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An unemployed father-to-be hanged himself after becoming ‘stressed’ about completing a benefits form, a court has heard.

Mark William Jacka, 26, from Tregaron in south-Wales, was expecting his first child when he took his own life after experiencing difficulty in completing a benefits form, the inquest was told.

His girlfriend Erin Weston said he was having problems getting help from officials and was becoming increasingly more upset about having to borrow money from her.

A week before his death, Mark told Erin he was feeling unwell and felt like “ending it all”.

“He threatened to end it all quite a few times”, she said. “If we fell out or had an argument he said he couldn’t do it anymore and he might as well kill himself.

“I didn’t take his last message seriously. I thought it was just like all the others.”

When Mark could not be contacted, Erin visited Tregaron with some of his friends to try and locate him.

Unable to get a response at Mark’s home, she telephoned the police.

Mark’s body was found by officers, who gained access through a window with the help of Mark’s friend and landlord Cleddan Williams.

The court was told how Mark’s collie dog had been shut in the kitchen.

Mr Jacka’s mother said her son was trying to apply for unemployment benefits, but was struggling to understand and complete the application form.

She added that Mark wasn’t depressed and was making plans to set up his own painting and decorating business.

A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said they had struggled to contact Mark to offer help. Adding that they had offered him an advance payment to carry him over while his benefit claim was being processed.

Mark visited the jobcentre for advice the day before he took his own life. The DWP said Mark had completed a Jobseeker’s Allowance form online.

He was found hanged at his home a day after visiting the jobcentre.

Recording a suicide verdict, Coroner Peter Brunton said: “He was not well, but was stressed about completing forms promptly.

“He had no money and had to borrow from his girlfriend. He was only 26 years old and his girlfriend was expecting his child.

“These are very sad circumstances and I can only offer my profound sympathy to his family.”

He added: “In light of all these factors I can think of no other reasonable explanation than Mr Jacka intended to take his own life by these actions.”

A DWP spokesperson said: “Suicide is a sensitive and complex issue and our sympathies are with Mr Jacka’s family.

“Mr Jacka came into the Jobcentre and was given help to complete his application for benefits. The claim was approved and he also received a benefit advance.”


If you need help and support please contact the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 or visit their website.


4 COMMENTS

  1. speaking from experience, i very much doubt the jobcentre helped Mr Jacka fill in his form. Years ago jobcentres were there to help people, dont know about in Wales,but where I live,jobcentres are not nice places to be in,with security guards escorting you from the building if you are deemed a nuisasnce.

    • Skegness Job Centre staff should be named and shamed also! They do not do ANYTHING to help people. I know this for a fact as I work in a homeless hostel and get to hear 1st hand. I don’t actually know what the purpose of them being there is apart from to try and get someone sanctioned, make people feel 10 ten x worse about themselves and they don’t help.

      It’s no wonder they need like 4 security men on the floor either – the way some of the ‘advisors’ speak to people is like poo! Who do they think they are?? They could easily end up on their arses one day and I hope they get treated the same way as they treat people.

      They are about as much use and help to people as chocolate teapots and some of them should be ashamed of themselves for judging people they way they do.

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