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Victory- Cherry Groce Family Granted Legal Aid!

April 19, 2014

Some good news from

After almost a thirty year battle to find justice for my mother Cherry Groce, we’ve finally been granted legal aid. This will allow us to have professional representation and actively participate fairly in her inquest.

Independent reports said that the events in 1985, when my innocent mother was shot by a police officer, sparking the Brixton riots, were a significant factor in her death in 2011. Despite numerous calls for legal aid to represent us at the inquest and unlock the truth surrounding her death our appeals were denied by The Legal Aid Agency.

But following our campaign, with over 133,000 of you supporting our family, national media coverage and help from Brixton MP Chuka Umunna, the Ministry of Justice were forced to intervene.

On Friday 11 April 2014 they said;



“Legal aid funding for lawyers to represent the family of Ms Groce at the forthcoming inquest into her death has now been granted. Having considered the request of the Legal Aid Agency, ministers have decided to authorise funding for this case. We hope that this legal representation will help her family and those who knew Ms Groce find out more  about the circumstances leading to her death.”



Please share this news — click here to tweet — it will come as a beacon of hope to others in my shoes who feel they are not being heard. When we come together, we can’t be ignored.

This is not the end, we need to make sure that the inquest brings us justice. The inquest is due to start on 30 June. In the meantime you can follow me on Twitter for updates: @mrleelawrence

Thank you for all that you’ve done for our campaign.

Lee Lawrence,
Son of Cherry Groce

PS We have set up a charity to honour our mother’s legacy dedicated to supporting those who have become disabled through tragedy, illness or accident. Please visit and support at:

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You Can Complain When The JobCentre Fails

April 19, 2014

I’ve just spotted this on Facebook… thought it might be useful to some of you.


Hi I’ve not seen any posts relating to this but as the dwp love to upset so many people I thought I would share….. You are able to claim compensation when the jobcentres failings negatively impacts you, you fill in a standard complaints form but start it “I would like to request a special payment on the basis of…..” mark the complaint F.A.O Government Parliamentary Buildings. I received £655 from them when they misinformed me regarding carers allowance and stopped my mums money. Complain away people

Information tribunal on deaths of IB/ESA claimants – next week

April 18, 2014

Originally posted on Vox Political:

I have just sent out a ‘diary marker’ to press organisations, notifying them of the Information Tribunal that will be held in Cardiff next week.

Inevitably, there will be organisations I have missed – and I also want as much of the social media as possible to be aware of this and to be spreading the word. For that reason, I’m publishing the text of the press release below.

If you have a Facebook page, blog site, Twitter account or whatever, please feel free to use what follows and make sure people know that this is going on.

Diary marker

Tribunal – Law Courts, Cathays Park, Cardiff, April 23, 2014 at 10am

Incapacity benefits – deaths of claimants

A tribunal will decide whether the Department for Work and Pensions should be ordered to release its statistics on the number of people who have died while claiming Incapacity Benefit or Employment…

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Second British Woman, 99, Ended Life In Switzerland Because She Was ‘Tired’

April 18, 2014

Scary stuff, readers. How many more are there that we don’t know about yet?


A second British woman who grew ‘tired of life’ has been helped to die at a Swiss suicide clinic.

The woman, who was 99 and from London, was not ill or disabled and simply chose to end her life.

It comes after a retired art teacher committed suicide at the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland after she grew weary of the pace of modern life and how technology was changing society.

The 89-year-old felt that her failing health, as well as her belief that people were becoming ‘robots’ attached to their gadgets, gave her little reason to live.

The woman, who wanted to be known only as Anne, had suffered from worsening health in recent years, but was not ill or infirm.

The deaths have stoked the ongoing debate over balancing a right to die against the dangers that vulnerable people could be exploited.

Retired doctor Michael Irwin has helped a number of Britons end their life at Swiss suicide clinics. He told the Sunday Express that 3,000 ­patients are helped to die every year.

He said: ‘Doctors do not wish to stand by and watch their patients suffer needlessly. It has always gone on.’

He said that the second woman had not used Dignitas, but instead a smaller clinic.

He said: ‘She was not terminally ill, nor was she particularly severely disabled, yet she could not find much enjoyment in living any more and felt the time was right to say goodbye.

Mr Irwin, who founded the Society for Old Age Rational Suicide and helped with Anne’s application to Dignitas, said: ‘She was a feisty individual and a very independent person all her life.

When she became elderly and her daily activities became increasingly restricted, she decided to go to Dignitas.

‘If you are mentally competent you can rationalise whether or not you want to end your life, after you take a look around and decide you don’t like what you see.’

He said there were at least three people in similar circumstances to Anne who ended their lives in Switzerland in recent years.

There is to be a free vote in Parliament on the Assisted Dying Bill, under which two doctors could prescribe a lethal dose of drugs to a terminally ill patient with less than six months to live.

Man Amputates Own Hand ‘For A Reaction’

April 17, 2014

A man who suffered with chronic hand pain chopped the limb off so people “would listen” to him.

Mark Goddard, 44, had constant pain following a motorbike accident and became frustrated with doctors who could not relieve his symptoms.

The former mechanic decided to amputate the hand with a home-made guillotine in his back garden, but his pains have not stopped.

Mr Goddard told BBC Radio 5 live’s Chris Warburton: “I don’t like pain but it was something that I was prepared to do to try and get some form of reaction or get something done.”

Sainsbury’s Easter TV Advert Features Ben, 8, Who Has Downs Syndrome

April 17, 2014

Thanks to Sainsbury’s!


DWP Block Report To Cover Up Work Programme Shambles

April 17, 2014

Originally posted on the void:

IDS-slug The DWP are refusing to release an evaluation of the floundering £6 billion pound Work Programme despite the report having recently featured on Channel 4 news.

The evaluation is believed to be critical of the Work Programme and in particular benefit sanctions, warning that they found: “no conclusive evidence that sanctions were changing job search behaviour or increasing job entry rates.”

A Freedom of Information request asking to see the report has today been refused by the DWP on the grounds that they plan to publish it at an unspecified later date (PDF).  The evaluation was scheduled to be released in the Summer of last year.

This is not the first time the DWP have treated Freedom of Information (FOI) rules with contempt in a shoddy effort to conceal what’s really going on, and wrong, with the department.  A ruling by the Information Commissioner;s Office (ICO) ordering the release…

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