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  1. ITV Report

81-year-old woman threw herself into quarry when DWP stopped paying her pension

The 81-year-old had been left reliant on her savings when the Department for Work and Pensions stopped paying her pension.

An elderly woman took her own life after she was left with just £5 to her name due to her pension payments being stopped.

Joy Worrall was 81-years-old when she threw herself off Rhes y Cae quarry near her home in Flintshire.

Joy Worrall threw herself from the 40 foot quarry near her home. Credit: Bing Maps

After receiving inheritance money in 2014, the 81-year-old advised the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). But in 2017, her pension was "re-assessed".

Instead of only freezing the pension credits, the DWP also froze Mrs Worrall's ordinary state pension.

With no income, she relied on her £5000 savings until there was only £5 left.

At an inquest into her death, Joy Worrall was described as too proud to tell her family about her financial problems. The inquiry heard she had previously said she would throw herself off a quarry if she ended up with any major health or financial worries.

Her son, Ben Worrall, reported his mother as missing after someone contacted him asking after her whereabouts. He had spoken to her just two days earlier.

After failing to find his mother at her home in Church Terrace, Rhes y Cae, a search was launched. On November 22 the 81-year-old's body was discovered at the bottom of the Rhes y Cae quarry.

The inquest heard a statement from Mrs Worrall's son saying her death was "a shock" and that there were "so many unanswered questions".

The Department for Work & Pensions apologised for the 'administrative error'. Credit: PA

A letter from Suzanne Mitchelson, from the DWP, was heard at the inquest. It stated that Mrs Worrall's two pension payments should have been "de-combined".

Ms Mitchelson said: "I am sorry that due to an administrative error this did not happen."

Speaking after the hearing, Ben Worrall said the DWP had been "guilty of a failure of duty of care".

He said: "It's a disgrace how this can happen in modern society and what concerns me is that this could happen to someone else."

Coroner John Gittins recorded a verdict of suicide.