Disabled man set himself on fire over benefit changes, inquest hears : Welfare Weekly

An inquest was told that Peter Sherwood feared his disability benefits would be cut.


An inquest has heard how a disabled man, struggling to cope with mental health problems, committed suicide by setting himself on fire over fears his disability benefits would be cut.

Peter Sherwood, 67, set himself on fire in front of horrified onlookers in Lowestoft town centre on September 4, 2015.

Shoppers rushed to his aid and tried to put out the flames using their jackets, before using a fire extinguisher, the Sudbury Mercury reports.

Mr Sherwood had received a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions, informing him that his Disability Living Allowance was ending and that he needed to reapply for Personal Independence Payments.

Witnesses reported seeing Mr Sherwood spraying writing on the pavement starting with the letter ‘h’ with an aerosol can, before pouring a liquid over his head and setting himself on fire using a cigarette lighter.

Police say the retired builder repeatedly muttered the word “humanity” as he lay on the ground with severe burns.

Peter suffered with a recurrent depressive disorder and psychosis, and had attempted to take his own life on a number of occasions in the past.

He also had a condition called tardive dyskinesia, which would cause involuntary movements to his mouth and is a side-effect of anti-psychotic medications.

Mr Sherwood was taken by air ambulance to a specialist burns unit at Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford, but sadly succumb to his injuries four days later.




  1. The above story was originally posted in the Sudbury Mercury and in the comments section, some puss sucking scumbag wrote…

    “Clearly he was NOT “Another tragic victim of the punitive cuts to disability benefits and the failings of the mental healthcare system”. He had sever mental health issues and killed himself. That he was asked to reapply for free money is a red herring. But if folk want to make a connection to cuts, then perhaps they might want to address why cuts need to be made – to re-balance the books after decades of the profligate waste of tax payers money doled out to lazy, undeserving welfare parasites.”
    cthulu Friday, April 28, 2017



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