26 July 2017
What: Mark Barber takes his own life shortly after learning his disability benefits would be cut by £20 a week after a reassessment. Notes found inside his housing association flat after his death demonstrate the problems he was facing with his finances. One says his washing machine was being held together by Sellotape. Another that he had had to spend £12 on a phone call to the Department for Work and Pensions to try to sort out the cut to his disability benefits. Mark’s neighbour Lorraine Barry, who found him following his death, told HuffPost UK: “He was left with no money at all. I just think it’s heartbreaking and I don’t know how anyone could be expected to live on that amount of money and function. He was living to the bare minimum.”
Why significant: A coroner said he had been “under stress due to reassessment for disability benefits”, and returned a verdict of suicide.