Friday, 12 December 2014

An open letter to David Cameron Prime Minister, Nick Clegg Deputy Prime Minister Ed Miliband Leader of Labour Party Nigel Farage Leader of UKIP Mark Williams my local MP.



An open letter to David Cameron Prime Minister, Nick Clegg Deputy Prime Minister Ed Miliband Leader of Labour Party Nigel Farage Leader of UKIP Mark Williams my local MP.



Firstly let me begin by stating I have no faith in the political system of this country. However I vote in every election. I officially discount my vote as a vote of no confidence, because that is exactly how I feel about the current system. I have been failed by the state since I was a minor.

I am tired of remaining silent and going unheard, I have major grievances with how I have been treated, mishandled and misunderstood. I have an Autistic Spectrum Disorder which makes communication difficult for me, I have struggled to get assessed and diagnosed. It is a hard thing to have to ask for help, it's harder still to have to keep asking.



I am 1 of the 8,603 carer's in Ceredigion whom according to Mr Williams are unsung hero’s in the system as he is quoted in saying in local press this week at event for Carer's Rights Day.

I work 7 days a week taking care of my 80 year old grandmother who has a broad range of health problems, as well as receiving a diagnosis of bladder cancer over the summer. I am now managing her palliative care, at the same time as raising two young children. The emotional strain of this alone is enough to break a lot of people, but I strive under pressure, I am at my best when things are at their worst. I have had to be, the state hasn't given me much choice with regards to my youth which I will get back to, as I need to keep focus on present for the moment.

On top of the difficulties of everyday life, the state is placing an excess amount of emotional strain and fear upon me due to a very complex set of circumstances.In as simple a manner possible I will try and explain the issue.
I had mistakenly been claiming the wrong benefit for a long period of time. The benefit in question is Carers Allowance at current rate of £61.35 per week, instead of closing that claim and opening one for my Nan to receive Severe Disability Premium at current rate of £61.10 per week. My nan's finances and mine where so muddled together it didn't matter whom the money was paid to, it all got lumped together. My Nan is my registered employer and pays my wages through direct payments which is paid to her from the local council. So I was earning above the threshold of earnings you can make as carer. As I was getting paid twice to do same job.
However I was not using the service set in place properly. I was absorbing huge costs I shouldn't have been. Purchasing incontinence aids for my nan. Also in 5 years I never claimed any expenses such as travel etc. even though I could have, should have but I was worried about making a mistake. I didn't cancel the claim to open the new one because I didn't want to disrupt the routine, I didn't want a dip in income whilst one claim closed and other opened to allow lapse in quality of care.

Just before the start of the tax year, my nan receives a letter. I assume it's a tax form as she is my employer it seemed most likely. However I was greatly mistaken. It was a benefit fraud investigation letter with myself named on the document. It is my job to assist my nan in all duties such as paperwork. If I filed in this document it clearly presented a conflict of interest, if I wanted to act dishonestly, this would have been an opportune moment. Instead I went straight to my local job centre tried to explain everything verbally, handing over a year's worth of payslips and p60s without being asked or requested to do so. Time goes by and I hear nothing, until month or so later payment stops without any prior notification. I then went to job centre again, in a state of emotional distress already, I brought with me receipts and packaging for all the incontinence aids I brought to show what I had been spending the money on. Because I had everything in a brown envelope with the plastic packaging it made it an irregular size. The security guard accused it of being a suspicious package and made me open it on the spot, causing a scene in the middle of the job centre. I was just trying to communicate and was met with undeserved hostility. I do understand the safety concerns with packages in government buildings, it's the age in which we live I suppose.

More time goes by I hear nothing, I go in to job centre every week and ask what’s going on. I also attempt to get the Severe Disability claim processed as the dip in income In feared was happening.
I covered the shortfall out of my own pay as I always do. All this was going on whilst I was waiting for results of biopsy for my Nans bladder. I eventually get requested to attend a formal interview under caution. At which point I believe I was obligated to inform them of my mental health condition. At which point they took the position that I must require an appropriate adult with me to attend any interview. How insulting and deeming is that? I would need an appropriate adult with me, when I am responsible for two young children my infirm grandmother and myself. Despite all the emotional trauma I had been through and still going through I fought my point, that I shouldn't need anyone, as I wanted to resolve the matter as quickly as possible. Not wasting tax payers money on a pointless investigation. After much complaining and talking with line managers I was given the opportunity to go alone.

