She is just one of thousands needlessly persecuted under the government’s vicious sanctions regime, even after the parliamentary work and pensions committee labelled them “unfair and punitive” and called for an independent review into their usage.
Lisa Hartley, 46, appeared in front of Hull Magistrates’ Court after being caught stealing copper pipe, door handles and a letter box from a derelict council house in the city on March 7.
Hartley, who woke from the coma despite doctors not expecting her to live, told the police at the scene she stole the metal because she “needed a bit of money.”
Solicitor Ed Cunnah, who was defending Hartley, said, “I’m sure you have seen details of the sad situation that led to her losing her benefits for a couple of months.
“I’m absolutely shocked someone who was in a coma in hospital, and was not expected to survive, lost their benefits for nine weeks through no fault of their own.”
After ordering Hartley to pay £85 costs and a £15 surcharge, chairman of the bench, Steven Larard, said to Cunnah, “We are quite surprised this matter came to court.
“I would have thought this could have been dealt with by a police warning or caution.”