THE family of disabled mum-of-nine who took her own life in 2017, are now demanding justice for their late mum after calling for officials to be prosecuted over their failings.
Jodey Whiting, 42, killed herself just days after her benefits from the Department of Work and Pensions were stopped when she missed a health review, an inquest heard.
Evening Gazette Daughter Leah Bell, 19, mum Joy Dove, 63, daughter Emma Bell, 23, niece Demi Wathen, 19, and daughter Chloey Bell, 17
Evening Gazette Jodey Whiting, 42, had a brain cyst and a curved spine
The DWP is now set to be investigated after Jodey’s heartbroken family have appealed numerous times.
The mum-of-nine who had a brain cyst and a curved spine, could barely make it through her home’s front door in Stockton, Teesside.
But her her benefits were stopped after she missed an appointment – despite not seeing the letter.
Days later the shop assistant was found dead after taking a cocktail of drugs.
And her heartbroken family broke down in tears as they accused the DWP’s actions of being the “trigger” for Jodey taking her own life.
Her mum Joy Dove, 63, said: “I blame the DWP for her death.
“The DWP has blood on their hands over my Jodey.”
Teesside Coroner’s Court heard Jodey had battled with mental and physical health problems during her short life.
The shop assistant was forced to retire young due to pain which left her on 23 tablets a day.
Police broke into her home on February 21 after Joy became worried.
I blame the DWP for her death. The DWP has blood on their hands over my Jodey.Joy Dove, Jodey’s mum
Days earlier, Jodey declined help after warning “she felt like doing herself in”.
Inside the property officers discovered notes left by the grandmother near to her body.
The inquest heard she had overdosed before, but the “extreme stress” inflicted by the DWP pushed Jodey over the edge.
“This was the last straw – she didn’t know where to go,” said Joy.
She became an increasingly regular fixture at her GP’s surgery in the months before her death, along with a hospital stint.
Yet despite battling back problems since birth, the DWP ended her claims for Employment Support Allowance after she missed the appointment.
Days later, Assistant Coroner Jo Wharton ruled Jodey took her own life.
The inquest heard Jodey would use any money left over from her benefits to “treat” her kids.
“She had two sets of twins and loved all of her children so much,” added Joy.
As she fought back tears at the inquest, one of her daughters, Emma, raged: “She was the best mum ever. They [the DWP] are in the wrong and through their choice we have lost our best friend.”
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A formal complaint has been lodged with the DWP from Joy over the “significant stress” she said the department caused her following Jodey’s death.
A spokesman for the department said: “Our thoughts are with Miss Whiting’s family at this difficult time.
“Suicide is a very complex issue. Jobcentre Plus is currently investigating a complaint from the family and will respond back shortly.”
If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems the Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123, or visit Mind’s website.
Evening Gazette Jodey Whiting with all her children
Evening Gazette A family of picture of Jodey Whiting