An ex-soldier died two weeks after his benefits were stopped – now his sister is launching a public campaign to help fight for an inquest into his death.
59-year-old David Clapson passed away in July 2013 from diabetic ketoacidosis, a complication caused by lack of insulin. His body was found in his flat a few metres away from a pile of CVs, and he had just £3.44 in his bank account, the Independent reports.
Clapson, who served as a Lance Corporal in Belfast during the height of The Troubles, had been sanctioned by the Department for Work and Pensions after missing two appointments. They immediately stopped his £71.70 a week Job Seekers Allowance.
When his sister, Gill Thompson, discovered her brother’s body, she found that his electricity had been cut off, and the fridge where he stored his insulin was no longer working.
His family claims that with no money for his electricity meter, Clapson was unable to chill his insulin in the peak of summer. He was also found with no food in his stomach.
Ms Thompson said to the Independent: “In my opinion, it [the benefit sanction] was a death sentence.”
She has now launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money so that she can fight for a public inquest into her brother’s death.
She hopes to raise £10,000 so that she can ‘build the strongest case’ for an inquiry. She says the money will be put towards instructing lawyers, accessing records and seeking expert advice.
Thompson told the Independent she was not after revenge but to prevent anything similar happening to somebody else in the future.
For me, David’s gone and there’s nothing I can do. All I want is for lessons to be learned and acted upon. What I am trying to do is show their [the DWP] actions didn’t help David. Hopefully by doing this I can help others…prevent further deaths. People are still dying.
To help Gill, head to her crowd funding page to donate.