Interview with Anne Widdecombe

Anne Widdecombe interviewed Ian in 2021, you can watch Ian's interview. It is well worth watching the whole episode


Ian has written an email to Anne Widdecombe after reading her article about the suicide of Ian Sandywell in 2015.

Agency failings still ruining lives of dads says Ann Widdecombe


Dear Anne

Let me introduce myself my name is Ian Briggs, I have served 29 years in the RAF and up until the 3rd July last year I was the proud father to a 40 year old man who also served his country for 15 years. I believe you are already aware of my son’s suicide, Gavin Briggs as Mr Craig Bulman has been in contact with you about it. My son’s suicide was brought on by a couple of things one of them being the fraudulent actions if the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) and its Fraud Investigation unit (FIU). I will attach a few documents to this email which will show the figures etc and a link to Gavin’s Blog site made by Craig, I would ask that you read the links at the top of the Blog especially the one about CMS induced suicides.

I am reaching out to you for help because I recently read your article in the express dated June 2015 on the CSA, and nothing has changed the CMS is still behaving the same why if not worse. I am trying to find out how the CMS worked out the figures they were using to calculate my sons payments and have come up against a wall of silence and an unwillingness to address. So far I have spoken to, e-mailed and written letters to the following; the CMS, DWP Complaints Team, PHS Ombudsman, ICE, Arlene Sugden, Theresa Coffey, Jonny Mercer (Veterans representative) and my own MP Marcus Fysh. And all they do is either ignore me, tell me to contact my MP or send me to the government web site on how to become an executor or administrator to an estate.

The CMS will not talk to me about the Fraudulent sums of money they were trying to take from him because he has three sons which mean’s I am not his next of kin, and because they say I need to be either executor or administrator of Gavin’s estate, so they, along with everyone else I talk to, send me to the government web site on how to become an executor or administrator to an estate. Having looked at this web site these are the issues I have.

1.      Gavin did not leave a will or any estate other than the £9.00 in his bank account. So no one can be an Executor.

2.      Only Gavin’s next of kin can apply to be Administrator of his estate. He has three sons who are his next of kin but they are all minors. This means the mothers take on that roll. Given that; when I phoned one of them the day after the police found Gavin’s body all I got was verbal abuse and being told that she was going to come after me and Gavin’s estate for the money the CMS had told her she was due, and the other one used false allegations of child abuse to stop both Gavin and myself from seeing the children, and again I have received letters from them coming after money from Gavin’s death. I really don’t think they are going to be of any help to me.

3.      According to the Government web site everyone keeps sending me to, I can, and I have, applied to the secretary of state for work and pensions to be appointed the person to represent Gavin, but have had this request ignored.

So I have no access to the CMS or their complaints procedure.

The CMS say they won’t talk to me because of General Data Protection Rules. If you read the General Data Protection Rules (GDPR) you will see these rules only apply to living personal, Gavin is deceased so they don’t apply to him, this is also backed up in ICO web site. The CMS even agreed with this the last time I spoke to them!!!! But went away and came back with one of their own rules. Which states that Gavin should have nominated me as the person to deal with in the event of his death. I would imagine that when Gavin; in such a state of despair, sat in his car in a remote entrance to a field, and fired up the disposable BBQ knowing that the carbon monoxide build up in the car would kill him, the thought never crossed his mind that he should have notified the CMS that he was going to die and he would like to nominate me as his appointed person!!!!

And actually; given that at the time of Gavin’s death, I sought legal advice and because no one else came forward, took control of Gavin’s affairs. I had full control of all his bank accounts, I arranged his final pay-packet to go into these accounts and arranged for payment for his funeral from them, and the bank subsequently closed all accounts, I notified all bodies of his death and dealt with all the credit companies, contracts etc. He had, and disposed of his assets accordingly. I have all his bank statements from the last three years, his tax returns, his pay slips etc. So given that the CMS and their FIU got Gavin’s income wrong to the tune of £26,000.00, I am pretty confident that I know more about Gavin and his finances then CMS.

So what are the CMS trying to hide other than their incompetence?

As you can imagine since Gavin’s suicide this has become quiet an emotive subject for me and I have done quite a bit of research and talked to a lot of people who have also been subjected to the CMS and their FIU, and some of the stories are horrendous. Let me give you a couple of examples.

1.      A self-employed None Resident Parent on about £20.00 an hour investigated by the FIU. The FIU came to the conclusion that this person was on an annual income of £88,000.00, if you do the maths this NRP would have to work 84 hours a week for 52 weeks a year!!!!

2.      Another self-employed NRP investigated by the FIU gets told by the CMS “We believe you can hide £25,000.00 a year in your business so we will add that to your annual income”

The trouble is these are all little people like me and they have nowhere to go, or anyone who will listen to them, AS I HAVE DISCOVERED. They are already penniless due to the CMS and cannot afford to fight this UNTOUCHABLE MONSTER. So just end up driven to despair and paying, or doing as Gavin did and taking their own lives.

And it’s not just the NRP’s that suffer, for every NRP that takes their life there are 2.2 children left behind who firstly, are deprived of any chance of income from the NRP so end up in poverty living on benefits. I will add at this point that Gavin was already paying a sizable sum in child support, as in, and I have the proof, he paid out in the last year of his life over £15,000.00 for all three of his children, even though by no choice of his own he wasn’t allowed to see them. And secondly these children will at some point in their lives have to deal with the fact that their NRP was driven to suicide by the CMS and their incompetence, trying to get unrealistic sums of child maintenance payments from people who cannot afford it.

The CMS even encourage NRP’s to take out credit to cover the payments surely this is an indirect admission that the NRP cannot make the payments the CMS have worked out.

All I want to do is find out what went wrong, get some sort of justice for Gavin. And more importantly try and make changes to stop this happening to anyone else.

This out of control and untouchable public body, which is now operated by a money making business cannot be allowed to keep on destroying people’s lives the way it is.

Please take the time to read the attached links.

Yours Sincerely

Ian Briggs

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