Joy Dove, the mother of Jodey Whiting has condemned the ‘abominable’ behaviour of the DWP as they resort to dirty tricks to prevent a second inquest into Jodey’s death, with even the High Court judge criticising their callous behaviour.
Jodey died in February 2017. Her ESA had been stopped after she failed to attend a work capability assessment.
Jodey had been seriously ill with pneumonia, had been receiving treatment for a cyst on the brain and was taking strong painkillers. Nonetheless, she had been refused a home assessment for her ESA and failed to open the appointment letter for a WCA at an assessment centre.
As a result, her benefits were stopped.
An inquest into Jodey’s death lasted less than an hour and failed to even look at the part the DWP played in the tragedy.
Her family have since been fighting for a new inquest to properly examine the part played by the DWP.
The DWP have known since December that a hearing was due to take place on 22 June.
Yet with just three weeks to go, the DWP suddenly applied to be made a party in the case and to have permission to address the court orally on three separate matters.
This would have made the case last much longer, probably meaning it would have to be relisted for a later date. It would also have greatly increased the costs for Jodey’s family and massively increased the distress her mother is experiencing as she takes on the coroner’s court system and the DWP.
The judge in the case was very critical of the DWP’s late intervention.
Instead of allowing three oral submissions, they are only allowing written submissions on one point.
This still means the case will last for one and a half days, instead of just one day
Joy Dove said:
“I am appalled by the behaviour of the DWP. I believe they caused my daughter’s death by their callous disregard for the anguish they caused her and now, with the same abominable attitude towards ordinary people, they are causing me more distress. They have known about my application for a second inquest since December and only now, just 10 days before the hearing is due to take place, have they got around to addressing Jodey’s case.”
Leigh Day partner Merry Varney said:
“We are pleased that the judge recognised that the Secretary of State’s behaviour towards Joy Dove has been woeful and that at this stage he has only allowed her lawyers a limited narrow role in the hearing in her application for a second inquest into the death of her daughter.
“The conduct of the Secretary of State has caused significant additional and wholly avoidable, distress for our client. No adequate reason has ever been provided for the delay and now, at this very late stage, because the hearing will now take longer, she has put our client to extra expense and inconvenience, as well as worry and distress. We welcome the Court’s recognition of the lack of apology or regard for our client by the Secretary of State and our client and her family hope the High Court will recognise the ongoing need for justice for Jodey and to allow her daughter the inquest that her case clearly merits.”