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David Barr’s Heartbroken Dad Blames ATOS For His Suicide

September 23, 2013

Another name we can never be allowed to forget.




A HEARTBROKEN dad has blamed benefits axemen for driving his ill son to suicide weeks after being told his money was being stopped.

David Barr, 28, threw himself from the Forth Road Bridge after learning the decision to stop his benefit had been upheld.

An Atos assessor had ruled David was fit to work despite being on anti-psychotic sedatives, sleeping tablets and antidepressants. His condition was recorded on a medical assessment as “anxiety and depression”.

But his dad David snr, 57, said he had a host of problems including sleeplessness, memory loss and paranoia – and believes he may have been a schizophrenic.

David was assessed in May. In June, the Department of Work and Pensions told him he was fit to work – and his employment and support allowance was being withdrawn.

In an appeal letter, David wrote: “I disagree with your decision that I am fit for work. I have serious mental health problems that prevent me from doing everyday tasks which means I cannot work at this moment in time.

“I did try and explain this to the medical examiner.”

He was informed on July 17 of the DWP’s final say – they backed the Atos recommendation.

On the evening of Friday, August 23, he got a bus to the bridge, walked to the middle and jumped. He was recovered from the water but died in hospital that night.

David snr, of Leven, Fife, said: “He needed 15 points to ‘pass’ the test and get his benefits but he only got six. I know the difficulties he had – he should have got 106 points.

“The assessment is ridiculous. They said David was fit for work but, in fact, he was fit for hospital.

“I’m in no doubt this matter was the final straw. I would say they are 90 per cent to blame for him taking his life. He’d just had enough.

“I wish we could have got him checked out, even sectioned if necessary, and placed in a hospital where he could have received proper assessment and care.”

“I just hope something can be done so no one else has to go through this.

“We are devastated by our son’s death. David’s mum is in hospital and hasn’t eaten since David died. She is completely broken by this.”

David jnr worked cleaning buses for three years until 2011. His dad says his son could not cope with the routine of holding down a job.

He said his son was placed on strong medication last year but said his mental health had worsened.

David snr added: “He would claim people were trying to poison him but it was all in his head. He thought the police were following him.”

David’s assessment summary states: “Mr Barr has a mental health problem. He takes triple medication…He reports self harm in the past.

“He reports he attempted an overdose six weeks ago but he would not say what he took. He reports he has had no thoughts of suicide since.

“The evidence overall suggests that he is not at substantial risk.”

David snr is in the process of complaining to the DWP.

The DWP and Atos sent their sympathies to David’s family. A DWP spokeswoman said: “Through a series of independent reviews and by working with medical experts and charities, we have considerably improved the work capability assessment process since 2010.”

An Atos spokeswoman said: “We do everything we can to minimise people’s anxiety during the work capability assessment process and will continue to strive for improvement in this area.”

Scottish Labour welfare spokeswoman Jackie Baillie said: “It’s not the first time vulnerable people with health issues have been incorrectly assessed by Atos and it’s clear that the system needs reformed.”

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Nick permalink
    September 23, 2013 7:56 am

    who ARE the ringleaders in the causing the premature deaths to so many people who was responsible for giving the DWP instructions to kill many sick and disabled people through gross criminal negligence

    The main culprits Gordon Brown /IDS/David Freud, Baron Freud/David Cameron are the main ringleaders along with the
    Mark Hoban MP

    Minister of State for Employment
    Steve Webb MP

    Minister of State for Pensions
    Esther McVey MP
    Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Disabled People

    and from the DWP

    Robert Devereux
    Permanent Secretary

    Andy Nelson
    IT Director General and Chief Information Officer

    Sue OwenDirector General, Strategy

    Gill AitkenDirector General, Professional Services

    Chris LastDirector General, Human Resources and Head of Government HR Operations

    Noel ShanahanDirector General, Operations

    Mike Driver Director General, Finance

    These named above will all go down in UK history as killers of the sick and disabled names like Hitler that will never be forgotten

    we must all learn from history that their are sum individuals in life that are just for what ever reason are just like the channel 4 program born to kill just people who come from a very complicated background without any love warmth friends just loners just people that get a kick out of seeing others suffer

    in all probability we could be looking at 20 years as to what had gone wrong with the welfare reform bill’ who was responsible who failed to see the problems arising and who failed to take the correct action to stop these deaths

    But rest assured that over time those that did bring death to the many hundreds of sick and disabled will stand trial just as those in Germany are now doing for crimes against humanity during the second world war


  2. Tina B permalink
    September 23, 2013 8:16 pm

    Nick, your post deserves its own permanent page on the web. Those names, and the lousy excuses, the propaganda, the DWP spin.
    The names of all of those killed and driven to suicide and told they are fit for work before dying should be engraved on memorials all over the country for the shame of those who call us scroungers and deny us life because they are ‘taxpayers’.

    • Nick permalink
      September 23, 2013 11:34 pm

      thanks Tina i just have that terrible job of posting this type of news as i know first hand as a survivor of the DWP

      You don’t live with the DWP as i have for 33 years and get away Scot free they monitor every thing i do and if i step out of line there round my house like a shot reading me the riot act

      it’s no wonder my weight is only 100 pounds at 6 ft 2 the stress is enormous and if it weren’t for my wife and the police that look after me i would be like everyone else in this saga and that’s dead

      i do believe thou that my time will come when i will get into a court and see many get their just deserts with lengthy prison sentences

      i do believe that day will come and when that day comes i will become a free man and not as i have lived as a slave to the DWP

  3. Grayling permalink
    September 25, 2013 10:12 am

    Also there’s the big elephant in the room Unum ( previously the outlawed Unum Provident ) that drive everything ……..ATOS are merely the organ grinder’s monkeys taking the flak for them …the unholy trinity Unum / ATOS / Tory government


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