This Was Not Suicide It Was Murder

A single mother leapt to her death with her baby because her only means of support was withdrawn, other benefits were denied and the local council then demanded she repay housing benefit.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leaving London Metropolitan University in May 2008 She became pregnant shortly afterwards, but in December her JSA was withdrawn because she was within 11 weeks of giving birth and was considered unable to work.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.

8 Responses to “This Was Not Suicide It Was Murder”

  1. libhomo Says:

    This reminds me of when Indian farmers commit suicide.

  2. RickB Says:

    That’s a good connection, and alarming because people here would think we do not have such desperate poverty and corresponding depression, but the fact is we do, definitely in relative terms and also in absolute for many. The end stage of this process is foreseen as an authoritarian corporate state with an oppressed working class, minimal and struggling middle class and an elite protected with deadly force and secret police/surveillance, possibly all kept going with endless wars of distraction and profit, still that could never happen…..

  3. earwicga Says:

    When I read this story on Friday there were about 30 comments, almost all vile. Now there are 633, still almost all vile. I can’t believe I share the same country with the type of scum who read the story above then feel complelled to write:

    “What a selfish woman. My parents are retired and are now in their late 60s they have worked continuosly hard over the years and what do they get? Absoloutely nothing. It makes me sick that greedy people like her come into the country and rinse the govt benefits system

    Hadn’t she heard of contraceptiopn? where was the father in this? She had family so why the need to kill her baby and unborn too?

    What a selfish vile woman.
    – shania, London, 4/12/2009 13:50”

    Indeed – shania is a very vile and selfish woman. We know virtually nothing about Christelle Pardo apart from the fact that the DWP & Hackney Housing Benefit department murdered her.

  4. earwicga Says:

    And the difference between the commenters outcry that Christelle Pardo jumped with her child and the reporting of Fiona Pilkington who died with her disabled daughter is striking. Was there any outcry that Pilkington took her daughter with her?

  5. RickB Says:

    I wonder maybe if that’s a game the Mail play, they publish a story that seems to come from a humane perspective knowing the people involved (anyone not wealthy middle class white and conservative) will rile up their readers who of course buy/click to it to masturbate their outrage. The journo feels good about themselves but the Mail still fundamentally supports these horrific zombies who read the shitty paper and their reactionary hatreds. Also I would surmise under a tory govt unless they objected to the leader they would perhaps not publish this story at all unless it could be laid at the door of a Labour council in its entirety.

  6. jim Says:

    I totally agree. It is murder. All for a very small, minute amount of money within the bigger picture which would have prevented this. What a terrible position to be in not being able to see no other alternative than that which happened. Rest in peace, both.

  7. jim Says:

    Rick, why are my comments not appearing? Thanks, Jim.

  8. RickB Says:

    I was out, unable to mod!

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