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Dad died after he lost benefits

Declared fit to work: Kevin Dooley PICTURE: PA

A CHRONICALLY ill father killed himself after he was declared fit for work and lost his benefits, an inquest heard.

Kevin Dooley was found hanged in an upstairs bedroom by his daughter Leanne Dooley, 28, on December 17 last year and died three days later in hospital. The painter and decorator, 48, suffered breathing problems caused by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and had been told he was too sick to return to his job.

Despite this, assessors for the Department of Work and Pensions declared him fit for work last July, an inquest at Wakefield coroner’s court heard. His appeal was rejected, and his benefits were stopped in November.

In a statement, his daughter told the inquest: ‘He was extremely worried about not having money.’

Ms Dooley said her father seemed ‘very quiet and worried’ on the day he hanged himself. She was out in Leeds when he sent her a text saying ‘love you’. She added: ‘I knew straight away there was something wrong.’

Recording a conclusion of suicide, coroner Jonathan Leach said the loss of his benefits had ‘a very detrimental effect’ on Mr Dooley. It ‘ultimately caused him to take his own life’ but no note had been left so ‘we don’t know if that was the case’, he added.