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Second appeal application lodged in legal challenge for new Jodey Whiting inquest

A second application for permission to appeal has been lodged by the mother of Jodey Whiting, who is fighting for a second inquest into her daughter’s death.

Posted on 02 November 2021

The application for permission to appeal was lodged yesterday at the Court of Appeal. This follows an earlier application for permission to appeal lodged at the High Court on 1 October 2021. The High Court refused this application on 11 October 2021.

The appeal seeks to overturn the decision by the High Court, handed down on 17 September 2021, that the new evidence that had come to light since the first inquest did not require a fresh inquest to be held in the interests of justice.

The application lodged yesterday is brought on the grounds the High Court was wrong to find it was not necessary or desirable in the interests of justice, based on the new evidence now available, for a second inquest to be held. The application also argues that the court was wrong to find that Article 2, the right to life, was not engaged by the circumstances of Jodey’s death.

Jodey’s mother, Joy Dove, has been fighting for years for a new inquest to investigate the role of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in her daughter’s death. Jodey died in February 2017 following the withdrawal of her benefits by the DWP 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.

Joy said:

“My fight continues to have a fresh inquest that will examine the role of the DWP in Jodey’s death. It seems to me that there were obvious failings in the way the DWP treated Jodey, which were proved and documented by the Independent Case Examiner, and it is ridiculous that this has not been fully and publicly investigated. How can lessons be learned, and future tragedies prevented, if no one examines this properly?”

Merry Varney, of law firm Leigh Day added:

“The possible link between the DWP making repeated errors in the handling of Jodey’s welfare benefits claim shortly before her death, which left her without income, housing benefit and council tax benefit, and her death has never been publicly investigated. Having obtained the Attorney-General’s permission to apply to the High Court for a second inquest, it is disappointing the High Court rejected our client’s application on all grounds and we hope the Court of Appeal will allow her the opportunity to overturn this decision.”

Merry Varney
Court of Protection Human rights Inquests Judicial review

Merry Varney

Merry is a partner in the human rights department and head of the Leigh Day inquest group

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