“Lessons must be learned” from the death of a Stevenage diabetic who could not afford electricity to keep his insulin cool after his benefits were stopped.
One year ago on Sunday (July 20), former soldier David Clapson died aged 59 at his home in Hillside from fatal diabetic keto-acidosis, which the NHS calls “a dangerous complication of diabetes caused by a lack of insulin.”
His jobseeker’s allowance of approximately £70 a week – on which his family says he was reliant – had been suspended three weeks before on June 28, for missing meetings.
According to his family, Mr Clapson was found “alone, penniless and starving” a short distance from a pile of printed CVs, with nothing to his name but £3.44, six tea bags, a tin of soup and an out-of-date tin of sardines.
The coroner found that David – a former BT engineer of 16 years, who had served two years in Northern Ireland with the Royal Corps of Signals during The Troubles – had nothing in his stomach when he died.
Now his sister, Gill Thompson, says “lessons must be learned” by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) before vulnerable benefit claimants are sanctioned in future.