Reposted from the Mirror on line
In the U.S. the term “depraved heart” means;
Depraved-heart murder is the form of murder that establishes that the willful doing of a dangerous and reckless act with wanton indifference to the consequences and perils involved, is just as blameworthy, and just as worthy of punishment, when the harmful result ensues, as is the express intent to kill itself. This highly blameworthy state of mind is not one of mere negligence…. It is not merely one even of gross criminal negligence…. It involves rather the deliberate perpetration of a knowingly dangerous act with reckless and wanton unconcern and indifference as to whether anyone is harmed or not. The common law treats such a state of mind as just as blameworthy, just as anti-social and, therefore, just as truly murderous as the specific intents to kill and to harm.—Judge Moylan, Debettencourt v. StateAs far as I’m concerned those who vote tory or Lib Dem on 7th May 2015 are also guilty of depraved heart.
The Disability News Service found more than 80 cases since 2010 and believe even more will suffer and die if David Cameron wins the election
A huge number of disabled, sick and vulnerable people took their lives due to savage Tory benefits cuts, campaigners have warned.
And they believe even more will suffer and die if David Cameron wins the election.
The Disability News Service found more than 80 cases of suicide directly linked to billions of pounds in benefit cuts.
John McArdle, co-founder of Black Triangle, which campaigns on the issue, warns ‘thousands’ of cases go unreported.
He said: “The Dept of Work and Pensions refuses to reveal the findings of their own peer reviews of suicides linked to the sanctions so we will never know the truth in those cases.
“We are supposed to be living in a democratic society where Parliament hold the executive to account but even they cannot find out. It is scandalous.”
He said the Work Capability Assessment regime applied to all sick and disabled people, without adequate risk assessment ‘built into the system’.
He added: “If it was a medical trial, it would have been abandoned long ago. So many have died as a direct result of the withdrawal of benefits, as confirmed by numerous coroner’s inquests.
“There are so many which are not reported, and we believe that could run into many thousands.”
It remains British Medical Association policy that work capability should be scrapped.
Mr McArdle described the ConDem cuts as barbaric, and warned cuts to the Independent Living Fund in England this June would hit 14,000 of the ‘Highest Need’ disabled.
He said: “These are the very people the Coalition pledged to protect. Many will be forced back into institutions. It makes a mockery of the pretence – especially from the Lib Dems – that they cut the deficit fairly. It is truly despicable.”
The Dept of Work and Pensions (DWP) has reviewed 49 cases where employment benefit recipients were ‘sanctioned’ – having their payments stopped for a period of weeks or months after failing to comply with the rules – and subsequently died.
They included David Clapson, 59, a former soldier from Stevenage. He was a diabetic who was found dead in his home last July after his benefits were slashed and he did not apply for hardship payments.
He had no food in his stomach and no credit on the electricity card needed to keep going the fridge that stored his insulin. His bank balance was £3.44.
Mr McArdle warned the Tories want to cut another £12 billion on top of the £25 billion which has already been saved from the welfare budget. Most people believe 35 pence in every pound is claimed fraudulent according to a recent union poll. The real figure from the DWP is seven pence.
He added: “The problem is TV shows portray benefit claimants as scrounges, and that dominates the political narrative. Don’t be fooled by that.
“How many people have to die before we say enough is enough? It is a drip, drip, drip so that if they were killed in an accident or air crash there would be headline news and something would be done.
“They cut the benefits budget to pay for the banking crisis, and it can only get worse. It will be absolutely catastrophic for sick and disabled people if the Tories win again. It will be nothing short of a blood bath.
“It is a policy of democide in my view – where the state intentionally or knowingly has a reckless and depraved disregard for life.
“The work related assessments mean people get ill and fall into sanctions and rent arrears. It has led to some committing suicide – that is irrefutably the case. Every person in Britain has a moral duty to stop this by voting this coalition out.”
The Royal College of Nursing says research shows the link between suicide and poverty, with areas of high unemployment like the North and Scotland very hard hit. Glenn Turp, their Northern Region director, said: “We are currently facing a significant public health challenge that has been exacerbated by the severe economic downturn, which has hit the North of England particularly hard.
“It is frankly obscene that you can expect to live almost a decade longer, if you are in a rich neighbourhood compared with a poor one.
