Grandmother who had to pay extra £20 a week throws herself in front of motorway lorry and blames Government in tragic note
She ripped the pages from a spiral-bound notebook and placed them neatly in little brown envelopes.
There was one for her son. Another for her daughter. Her mother. Friends. And a very special one for the year-old grandson she doted on.
Then in the early hours of last Saturday Stephanie, 53, left her home for the last time, leaving her cat Joey behind as the front-door clicked shut.
She crossed her road in Meriden Drive, Solihull, to drop one of her letters and her house keys through a neighbour’s letterbox. Then she walked 15 minutes through the sleeping estate to Junction 4 of the M6.
And at 6.15am she walked straight into the path of a northbound lorry and was killed instantly. Stephanie Bottrill had become the first known suicide victim of the hated Bedroom Tax.
In the letter to her son, Steven, 27, she had written: “Don’t blame yourself for me ending my life. The only people to blame are the Government.”
Stephanie was tormented over having to find £20 a week to pay for the two under-occupied bedrooms she had been assessed for.
Days before her death she told neighbours: “I can’t afford to live any more.”
Solihull council Labour group leader David Jamieson, who knows the family well, said: “I’m absolutely appalled this poor lady has taken her own life because she was worried how she would pay the Bedroom Tax.