The sister of a disabled man who died after being left destitute by having his benefits sanctioned is to seek the help of the high court after a coroner refused for the second time to hold an inquest into his death.David Clapson (pictured), who had diabetes, died in 2013 as a result of an acute lack of insulin, three weeks after having his jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) sanctioned.Because he had no money, he couldn’t afford to pay for electricity that would have kept the fridge where he kept his insulin working, in the height of summer, and he had also run out of food.But despite the circumstances of his death, and clear links with the sanctions system, no inquest was ever held.Now Clapson’s sister, Gill Thompson, is to ask the high court for a judicial review of the coroner’s decision not to hold an inquest.Her announcement came as new Department for Work and Pensions figures showed a sharp rise in the number of sanctions imposed on claimants of the out-of-work disability benefit, employment and support allowance.In May 2016, there were 1,199 decisions taken to impose a sanction on an ESA claimant, but in June that shot up to 1,749. In January, the figure was as low as 900.The number of JSA sanctions also rose, although not as steeply, from 12,067 in May to 14,049 in June.Thompson has been campaigning for an inquest to be held in a bid to secure answers and change the sanctions system she believes led to her brother’s death.She has now set up a crowdfunding account to pay for the latest stage in her legal battle, and to take the case to the high court.She previously raised the money to pay for the earlier stages of the legal action through more than 900 crowd-funded donations.Her latest bid has already raised more than £5,000 of the initial £10,000 target in less than 48 hours.Her solicitor, Merry Varney, from human rights lawyers Leigh Day, is arguing that Clapson died an “unnatural death” because of the benefit sanction imposed on him shortly before he died.Earlier this month, Varney wrote to the Hertfordshire senior coroner, Geoffrey Sullivan, to ask him to overturn the decision not to hold an inquest.But he has now written back to say he will not order an inquest.Sullivan says in his letter that “the evidence does not support either a direct or contributory causal link between the imposition of the benefit sanction and Mr Clapson’s death.“In addition… there is no evidence as to whether the benefit sanction was imposed properly or not.”Thompson said she found the coroner’s decision “hard to understand”, because her brother “had no food in his stomach” at the time of his death and “was in the middle of a sanction”.She said the reason she was campaigning was not to “cause trouble” but “just to put something right”.She said: “I’m not a troublemaker. I’m not doing it to be awkward or for revenge.”Varney said: “We believe there is huge public interest in an investigation into the role played by the imposition of a benefit sanction in Mr Clapson’s death.”She said Clapson had not been entitled to an immediate hardship payment after being sanctioned, while Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) guidance on diabetes “does not in our view properly recognise the importance of food and access to chilled insulin for people like David”.She added: “Despite our client’s best efforts, there has been no open and thorough investigation of this matter at all.“There is an urgent need to assess the risks posed by benefit sanctions to those who receive them, and the decision-making of DWP staff when imposing benefit sanctions on vulnerable and at-risk individuals.”Clapson’s case was mentioned in prime minister’s questions earlier this month by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who described his and other such deaths as “institutionalised barbarity”.An autopsy held after Clapson’s death found his stomach was empty, and the only food left in his flat in Stevenage was six tea bags, a tin of soup and an out-of-date can of sardines. He had just £3.44 left in his bank account.But there has never been an inquest, even though DWP admitted that it knew he was insulin-dependent.Meanwhile, work and pensions secretary Damian Green announced this week that jobseekers who are homeless or have a mental health condition will now be able to access hardship payments immediately if they are sanctioned.The payments are supposed to act as a safety net to cover day-to-day living costs, and are issued immediately to claimants who meet certain criteria, such as having children, or certain long-term health conditions.Other claimants cannot claim hardship payments for the first 14 days of a sanction.Green said the change was expected to help about 10,000 people over four years from 2017-18.