“There is a huge north-south divide here. In Middlesbrough, average life expectancy is 77, and in Blackpool it is only 74. But if you live in Kensington and Chelsea, life expectancy is 83. In 2007, the suicide rate was 10.2 per 100,000 in the North east but by 2011, it had grown to 12.7 per 100,000. Over the same period, the NE unemployment rate had grew from 6.19% to 10.7%.”
The DWP denied benefits cuts could be linked to suicide. A spokesman said: “Suicide is a sensitive and complex issue and linking it to welfare reform is inaccurate and misleading.
“We spend around £94bn a year on working age benefits to provide a safety net for some of the most vulnerable people in society.”
Epileptic man took his own life ‘over stress of returning to work’
A man with permanent brain damage and ‘uncontrolled’ epilepsy hanged himself after being ordered to take part in ‘work related activity’ or risk his benefits being cut.
Trevor Drakard was panic-stricken at the thought he would have to find a job when he could suffer a severe attack at any time.
The shy 50-year-old suffered from meningitis at five months old which left him brain damaged, causing severe epilepsy first seen when he was just six.
Yet ConDem reforms meant he received a letter saying his Incapacity Benefit was being replaced with £112.05-a-week ‘Employment and Support Allowance’ It stated he had to attend a ‘Work Related Activity Group’, or his benefits could be hit.
He told DWP chiefs in a heart-rending letter: “I have never been able to work due to my epilepsy. I lost my job because they could not longer cope with my attacks.”
But a standard Benefits Agency letter informed him his appeal had been rejected.
Trevor’s brother Michael, of Leeds, added: “The system is not appropriate for someone like Trevor, who really needs help. It was never about the money.
“He did not drink, smoke, he had the most frugal existence – he probably had about ten shandies a year.
“He may have ended up on about the same in benefits. But he could not cope with the stress of thinking he had to make himself available for work.”
On July 19 last year, Trevor’s anxious parents Doreen, 80, and Tom, 86, went to his home in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear – and made the horrific discovery of his body, hanging in his bedroom.
They say there is ‘no doubt whatsoever’ the stress of the benefits changes caused his suicide.
Council chief threw himself from roof as he struggled with massive town hall cuts
Tragic Jo Stephenson, deputy leader of Cumbria County Council, threw himself from the roof of his home as he struggled with massive local authority cuts.
He lost his life as a result of medical complications caused by the injuries after he threw himself from a ledge at his home.
He died three weeks after the fall after guiding Cumbria County Council to £90 million in savings over three years.
He told a meeting shortly before he died last year: “No one enters politics to have the opportunity to make cuts, I certainly did not.”
His widow Hillary, herself a former councillor, told how he had been subjected to personal attacks on Facebook at his inquest last month, and was under extreme pressure to deliver savings.
As deputy leader of the council, dad-of-two Jo, 59, was responsible for finances.
At the time of his death in July 2014, the authority planned to bring in car parking charges for residents and visitors to Cumbria, including tourist towns like Windermere, the area which he represented.
Hilary told the inquest into his death : “He was not naive, in any shape or form and had he lived he would have been planning responses to with all the things that were going on. He was pre-occupied with finances and was having to deliver things with an increasingly tight budget.”
Cumbria council must make a total of £211 million cuts by 2018.
Tragic final letter of man who pleaded with council over 50 per cent housing benefit cut
Malcolm Burge told a friend he was leaving his London home for a few days to attend a funeral in the West Country in June 2014.
Four days later, he parked his car in a lay-by amid the timeless beauty of Somerset’s Cheddar Gorge and ignited a can of petrol.
He suffered 100 per cent second-degree burns to his body, was rushed to hospital by air ambulance but he could not survive his injuries. He died at 5am the following day.
On the day of his death, a letter arrived at his rented home confirming he was now the subject of court action from his local authority seeking recovery of an £800 debt he had repeatedly said he could not pay. His bank balance stood at £50.
A coroner ruled that Mr Burge, 66, committed suicide in June last year after a 50 per cent cut in his housing benefit left him begging for help from Newham Borough Council. He wrote to them saying: “I can’t remember the last time I had £800 in my possession.
In a final letter to them he added: “I am now more stressed, depressed and suicidal than any of my previous letters.”
His inquest earlier this year heard that he was unable to deal with new technology and could not get through to the council helplines when he kept on getting letters demanding payment.
If you are having suicidal thoughts, you can call Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 or visit their website.