millions of scots are deseperate to work as they want their on independence and hate what they have to do each week to get their benefit money,all these silly ideas is pure cruelty and its affecting every individuals Health,after all you can only take so much of something,PRESSURE AND DEPPRESSION combined together do not work.therefore thats making people commit suicide,murderers is what i would call them all lock them all up and throw the Key away see if they would like it then.Deepest sympathy and thoughts to all of the family at this sad time,God Bless YOUS,

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