The Court of Appeal will livestream a two day hearing into whether there should be a second inquest into the death of Jodey Whiting and the role that the ‘shocking’ failures by the DWP played in the tragedy.
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.
The Independent Case Examiner later found that the DWP failed five times to follow its own safeguarding procedures.
Yet 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.
Jodey’s mother, Joy Dove, has fought an incredibly brave battle to win justice for her daughter. Even when the High Court refused her plea for a second inquest, Joy did not give up and has taken her case to the Court of Appeal.
At next week’s hearing, Joy’s lawyers will argue that an inquest is needed to investigate the impact of the failings of the DWP in administering Jodey’s benefits, described by the High Court as “shocking” and the roles of these failings in her death.
Joy Dove said:
“I have always been convinced that the original inquest into Jodey’s death just did not sufficiently answer the questions about how Jodey came by her death and I have always been convinced that the DWP decision to cancel her benefits was a key factor in Jodey’s decision to end her own life.
"The DWP’s actions and lack of action has now been described as shocking, yet the impact on Jodey and my belief that this caused her death has never been investigated and I want a second inquest to do that. I was devastated by the High Court’s decision and I am grateful that there will be a Court of Appeal hearing. I am looking forward to the hearing and trust the judges to make the just and right decision when they have heard the arguments from my legal team.”
The case will be heard on Tuesday 31 January and Wednesday 1 February 2023 with solicitor Merry Varney of Leigh Day acting on behalf of Joy.