Theresa May could be spared from defeat on the government’s own motion tonight by defeat in another vote – on Anna Soubry’s amendment.According to Robert Peston, Oliver Letwin has confirmed that if Soubry’s amendment passes then there will no vote on the government’s motion.Soubry’s amendment calls on the government to publish the most recent briefing on a no-deal Brexit to the cabinet. The Huffington Post is reporting that Labour will vote with Soubry and the Tory Brexiteer European Research Group (ERG) will abstain. This would lead to the amendment passing.The government would then avoid a vote on its own motion. This motion re-iterates parliament’s support for what parliament voted for on January 29 – that May should renegotiate the Brexit deal and that there should be no no-deal Brexit. The ERG object to ruling out a no-deal Brexit and so are threatening to vote against this motion.Update 5.07pm: Anna Soubry has pulled her amendment after the government offered to release the briefing without a vote.Tags:Defeat /Conservative /Tory /Brexit /May /ERG /Amendment /Soubry /
BEFORE we begin to focus on Thursday and the trip to Castleford Tigers… let’s just relive some of the great images from THAT win over Wigan on Friday.Thanks to Bernard Platt (@plattyphoto) for the pictures.
SAINTS have recalled Matt Haggarty from Dewsbury Rams – and he has duly joined Rochdale Hornets on loan.The 24-year-old prop forward signed for the Champions in the off-season on a three year contract but was loaned back to the Rams.He has made several appearances for the Championship side but has re-joined Saints in order to gain more game time at their partner club following illness.
Day 17 – Thursday October 26The morning on the man-made course, constructed specially for the Sydney Olympic Games, has given us fond memories that are always looked back upon with a smile, writes Ian Talbot.From Tommy Martyn losing his six fingered shoes (as described today by one staff member), to Andre Savelio with his helmet on back to front, Derek Traynor’s cramp and Dave Hewitt’s toenail, this activity is always a firm favourite and this one didn’t disappoint.As ever, the guides started slowly, lulling everyone into a false sense of security, taking it easy through the first few laps… but just when everyone felt comfortable the real test began.The experts knew exactly what to do to control the boat and more importantly, how to throw the lads overboard!Bodies were soon falling (or being pushed, mainly by Kilshaw) out of boats left right and centre, Josh Simm and Brandon Scully with two of the most acrobatic exits as they were thrown into the ‘washing machine’ and left to survive the ‘drink’.Luke Maloney-Ward started in the boat but at the first sign of waves he soon jumped out and walked away, soon to be joined by staff members Richards and Ryan!But to be fair, Craig and Shaun had spent more time in the water than in the boat!After lunch we were the guests of the Penrith Panthers at their new state of the art training centre.The Panthers SG Ball (under 18s) coach Ben Harden gave us a guided tour of the very impressive facility where no stone was left unturned when they built the $25m complex.Wherever you turned there was a reminder of the past glories, what it means to be a Panther and you could feel the real sense of pride in the club.The boys then knuckled down and switched on immediately at the training session that followed. The visit seemed to focus the boys and further reinforce the size of the challenge when we face the Panthers in two days’ time.To kill some time before dinner, quizmaster Traynor asked the boys questions about the tour and their observations so far. Some of the questions were tough but some of the responses were unbelievable.Question: How many km of coastline does Sydney have? (A fact highlighted on one of the activities) Evan Bullen: “What is a coastline?”Question: What is the name of the river in Penrith? Tom Nisbet: TyneSome of the comments have to be heard to be believed and they continued long into the night.When walking back from dinner, John Hutchings was discussing how he is not looking forward to the cold when he gets home. Getting confused with hypothermia, he said to Derek: “It won’t be funny when I come to training with rigor mortis.”The comments from the lads have always been a source of entertainment for the staff on all tours and this current crop have not failed to deliver.
Zeb Taia scored a brace as they beat Hull 26-12.“I thought we played really well and it was a good win,” he said. “When you play your third game in eight days, you need everyone to play well and I thought they did that. All our forwards were really strong. To ask them to do what they have done already and do it in the fashion they did, was fantastic.“It was a good sign from our boys that after a tough Friday they wanted to back up on Monday and then come through one more tough assignment tonight.“I’m proud of them.“Hull are a very dangerous side and they never went away. They have real strike. They scored against the run of play when we could have dropped on the ball – but a bit of NFL, then Tom Brady threw the pass…. but we held on in there.”He continued: “James Roby is sore – it could be a rib or rib cartilage, which is always painful. It’s too early to tell but it would be a big ask to back up next week, although we do have a nine-day turnaround. Matty Smith was excited to get the opportunity and I thought he went well for us.“He only found out he would play after lunch today. Ben (Barba) was ill and could have played but it was a good sign for the rest of the team to play as well as they did with the disruption.“That is real credit to the players.”
