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Kingshurst woman killed on M6 was worried about bedroom tax

A Kingshurst grandmother killed on the M6 motorway left a suicide note blaming the Government for her death

A Kingshurst grandmother killed on the M6 motorway left a suicide note blaming the Government for her death.

Stephanie Bottrill, who was struck by a lorry in the early hours of May 4, had been tortured about how she would afford the £20 extra a week for the two spare bedrooms in her home - money she owed because of the Government’s spare room subsidy policy, the so-called ‘bedroom tax.’

In a letter to her son Steven, 27, she said: “Don’t blame yourself for me ending my life. The only people to blame are the Government.”

He told the Sunday People newspaper: “I couldn’t believe it.

“She said not to blame ourselves, it was the Government and what they were doing that caused her to do it.

“She was fine before the bedroom tax. It was dreamt up in London, by people in offices and big houses. They have no idea the effect it has on people like my mum.”

He said she was distraught at having to leave the home she had lived in for 18 years, where she had raised two children as a single mother.

In the days before she died Ms Bottrill, of Meriden Drive, told her son she was struggling to cope, and told neighbours: “I can’t afford to live any more.”

Ward councillor David Jamieson (Lab, Kingshurst & Fordbridge) said the bedroom tax had caused a lot of concern.

“There are very many people who have been distressed by the policy, both here in Solihull and across the country,” he said.

“These people are under immense pressure and are wondering ‘how am I going to cope with this.’

“In the case of Ms Bottrill, this was someone who had lived in the same place for 18 years. She had a garden she was proud of and lots of friends. For someone like that, it’s not just a house. It’s their home. And they don’t want to be forced to leave.”

Ms Bottrill’s neighbours, expressing deep shock at the news of her death, have described her as ‘kind-hearted’ and a ‘good soul.’



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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