Hilary Meredith Solicitors to bring landmark legal action following suicide of veteran with PTSD

In a landmark case against the Ministry of Defence, NHS and police, Hilary Meredith Solicitors is representing the widow of a war veteran who committed suicide.
Jo Jukes says her husband Dave’s death could have been ­prevented if there was better ­communication between the agencies responsible for his mental health. Ms Jukes is the first widow to plan legal action following the suicide of a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Dave, 49, a lance corporal in the Staffordshire Regiment, served all over the world, ­including Iraq and Afghanistan.
After leaving the forces he suffered flashbacks, nightmares and survivors’ guilt over comrades who had been killed in Iraq.
Shortly before his death he barricaded himself in the attic and smashed up his family home in Birmingham.
Last October, after Jo reluctantly took out a court order to ban him from the house because of his violent ­behaviour, he hanged himself in a nearby alleyway.
Jo, a teacher, said that in the months before her husband died she repeatedly asked West Midlands Police for help. She says pleas to get her husband into a secure mental health unit
She is now planning legal action against the series of bodies who had dealings with Dave to ensure no more veterans are failed by those responsible for their care.
Jo’s solicitor, Sinead Cartwright, Director of specialist military law firm Hilary Meredith Solicitor said:
“As far as we are aware this is the first time the widow of a war veteran suffering from PTSD and who died from suicide is considering legal action.
“This will be a landmark case.
“We believe Mrs Jukes has a very strong case. Her ­husband need not have died and there are very ­serious questions to answer by number of different agencies ­including the NHS trust, the police and the MoD.
“Having sent our brave men and women to war, the Government owes them a duty of care.
“In Mr Jukes’s tragic case this care did not come quickly enough.
“Like so many ­veterans, he was left feeling abandoned. Much more needs to be done to heal the invisible wounds of war.”