After the interview I am told it needs to be transcribed, which I have never received a copy of!
It will be passed to the CPS for consideration I am told. On 26th November a huge envelope came thudding through my door. It was court documents, I was to be in court December 10th 2 weeks before Christmas. Could the timing be any worse? With my nan's cancer this could be her last Christmas, and it's my youngest daughters 1st.I was terrified that I would be in jail for it.
I am contracted for 36 hours per week which works out 5 hours per day, 6 on alternate day, usually Sunday to do laundry. With my Nan's bladder control issues I have to do laundry quite frequently.
I exceed my contracted hours all the time. For instance when my Nan had to go to Swansea for cancer treatment, I worked a 16 hour day with no break and I only get paid for 5 hours. No over time. No time and a half on New Year Christmas, Boxing Day. I have never even so much as taken a sick day in 5 years.

I couldn't afford a solicitor and since I work full time don't qualify for legal aid. I spent the 3 weeks given to me before the court date to research as much as I could about the law, being my own legal researcher, my hopes were pinned on the duty solicitor, looking at the data I had provided and advising me thusly. However things didn't work like that. The duty didn't have the official court documents I had.
As the printer wasn't working so had to use mine. Which afterwards were not returned to me.
They only looked at the official papers, what the prosecution has to say, I though, your my defence shouldn't you be listening to what I have to say. When asked how I intended to plead I stated that I was unsure if I was mentally fit to plea, which is true, I don't know what to do. I had enquired in relation to a mental health advocate to attended the court date but with cuts in funding their was not anyone available short notice. So I had to go alone, not knowing if I was going to be coming out again. The room where the duty and I spoke was like a wind tunnel which aggravated my austic traits, made me feel very agitated, also I felt I wasn't being listened to. I had made lots of notes which I had to forward to my email address for printing at local library as my printer is broken. When I asked them to read the documents they snarked back “I'm a solicitor I don't need to read google”. Referring to the google logo assuming I had just googled and printed information, when in fact they were copies of email I had sent CPS which in itself presented an error, as I had sent it multiable times with an automated acknowledgement of receipt. However it is policy that CPS cannot respond to emails, when I called to check with the point of reference I had,. I was informed it had not been received. So I had to send it again whilst on the phone to the person to verbally confirm it's arrival.

This technical hiccup took up time delaying their response and leaving me less time to prepare. My legal representation had no experience in people with my condition and just wanted to move me in and out quickly as possible. When I said I think I am unfit to plead they told me I wouldn't be able to care for my nan any more. My nan is very dependent on not only my care and support, but emotionally aswell. That itself puts her at risk. Suddenly loosing my job, would put my two young children at risk. So instantly I am overwhelmed with panic. If I plead not guilty it goes to trial, if I plea guilty it's down to mitigation. But I can't plead innocence. I cannot get past the point that the almost £7k I am being made to repay along with any fine that is levied against me and possible jail time. If I pay it the state will be profiting!
As near enough the same sum should have been paid to my nan anyway in the guise of alternate benefit title. It's the same thing in different packaging. A rose by any other name. It's a bureaucratic nightmare.People I spoke with at DWP etc. "say oh yeah we see your point but things don't work like that, In eyes of the law your guilty".  
I never not declared the benefit. I said to the duty how I paid tax on the carers allowance. They said I didn't so I assume they don't understand the tax system. On forums I filled in I declared it as income which effects how much tax you pay above threshold etc. On any income and expenditure forms I completed at local council etc I always declared it as income I never hid anything, or was living beyond my means. It was just easier keeping the existing claim then processing new one. I had gone through a rough few years as it was, and stopped talking with everyone, withdrew so much. I lost 2 close friends to suicide since 2009. The paperwork just didn't really seem to matter. My duty didn't know anything about autism, I tried to give the guidelines for people with autism for criminal justice system, but they didn't even bother looking at them.
Contact with the criminal justice system

People with autism who come into contact with the criminal justice system (CJS)

are likely to be from the more able end of the spectrum, with high-functioning

autism or Asperger syndrome1, as they generally have a greater degree of

independence than those whose autism is accompanied by severe learning

difficulties. Those at the less able end of the spectrum, with classic ‘Kanner’

2

autism, may have little or no speech, may attend day services, live in residential

services, or be in the constant care of their parents, so are likely to spend much

of their time in the presence of support workers or family members.

