Government admits it should not have axed disability benefits of Asperger’s sufferer who starved to death

Mark Wood, Photograph: SWNS.com

Mark Wood, Photograph: SWNS.com

Bampton, Oxfordshire – Mark Wood, 44 died after Atos cut his benefits, Mr Wood had Asperger’s Syndrome. The Government have now admitted that this decision was wrong.

Mr Wood weighed just five-and-a-half stone when he died. Atos had assessed him as being fit to work. Autism Daily Newscast reported on this story early in March.

The Mail Online report that Mr Wood’s GP Nicolas Ward, Speaking at an inquest into his patient’s death, said:

“Something pushed him or affected him in the time before he died and the only thing I can put my finger on is the pressure he felt he was under when his benefits were removed.”

Mr Wood suffered from obsessive compulsive disorder, Asperger’s syndrome, phobias of food, pollution, paint fumes, and social situations, and cognitive behavioural problems. In March last year Atos insisted he was fit to work.

His sister, Cathie Wood, said:

“We are pleased but sad”

Suzy Drohan, joint manager of Oxfordshire Welfare Rights , said:

“We are very sorry this had had to come to light from his death. There could be other cases in which people have died too. We know there are hundreds of decisions which are not right.”

Mr Cameron said:

“This is a tragic case and my thoughts are with Mr Wood’s family at this difficult time.”

Nicola Blackwood, MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, said that it has been a tragic case and while this decision will not bring Mark back at least it sets the record straight.

Atos refused to comment on the reversed decision

The original article by Mia De Graaf can be read on the Mail Online website here