Jodey Whiting: Second inquest opens for Stockton woman who died after benefits stopped

Jodey Whiting died in February 2017 about two weeks after her benefits were stopped. Credit: Family

A second inquest into the death of a woman who took her own life after her benefits were stopped will consider the role of the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

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.

The mother, who had several physical and mental health issues, had not opened a letter from the DWP asking her to attend the assessment.

At the time she received the letter, in December 2016, she had pneumonia and was having treatment for a cyst on the brain.

Her benefits were stopped in February and two weeks later she took her own life.

A pre-inquest hearing was held on Friday 24 November at Teesside Magistrates' Court to allow the coroner to set out the boundaries of the investigation.

Senior coroner, Clare Bailey, said there would be a "full and fearless" inquest, which is expected to take place next spring and last three days.

Joy Dove, Ms Whiting's mother, who campaigned for a second inquest, said she was nervous about proceedings but said she hoped to get justice for her daughter.

Speaking after the hearing in Middlesbrough, she said: "It's taken a long time so I really want to get it done and make sure that everything is looked at properly for Jodey's sake.

"I've been here, there and everywhere but I'm back in Middlesbrough where it first started. I can't wait to hopefully get justice for Jodey."

Eric Whiting, Ms Whiting's father, added: "It has been a long road. Joy has done all the fighting and lets just hope we get justice for Jodey."

The first inquest into Ms Whiting's death lasted 37 minutes and recorded a verdict of suicide. The coroner did not consider the Department for Work and Pensions' potential role in her decision to end her life.

Following a long legal battle, Ms Whiting won the right to have a second inquest earlier this year.

A Government spokesperson said: “Our sincere condolences remain with Ms Whiting’s family. DWP is ready to assist the new coroner with their investigation. We cannot comment on active legal proceedings.”

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