However, the command of spoken language in a person with high-functioning

autism or Asperger syndrome does not necessarily indicate their true level of

understanding or social awareness. Their apparent independence can mask their social disability: many people with autism are often confused by what goes on

around them and may well be vulnerable individuals. Lack of understanding

People with autism do not always understand the implications of their actions,

or the motivations of others. Due to their difficulties with social imagination,

problems with flexibility of thought and a tendency towards obsessive and

repetitive behaviour, a person may not learn from past experience. They will

often find it difficult to understand how others perceive their actions and to

intuitively transfer their experiences from one situation to another. As a result,

some may become victims or repeat their behaviour if not offered appropriate

support and intervention.

People with autism often find unexpected situations extremely difficult to cope with.

They could see I was distressed and saw that I genuinely believe I had not done anything wrong, so was going to enter not guilty plea on my behalf.
I then had to wait back in the hallway for them to see next client. In the few moments I had to myself, I tried to gather my senses. I thought about changing my plea. I just wanted the whole thing to be over. On way into the court I said to the duty I think I want to change my plea, but before I knew it I was put in a glass box. I felt humiliated, demoralized dehumanized like an animal in a zoo. When asked how I plead. I froze.
I couldn't answer. There is nothing I can do. The thought of going to trial on top of everything else is daunting to say the least. I have to do the best thing for my family. My daughters. My nan. My friends say I should plea guilty pay back what ever they want, few pounds a week for years and years. Is that fair? Is that justice? At what point does that become indebted servitude? The state has already taken so much from me it's hard not to feel frustrated and resentful.

Writing this is not a pleasant experience, it's embarrassing airing my affairs in such a public manner, but I feel I have been left no choice. No one listens. I have and am about to reveal a lot of personal information which as someone recently said to me, is either a really brave or stupid thing to do. My response was only time will tell.

My mother sued Southwark social services on behalf of 4 of my siblings and won. They all received compensation payouts. I refused to be part of the case. Wanting to get on with my life. Instead of dwelling on the past. Now I am looking back at everything and I am angry. The state wants to cripple me financially, and emotionally. I could spend years in litigation to get my own fiscal payout just to pay off DWP. So effectively suing one branch of the state to pay another.

