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High Court rejects application for second Jodey Whiting inquest

The High Court has rejected the application by the mother of Jodey Whiting for a second inquest into her death.

Posted on 17 September 2021

The court ruled on Friday 17 September 2021 that the first inquest into Jodey Whiting's death, which lasted only 37 minutes, was sufficient and that the new evidence that had come to light since did not require a fresh inquest in the interests of justice.
 
Jodey’s mother, Joy Dove, is considering whether to apply for permission to appeal the decision.
 
Joy said:
 
“I am bitterly disappointed by the High Court’s ruling. More than four years on from losing Jodey the DWP has still not had to answer for the role that I believe they played in her death. Despite dismissing my application the judgment makes it clear that the behaviour of the DWP has been shocking and I welcome the High Court ruling that Jodey’s ESA should never been withdrawn. This is not the end. I am not giving up and I will continue to fight for justice for Jodey. Thank you to all those that have supported me in this fight so far.”
 
Merry Varney, partner at law firm Leigh Day, said:
 
“I echo Joy’s disappointment with the court’s ruling, which we will be looking at carefully with Joy and advising her about an appeal.”
 
The High Court had been asked to order a second inquest into Jodey’s death so that the role of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in Jodey’s death could be investigated. The first inquest into her death lasted only 37 minutes and the coroner refused to consider the role of the DWP. 
 
Jodey, from Stockton-on-Tees, died aged 42 on 21 February, 2017. She suffered severe mental health problems and took her own life after having had her benefits terminated a fortnight earlier for not attending a Work Capability Assessment. However, at the time of the Assessment, Jodey was housebound with pneumonia, had been in hospital, and had found out that she had a cyst on the brain. Mrs Justice Farbey ruled that in her judgment “the withdrawal of ESA should not have happened”.
 
Joy Dove is represented by Merry Varney, partner at law firm Leigh Day and Jesse Nicholls from Dougherty Street Chambers. 

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