A single mother leapt to her death with her baby because her only means of support was withdrawn, other benefits were denied and the local council then demanded she repay housing benefit. The verdict was suicide and unlawful killing of her baby, but this was murder, cheap cruel bureaucratic neoliberal fucking murder. Capitalist cleansing, the eugenics of the profit driven society. The story is told (sadly and no mention of the father, so see how the destruction of welfare is a gender issue, not many men get left holding the baby after giving birth) in The Daily Mail, so here are the main points without gracing their site with your presence-
A pregnant woman jumped to her death while clutching her baby son after her benefits had been stopped, an inquest heard. Philosophy graduate Christelle Pardo, 32, plunged from the balcony of her sister’s third-floor flat, killing herself and five-month-old Kayjah. Miss Pardo had been claiming Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) since shortly after leaving London Metropolitan University in May 2008 She became pregnant shortly afterwards, but in December her JSA was withdrawn because she was within 11 weeks of giving birth and was considered unable to work.
As a result she also lost her automatic entitlement to housing benefit. The mother, from Hackney, east London, was advised to apply for income support but her application was rejected because the Department of Work and Pensions said she had not proved that she had been in continuous employment in the UK for the previous five years. This was despite having worked or been a student in Britain since 1997.
In April, her application for child benefit was also rejected when officials learned she had been denied income support. Hackney council then demanded she repay £200 in overpaid housing benefit. Two further appeals for income support were rejected and when Miss Pardo tried to take the Department of Works to a tribunal she repeatedly failed to be given a date for a hearing. Her last phone call to the DWP was on Friday June 12 this year, the day before she committed suicide and killed her son.
Ms Pardo’s sister, Olaya, told Poplar Coroner’s Court that she and Christelle had moved to Britain from France and had both been in work ever since.
Describing her sister’s death Ms Pardo said she went out to buy some milk before returning to find her front door open. She said: ‘I called for Christelle and didn’t hear anything. I went out to the balcony and when I looked over I could see my sister and Kayjah. ‘That day she was distant, she didn’t say much. She was upset and wanted a date for her tribunal. She was stressed about her benefits. She didn’t want her son to feel all the stress that she was going through with the paperwork. We talked sister to sister and she told me how she was feeling. She said she was upset because she felt that she didn’t exist. If it had not been for me she would have been out on the street.’
The court heard that Christelle could not return to France because she had no relatives there, as her parents had moved away. Her sister said: ‘Going back to France was like going back to another country. She was living here for so many years – this was her country.’
Christelle died at the scene after her plunge. Paramedics took her son to the nearby Royal London Hospital where he died later that day.
Coroner Dr Andrew Reid said: ‘She was not in a position around the time her son was born to be actively seeking work, and was not in a position to claim Income Support, which eventually stopped her housing benefit.
‘In lay terms it seems a very parlous situation.’
The coroner recorded a verdict of suicide for Christelle Pardo and a verdict of unlawful killing for the death of her son.