When I 1st came to the UK from Ireland at age of 15 I was placed in an education support centre instead of being granted a place in a real school. It wasn't a reflection on my ability or willingness to learn. I was placed with educational no hoper’s with severe behavioural issues. I was cast on the rubbish heap from the get go. But it got much much worse.
At point in my young when I was supposed to be studying for my GCSEs I found myself living on the streets of South London. Sleeping on building sites, and a refuge in North London prior to my turning 16. When I turned 16 I bounced through the homeless peoples unit at Bournemouth Road Peckham. I was then classed as priority need.
Even without my autism diagnosis which I didn't get until a over a decade later. I was given 1 night stay's in b and b style accommodation in Earls Court. So I had to go from Peckham to Earls Court with no money. My feet ached all the time. Earls Court was insane. I was lumped with harden criminals just released from prison and Iranian asylum seekers. It was beyond the understanding of the boy I was. I never felt safe their. I had to go back and forth from Peckham to Earls Court and vice versa for a while. I missed a lot of school. What I am about to mention is difficult to disclose. At one point me and a friend I had made a boy same age as myself, were invited to smoke opium with the Iranians. Not really knowing anything we said okay. Looking back with more knowledge it was properly heroin. I was exposed to that as a vulnerable minor. Their was a further incident in Earls Court that I didn't realized how much it effected me till recently. I hadn't even spoken about it to anybody. It's not comfortable subject matter.
It's a really ugly memory from a hard time in my life. We were all drinking in lobby of the building. Which is now a premier inn on West Cromwell Road I believe. We were drinking vodka. Shot for shot with these eastern Europeans. After a while I passed out on the sofa in the lobby. My friend had gone to the shop. I was in such a state I couldn't move I felt sick. I felt this guys hands on me, grasping down my jeans. I just felt helpless. Luckily that moment my friend came back and saved me. But the incident stuck in my mind. I felt so stupid for getting into such a state where I was vulnerable. Like it was my fault. Even though I was a minor, being plyed with alcohol. I brushed it off tried not to let it bother me, but it did.
When I was moved into a proper permanent place I was only person under 18. Their was a guy who moved in, whom was openly gay, who made an unwanted advance towards me. Something which I couldn't deal with at the time and stopped staying at the shared house just to avoid this situation which was all in my head. It could have been cleared up with a simple talk, but I was to scared and would rather sleep on streets. So lapsed back into that unsettled way of life for a time.Had rent arrears lost the tennantcy.
But prior to that when I was given a semi permanent hostel in 88 Walworth Road. I was due to receive my 1st ever social security payment. A back dated giro of £226.03 when it didn't arrive I went to local job centre to find out what was happening. Only to be told that it had been cashed. I was flabbergasted. It was policy that giro could only be cashed at nominated post office and that any payment over £50 requires ID. I went to the police station and post office demanding to see the CCTV, nothing was done. I was living on individual packets of sugar. I found out some time later it was the manager of the hostel stealing peoples giro’s. Where was my justice? This was at a time when I should have been sitting my exams. Instead I spent it huddled in a ball weeping. I couldn't wash my clothes and had to walk everywhere. My feet wreaked, The flesh rotted and burned. No matter how much I tried to clean them. It got so bad I went to A&E a few times, it was almost like trench foot.

All of this happened to me and more. Yet I still get up every morning and try do the right thing. I( have never let myself become a victim of circumstance. I am who I am inspite of false start i had to begin with. I struggle to be a good man, and a good father. This week my eldest had 8 inches of her hair cut off and donated it to Little Princess Charity to be made into a wig for children with cancer. As well as raising money through home and school for CLIC Sargent a cancer charity for kids. I couldn't be more proud. For a 5 year old to come up with such a great positive idea on her own. The world is a better brigher place because she is in it. I must be doing something right.

I have never shied away from my obligations and sense of moral responsibility as you Mr Cameron are quoted in saying “What holds society together is responsibility, and that the good society is a responsible society”. Who is responsible for the damage done to me? Their isn't one single person, one state department. I have been failed time and time again. I am hoping that the issues I have raised can be reflected upon and some of my faith in the system will be restored. Perhaps instead of voting no confidence I should use my vote in protest and vote for UKIP.



In closing I would just like to point out that I never know if my Nan is going to be dead when I get to work. One day she will be, that's a fear I live with on a daily basis. After she dies I am out of work instantly, and I still have bills to pay to keep roof over our heads. Where we live is a housing bubble because all the family homes have been convered to suit students. Leaving the market in favour of higher rents for family property’s in the town. Which I have to be in as I need to be within walking distance from work. In 5 years I have paid over £40k in rent. Dead money, cannot get on the property ladder, owning a 1st family home. 
I have my Nan to worried about. Will she live past Christmas. Then I have court again in January as I didn't enter a plea it was just adjourned. They were going to set the date for 2 weeks time. Then chuckled about it being Christmas Eve. The humour was lost on me, stood their on display in a glass box. I am on unconditional bail until my next court appearence. I have this hanging over my head. The holidays are stressful enough without all this pressure to top it off.

Sincerly

A Voting Individual



P.S. 21/12/2014


Only a tiny handful of individuals have read the update post on this blog compared with the 1135 people whom have read my letter. I want you to know what has happened since publishing this material. My Nan died shortly after publication. It's her funeral tomorrow morning. She died 6 days after I was in court. Her funeral is 6 days after her death. It's sad that she had to die being worried about me being in this position.

Despite disclosing this kind of personal information in such a public manner. I have tried to insulate myself to some degree. By not sharing it with people that know me personally. Cause somehow sharing this with a thousand strangers is somehow less embarrassing then sharing it with a few people who actually touch my life.

