In October 2017, 57-year-old Errol Graham saw his benefits stopped after he failed to attend a fit-for-work interview.
The consequences of that decision could not have been known at the time it was made, but they will be felt forever by his family.
Mr. Graham, who suffered from severe social anxiety, passed away in his home due to starvation.
This isn’t the Victorian times we’re talking about, it’s the 21st century in the United Kingdom.
Weighing just over 4 stone at the time of his death, Mr. Graham was discovered at his flat by bailiffs who had attended over rent arrears.
Safeguarding visits had stopped, and those that had been carried out had clearly failed. Mr. Graham was likely struggling with his mental health when he died, according to doctors, and hadn’t been in contact with anyone in the days, weeks and months leading up to his death.
This is nothing short of a tragedy, and shows that there is work to be done in order to support the most vulnerable members of our society.
What is rarely mentioned, is the impact that an event like this can have on the people who discover the body, the first people on the scene.
Bailiffs or Enforcement Agents, due to the nature of their roles, are often the people who discover tragic victims of circumstance, neglect or injustice.
This doesn’t get any easier, no matter how many times it happens, and although it is rare, it is entirely feasible for a person in this industry to expect it to happen to them at some point in their career.
The overwhelming majority of the sympathy rightly goes to Mr. Errol and his family, but our thoughts are also with those bailiffs who were simply doing their job, when they came upon a scene that will surely live with them forever.
The enduring message to readers is simple...
Look out for those members of our society who are vulnerable.
Check in on them.
Trust your gut.
Speak to the authorities to raise your concerns.
Help is available.
All of us at Court Enforcement Specialists send our condolences to Mr. Errol’s family, and we hope that they eventually find closure in a case that has already been developing for over 2 years, and has seen them lay the blame at the feet of the DWP.
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