Saints begin their Ladbrokes Challenge Cup journey next Saturday when they travel to Castleford in the sixth round – and Justin Holbrook is hoping a large travelling support will be there to back his side.Tickets for the match have been selling well since Saints were pulled out of the hat for what is the tie of the round.It’s a tough test no doubt, but one Holbrook is looking forward to.“You always want to play at home and I’m sure every team in the draw would have liked that,” he said. “But we travel to Castleford and are looking forward to the game.“I think anyone you draw would be a hard game so we have to go out there and play well.“Cas had a great season last year and have continued it on. They perhaps haven’t hit the heights of last season yet but they are still a very good side.“They are good across the park and are very dangerous.”The game kicks off at 2:30pm on May 12 and tickets are now on sale.Adult:£15 for 2018 Members £18 for Non-MembersConcessions (Student with valid ID, Juniors under 16, Over 60s):£8 for 2018 Members £10 for Non-Members2018 Junior Members can attend the game for free but they must pick up a voucher before they travel.On matchday, prices will be £20 for adults and £12 for concessions and there will be no Member discount available.Coach travel is priced at £13 for Members and £15 for Non-Members and will leave at 11:45am.Tickets are on sale from the Ticket Office, via 01744 455 052 and online.
While on scene, officers heard two gunshots come from within the residence.WPD established a perimeter around the residence, evacuated the building and negotiators and SWAT were on scene.Oliver who is from Leland, surrendered to officers around 10:30 a.m. without incident.Related Article: WPD: Teen girl in serious condition after being hit by carOliver, who is also referred to as Juddy, is being charged with discharging a firearm within city limits, resisting/delaying arrest and second degree trespassing. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington Police arrested 28-year-old Justin Oliver early Saturday afternoon after Oliver, a validated member of the Bloods Gang, barricaded himself inside an apartment at Houston Moore Terrace.Officers responded to the 1300 block of Greenfield Street around 6 a.m. in reference to a call of a male with a gun in the area.- Advertisement –
Flooding in Caswell Beach on August 3, 2018. (Photo: WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It’s been extremely wet over the past few weeks and the rainfall totals around southeastern North Carolina are impressive.Wilmington has picked up measurable rain for the last 15 days, totaling more than 15 inches.- Advertisement – 1 of 1 Rainfall totals at ILM during July and August (Photo: WWAY) A large portion of the coastal areas have received at least 10 inches. In fact, portions of eastern Brunswick and New Hanover counties had amounts ranging from 15-20 inches. Parts of southern New Hanover County have received 600 percent above normal rainfall just in the last two weeks alone. Because of this, it will not take that much rainfall to create flooding in some of these areas.At this time, storms are not expected to be as widespread over the weekend as they were Friday, but could still be problematic.Related Article: Swath of South faces wintry mess: Snow, sleet, freezing rainThe reason behind this mess? A ridge of high pressure is anchored to our east over the Atlantic, while a trough sits in the midwestern United States. This allows a plume of tropical moisture to filter into our region, which helps spark numerous showers and thunderstorms.July was the 4th wettest in history.Click here to get the latest WWAY StormTrack 3 weather forecast.
Phillip McKiver (Photo: Bladen Co. Sheriff’s Office) ELIZABETHTOWN, NC (WWAY) — An Elizabethtown man is heading back to prison for several years after leading sheriff deputies on a high speed chase.Phillip R. McKiver, 44, entered guilty pleas on Tuesday in Bladen County Superior Court to charges of Felony Fleeing to Elude Arrest with a Motor Vehicle and Habitual Felon.- Advertisement – McKiver was sentenced to at least six years in prison.At 12:30 a.m. on January 26, a patrol deputy with the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office saw the white Honda that McKiver was operating run a stop sign near the intersection of NC Highways 53 and 701 just outside of Elizabethtown.At that time, the deputy tried to pull him over. Instead, McKiver, who was driving despite having a revoked driver’s license, sped through downtown Elizabethtown at a high rate of speed before eventually reaching NC-87 with the deputy in pursuit. McKiver reached over 100 mph while traveling along NC-87 before finally pulling over and surrendering to law enforcement. No one was injured.Related Article: Wisconsin man arrested in teen’s abduction, parents’ deathsMcKiver’s lengthy criminal history includes prior felony convictions for Assault with a Deadly Weapon with Intent to Kill Inflicting Serious Injury, Possession with Intent to Sell/Deliver Cocaine, and Manufacturing Marijuana.