I did however show it too one or two friends. One remarked in relation to my “Guilty Not Guilty” poll. Asking if I would like them to vote not guilty. I said in reply “I am not a diplomat or a politician, it's not my agenda to manipulate votes”. I want this poll to be an accurate poll of public opinion. Which it already is. Out of 1135 people 35 people have voted. 33 Not Guilty 2 Guilty. The public support I have be given has been great, especially during this personal time of grief. It has been inspiring to look beyond and see real understanding from people of all walks of life.

It was a difficult life changing experience managing someone’s palliative care. Even more so with it being my Nan. She was riddled with arthritis, broken hip, suffered a mini stroke, had COPD and osteoporosis. Was going deaf and developing cateratics in both eyes. Finally had bladder cancer diagnosis over the summer. I had been on edge for quite some time. Wondering every time I went to work, would she be dead when I got their. It is a terrible thing to live in a constant state of fear. I just hoped to have had one last family Christmas. It's my youngest daughters 1st one ever, and it's also the week of my Nan's funeral. The time spent worrying and stressing about these legal issues could have been spent focusing more on enjoying my Nans remaining days. I had to break the news about my Nan to my eldest daughter. I waited till she broke up from school. I wanted to protect her from everything for as long as I could. Let her enjoy christmas jumper day and school cinema trip. Then to top it all off both the kids get the tummy bug thats doing the rounds, so I had to tell her when she was feeling poorly. She took it fairly well. Children are far more resilent then we realize.

This is extract from email someone sent in response to my letter. I haven't had a chance to email them back yet. I am very grateful for their concern and support.





What I would really urge, is that you remove the finer details of your blog post of your past. You are a father and this level of detail will cause embarrassment to your children, they could be teased mercilessly. You can pare it down so that you just refer vaguely to a life of homelessness and difficulty as a teenager failed by the system. You really don't need to go into the drugs and gay attention episodes. I know you are desperate for help and advice, but don't lay yourself totally bare. The people you want and need to take notice, the Government and the courts, won't give a damn. Keep your pride, keep your dignity. Seek help from the NAS and the Advocates Gateway: http://www.theadvocatesgateway.org/contact-us


I had thought the same things. The issues I raised are uncomfortable taboo subjects. I understand that, it's not exactly easy for me to talk about. I want to believe that if more people were honest with themselves and laid them self bare like this that the world would be a better place. You can be strong and vulnerable at the same time. So what is the point of holding back, it's the same as holding on to all the things that drag us down. I would rather get it out in the open and move past it. I hope that one day my kids would understand why I have done what I have done. That it has taken strength to stand up and speak the truth even when no one wants to hear it. In fact especially when no one wants to hear it.



21 Days

29/12/14

I have just been signed off work for three weeks. The “standard” amount of time allocated for bereavement. My “sick” note will expire on the 20th of Jan the exact same date the claim I have just processed for E.S.A. (Employment and Support Allowance) will be through. So I will have to go back to my GP hoping that they have had through more information about my Autism.

I fought hard just to be seen by a specialist and get an assessment/diagnosis. Yet even that has been disruptive. On 5th November 2013 I had my final assessment, and then received only interim copy of my Diagnostic Interview For Social and Communication Disorders. Which doesn't even have my name spelled correctly. I was finding the strain of caring for my Nan very hard to deal with. Even more so after the cancer. Managing someone's palliative care is a very emotionally draining experience. I chased up the promises of support that was offered. I was told verbally that a referral for an autism specialist social worker would be done. Yet nothing materialized. I was and am still to some extent under a tremendous amount of pressure. My traumatic adolescence, caring for my dying Grandmother whilst raising a young family. The suicides of my closest friends. Despite all that I found the strength to carry on. Get up and go to work 7 days a week. Not 1 single sick day did I take in 5 years. Now I have to take 21 in a row. I tried to express to the Doc how difficult it is the sudden loss of my whole routine and structure. Even before I started caring for my Nan full time, I had still been going to hers everyday since she moved into her flat. I had taken care of her most of my life. Now I am cast a drift. I have no qualifications or references. Bouncing back into a system that makes even less sense to me then when I went through it as a kid. I would love to be back in work as soon as possible. As vital and important my job was. I didn't get any sense of job satisfaction from it. It was my responsibility and would have done it regardless of pay or circumstance. It was a dead end job. I knew that. It's not like I could move up ranks, fulfil any sense of professional ambition. Now I am out of work with the government seeking repayment of such a large debt, it's hard to look past that and see a point where I can move forward. As for the case. I am not sure what is going to happen or how things will progress. All I can do is prepare for the worst whilst hoping for the best. I will endeavour to update this page frequently as the next 21 days rolls on by.

