Lives of veterans with PTSD are at risk unless more is done to help them, coroner warns

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Paul Davies

A coroner has warned that the lives of veterans with PTSD are at risk, unless more is done to help care for them.

It came at the inquest into the death of Lance Corporal Dave Jukes.

The coroner ruled the 49-year-old had taken his own life after his calls for help were not acted upon.

His widow is now set to take landmark legal action to highlight failings in his care.

LCpl Jukes served in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Northern Ireland, but struggled with PTSD after returning back to the UK.

On Thursday, Coroner Emma Brown ruled LCpl Jukes took his own life through PTSD-related suicide, and that "missed opportunities" could have led to it.

Ms Brown also acknowledged that the 49-year-old did not receive the help he needed, following calls for support.

She also warned the lives of veterans, like LCpl Jukes, are at risk if more is not done to help them.

Speaking after the ruling, Jo Jukes, LCpl Jukes' widow said: "To have it clarified that people just didn't care - and some of the attitudes of some of the staff that dealt with him were appalling."

She continued: "Dave's legacy will be that he is recorded as the first military armed forces veteran suicide - and I hope his case stands as an example of what happens when service related mental illnesses are not treated with seriousness they deserve."

She now plans a legal challenge against the NHS, Ministry of Defence (MOD) and police.

The Ministry of Defence did not comment when approached by ITV News.

Dave Jukes' widow is planning a legal case against the NHS, MOD and police. Credit: Family handout

Lance Corporal Jukes' local NHS trust, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, did respond to a request for comment.

It said: "We undertook a thorough review, alongside the other organisations involved in Mr Jukes’ care, into the circumstances leading up to his death.

"As a result we have already taken a number of actions, including to address issues around record keeping and communication between agencies and we will in addition respond fully to the further concerns raised by the Coroner at the conclusion of today’s inquest."

  • What to do if you or someone you know needs help:

  • If you are in distress or need some support, the Samaritans are available 24 hours a day on 116 123 or through their website.

  • Veterans' mental health charity Combat Stress is available 24 hours a day on 0800 138 1619 for veterans and their families, 0800 323 444 for serving personnel and their families, via text on 07537 404719, or through their website.

  • Veterans' charity SSAFA is available on 0800 731 4880 or through their website.

  • The Government's Veterans' Gateway offers advice and help for veterans seeking support and can be contacted on 0800 802 1212 or through the website.

  • Mind offers a helpline on 0300 123 3393 from 9am to 6pm.

  • Rock 2 Recovery - which helps veterans suffering from stress and their families - can be contacted on 01395 220072 Monday to Friday between 9am and 4pm, emailed at or through their website.

  • If you have lost a loved one in the military to suicide you can contact Jo Jukes who has created a private support group.