Jodey Whiting: Mum wins latest bid to seek new inquest into daughter's benefits death

Jodey Whiting died in February 2017 about two weeks after her disability benefit was stopped when she did not attend a work capability assessment. Credit: Family photos

The family of a housebound disabled woman who killed herself after her benefits were cut have been given permission to appeal a decision not to grant a second inquest into her death.

Jodey Whiting, 42, from Stockton, died in February 2017 about two weeks after her disability benefit was stopped when she did not attend a work capability assessment.

Her mother Joy Dove has been fighting to secure a new inquest to investigate the family's concerns about the role of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in her death and the handling of her claim for Employment and Support Allowance.

The High Court had previously decided not to grant a second inquest. However, the Court of Appeal has now given Ms Whiting's family permission to appeal that decision.

Ms Dove said: "I am over the moon with the court’s decision and cannot thank the judge enough for looking into Jodey’s case.

"There has been a lot of mixed emotions for me over the last year, not wanting to get my hopes up and trying to second guess the court’s decision.

"I can’t wait to get back into court to hear Jodey’s case presented to the Court of Appeal. I am so pleased to be able to continue the fight for justice for Jodey, it is such a relief that this is not the end."

A date for when the case will be heard by the Court of Appeal has not yet been set.

The original inquest, which lasted 37 minutes, determined that Ms Whiting had taken her own life.

Inquest appeal timeline

In November 2020, permission was granted to apply to the High Court for a second inquest so that the role of the DWP in Ms Whiting's death could be investigated.  Following a two-day hearing in June 2021, the High Court dismissed the application on 17 September 2021, ruling that the new evidence that had come to light did not require a fresh inquest to be held in the interests of justice.

Ms Dove initially applied to the High Court for permission to appeal this decision in October 2021, but the application was refused. She then made an application to the Court of Appeal, which has been granted.

Merry Varney, partner at law firm Leigh Day, said: "The Court of Appeal's decision to grant Joy permission to appeal is a very welcome and significant step forward.

"Joy's fight for a full and fearless inquest to investigate Jodey's death continues. We look forward to presenting Joy’s case for a new inquest to the Court of Appeal in the coming months."

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