01/01/15

I have 7 days till my next court appearance. I have made claim for E.S.A. And have been let down by the state yet again. After processing my application I was informed that it will not be ready till January 20th the same day my Sick Cert ends unless I get another 1 to cover a longer period. By the time the claim is sorted I will either have to close it or get another Doc to sign me off again. My redundancy pay is another issue. My final pay figures came through the post. They look like a normal payslip. Only my Nan is not around to sign cheques any more. The wages account is frozen so I have to wait another 7-10 working days for funds to be released. With bank holiday in the middle making it take even longer. I even have a dispute with my work start date. In 2010 I took some time off and my other half the mother of my children took over my job full time whilst I remained on staff to cover the relief hours. The payroll office made a mistake and took me off the books and put me back on. Altering my official start date. Which didn't pose a problem until I was out of a job. How my redundant pay works out is 1 weeks pay per each year service. Because of this error my partners start date is a whole year before mine. So I am loosing a weeks pay. This clerical error/misunderstanding/misscommunication isn't my fault yet it's costing me money. I have no money coming in till 2nd or 3rd week of January. Having some experience of the system as a youth. I went to apply for a Crisis Loan from the Social Fund. Only that doesn't exist any more. It has been replaced by Discretionary Assistance Fund. I was informed that I would be eligible however I needed to apply for an advance of my E.S.A as I wouldn't receive payment from Assistance Fund without jumping through all the other available hoops 1st. So I requested an advance. I had my Sick Cert faxed from my local job centre to speed up the process. Only they misplaced that which dragged the process out even longer. I had to wait 3 hours by the phone for them to call back with a decision. Meanwhile I couldn't make any vital outgoing calls like to the CPS. When I finally did get a call back. I got nothing but attitude. I was made to feel like I was asking for a favour, Asking for a hand out. When I have paid taxes for the last 5 years never taking a single sick day. Then when I am in a position where I need some support, all I get is snarky remarks. We don't usually do this, An advance is for people that haven't had any money in ages. Bla Bla Bla. I am entitled to 3 weeks benefits. What difference does it make when I am paid? I was asked for how much of an advance I wanted to apply for. I asked for 1 weeks pay out of 3. I was told that rate of Contribution Based E.S.A. Is £74 per week so I asked for that. I was allocated £68 and told I would have to pay it back £17 a week out of my benefit for 4 weeks. I was told that payment might not be in the account by 5pm but will defiantly be their by midnight. That's been and gone and no payment. New Years day. Everything shut no chance of getting it today. I am sick of lies and false promises. Me and my family have been left in the lurch because of incompetent inconsiderate state employees and policies. I have to waste my time fighting for a pittance instead of focusing on how I move forward with my life. Where do I go from here. I have given up a huge chunk of my life to take care of my Nan. I have lost my youth. There is now loads of help and support services for young people. It's a category I no longer fit into any more. As I am past the aged 25 cut off point.


08/01/15

I had my next court appearance yesterday. The whole process was beyond a joke. It's so frustrating. I was told by the CPS in relation to the recent bereavement I have suffered that they have no issue with me having another adjournment. All I had to do was make contact with the court and formally request it from them. I had assumed it was just a formality. When I asked for the adjournment, I was refused. As I was granted an adjournment at previous case so I could seek relevant support services and according to the courts view no progress has been made. Despite being given 4 weeks, 2 of which included the Christmas holidays where most things are closed until after the new year. Support services much like the NHS have their peak season around Christmas as a lot of people find this time of year a crisis point. Even without the passing of my Nan I feel like I was set up to fail. I had been to my GP, been to MIND been to CAB. Wrote emails to Autism organizations and didn't find the support I needed. Primarily because of cuts in funding and the lack of services/awareness within my local region. One of the orgs I attempted to make contact with, I email on 13th December and did not get a reply until 6th January. Because of the high frequency of people requestion access to information and support again due to peak season. I found the courts prerogative quite insulting. No progress has been made? Not for my lack of trying! I did as much as I could whilst still trying to adjust to life after my Nan. The pressures of Christmas, raising a young family. Despite all the on going stress I still have tried to focus on matters at hand. This whole fiasco has not allowed me time to mourn, to grieve. It's been all consuming. I can't focus on anything else, it's just been dragging on hanging over my head. I barely eat and hardly sleep. Thankfully I wasn't alone in court yesterday. The evening before I got a tweet from Mark Williams MP. Saying his office was going to phone. Emotionally I felt like a death row inmate receiving a reprieve from the governor at the 11th hour. This matter is far from over, but it was so refreshing to know I wouldn't have to battle on alone. His office called and I spoke with a lovely lady called Lisa. She informed me that they had drafted a letter and made query to the head of the Carer's Allowance department. They have sent the letter to Mark Harper MP head of DWP. They even reminded me of some key information which I had forgotten about myself. The transcript of my interview under caution. I never received a copy, even though I have requested one. I shouldn't of had to request it in the 1st place. I have been told information relating to appeals procedure of DWP where by you have 13 months to make a second appeal, have a tribunal. When I called up to find out about making an appeal, I was told to do it whilst on the telephone. That if this appeal failed I would have 1 month to appeal that appeal. I didn't see the point, they were all just going to say the same thing. Nope, nothing you can do.

Information I sourced acting as my own legal secretary in relation to public interest test

If proceedings have been started or are being considered and the CPS is provided with a medical report which states that the strain of criminal proceedings may lead to considerable worsening of the defendant's mental health, the implications of the report should be considered very carefully.
This is a difficult field because in some cases the defendant may have become disturbed and depressed by the mere fact that his or her conduct has been discovered, and any suggestions that continuing the criminal proceedings will significantly worsen the defendant's condition should be evaluated carefully. In serious cases where a prosecution is plainly needed unless there is clear evidence that continuing the case would be likely to result in a permanent deterioration in the defendant's condition, it may be appropriate to obtain an independent medical report. Where the prosecutor is satisfied that the probable effect on the defendant's health outweighs the public interest considerations in favour of a prosecution, the case should be discontinued and full reasons recorded on file.

The CPS and DWP were aware of my condition and the strain I was under taking care of my Nan. I was already disturbed because of my past. I was depressed because of the present, i.e. my Nan's failing health. Things should never have gotten this far. I have GP again on Friday, but I doubt I can obtain a relevant report prior to court again on the 14th of January. In the end I was only granted an adjournment under the courts protest. As I am now unemployed and in receipt of employment and support allowance I qualify for legal aid. The solicitor was not supposed to represent me. As I had to fill out the legal aid forms. She chose to represent me for free. She requested an adjournment, the court said to fill out the forms immediately and to proceed. Which I attempted to do so. Then it became apparent that my partner had to sign the document which was impossible as she was at work. So it could not be done, but even it had been able to proceed my representation would have to go through the stacks of documents I had brought in my defence. So I was granted a 1 week adjournment. Released on conditional bail. The condition that I drop the signed documents off and attend next court date. Fine it's just another week of my life where I am in a state of perpetual unrest and unease. In my request for adjournment prior to attended court, I made it quite clear that I was finding it difficult to source child care. The stress of this case and the fallout it's hand on my already fractured family is immense. My mother said how this case worried my Nan to death, how it's my fault. People say a lot of stuff in anger during grief, I understand that. It didn't make the situation any better. Most of my siblings took a stance of staying out of another squabble between my mother and I. That hurt, none of my family would stick up for me. My Nan is the only one who did and now she is gone. So I cut all ties with all my blood family, at least until all this is over, I can't bare the pain of that on top of everything else. Everyone has their limits. I told them I didn't have child care. I managed to get my friend to help me out. I had looked after his daughter a few times so I really needed to call in a favour, practically begging him. He did a fantastic job, even though I was kept hours longer then I was expecting. He did a great job, there are not many people I would trust to look after my children. He didn't change her nappy. Which I completely understand. As a male parent myself I would be hesitant to change the nappy of another persons child just out of social perceptions or rather social paranoia. My baby girls poor bum was all red and sore. It broke my heart thinking that all this nonsense is causing my child pain and discomfort. It's not fair, she doesn't even turn 1 till next week, what has she ever done to anyone.

I will be expected to enter a plea during my next court. I still don't know which way to go. I have an ethical delima. I admit my guilt but equally assert my innocence. If you are both innocent and guilty how do you choose which one outweighs the other. This is why I included the poll, of which 96% of votes have been for me to Plead Not Guilty. Even the CPS state an anticipated plea of Not Guilty. The CPS making that assumption offended me. How can an external force anticipate my view? If me the internal cannot decide. It's the nature of the offence I am being labelled with that I cannot stand. Dishonesty, when I am not a dishonest person, I have not conducted myself in a dishonest manner. All I want to do is focus on rebuilding my life. Where I go from here. I have just undertook a massively emotionally draining life experience managing my Nans palliative care. Yet I have no references, no qualifications, no job prospects. I have the stigma of my social background and my mental health condition. If I am forever labelled a fraudster I will never get a job. I will be trapped in the benefit system for years.

I can't thank Mark Williams MP and his staff enough for springing into action. You always hear the same thing when ever you have a major grievance. “Go to your MP”. No one ever really does. We just assume that they won't do anything cause they don't care. The system is broken and nothing will ever change. Things might not change, but people do care and that makes a huge difference. If people do care, then eventually their might be positive change. A better brighter future for everybody. I don't know what would have happened if I didn't write this blog, If I didn't get advice and help from people like Janis Sharp, Mark Williams and co. I feel like I would have just been rail roaded through the justice system. Thank you to everyone who has offered support, I can't stress how much of a difference it has made to me personally.


23/02/2015

It has been quite some time since I posted an update. Things haven't gone away. I am still faced with as much uncertinity as ever. On my second court appearance I was refused an adjournemt on medical grounds. The only reason it was adjourned was because I could not complete the legal aid forms without my partners signature. It was put on hold then until I could fill out the documents which I did by the very next day. I had been given a sick note by my GP which declared me unfit for work. When I referenced this to the court they asked me to produce a copy of the medical cert which I could not to as I had sent the only copy to DWP in relation to new claim of ESA. I went to my GP and got a duplicate issued. Presenting this to the court to show them that I am unfit to proceed with matters at this time. The court said it wasn't good enough as it didn't state court as well as work. I then went to my GP again and was given a hand written note on headed paper stating I was not fit for court appearance. This was accepted. Still a plea of Not Guilty was entered on my behalf. A trial date was set for 5th March 2015. It took 3 weeks to get my partners payslips to have the court consider my application for legal aid. My partners employer had moved to a paperless format with regards to wage slips and my partner had not been issued log on details since returning to work from maternity leave. I was given a date of 11th Feb to enter any witness or evidence in my defense, with this delay in obtaining the payslips I didn't get to meet with my legal representaion until 2 days before the deadline. Also the 5 years of bank statements which proved I hadn't claimed expenses in 5 years were taken by the payroll department to close down the account. They won't return the documents to me, had I been made aware of this I would have made copies of all the bank statements before handing them over. When looking at the actual figures fallacy of the whole situation comes to light. By comparing the two opposing benefits what was claimed versus what was claimed

Carers Allowence £61.35 times 52 equals £3190.20 times 5 equals £15,951
Severe Disability £61.10 times 52 equals £3177.20 times 5 equals £15,886
A difference of £65 over 5 years £1.08333 a month in terms of what was overpaid


Then consider how much it has cost the tax payer in billable hours attributed to this case in terms of the investagation, the 3 court appearences the upcoming trail. Even if I loose I will get 3 appeals, all at the cost of the tax payer. If I am jailed that is another cost of £25k upwards a year for the tax payer. This whole mess has already dragged on for an entire year. Tearing me apart. I have had my formal autism diagonsis through which has helped. Its hard trying to establish any sense of normality/routine after my Nan passed, when I have so much uncerninity in relation to what is or could happen in the not to distant future




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