Jeremiah Duggan, 22, died from fatal head injuries in the German city of Wiesbaden on March 27 this year when he ran into the road and was hit by two cars, Hornsey Coroner’s Court heart last week.
But 45 minutes before his death, he called his mother, Erica, at her home in Dunstan Road, Golders Green, to say: “I’m in big trouble.”
Coroner Dr William Dolman ruled out suicide of the Golders Green man and gave an unusual narrative verdict — literally a description of the events leading to the death. He said that when papers reached the court in Myddelton Road, Hornsey, it seemed at first a simple road traffic accident — but he immediately changed his mind. “From the very outset I could not accept the very bold conclusion that Jeremiah Duggan intended to take his own life,” he said. In summing up, Dr Dolman said it was difficult to know what had caused Jeremiah Duggan’s terror..
“What was he frightened of? What was he scared of that might make him run into the middle of the road? Sadly, we may never know.”
Mr Duggan had travelled to Germany for a conference at the Schiller Institute, part of an extreme, right-wing political cult called the LaRouche Youth Movement.
Before she knew of her son’s death Mrs Duggan, concerned that her son had gone missing, telephoned Ortrum Cramer at the Schiller Institute to say Jeremiah was terrified for his life.
But the inquest heard that Ms Cramer failed to inform the German police. Giving evidence to the court, Mrs Duggan broke down in tears and said: “I have lost what is most important to me.”
Mrs Duggan’s solicitor, Jackie Turner, said that the German prosecutor in charge of the investigation had already rejected re-opening the case.
“But we believe that under Article two of the European Convention, to which Germany is a signatory, a full investigation is necessary,” she said.
Ms Turner confirmed that the family would now consider employing a legal representative in Germany to assist in their attempts to persuade the authorities to reopen the case.
The Duggans have launched a memorial fund, which they hope will raise money to support possible legal action.
When the Ham&High called Ms Cramer at the Schiller Institute, she said: “I assume you have called about Jeremiah Duggan and we are not giving a comment.”
Mrs Duggan remained hopeful on Tuesday despite hearing that the German authorities see no reason to open the case.
She said: “In view of the findings that the coroner could not discover any evidence of suicide, I think their duty is to reopen the case.
“I would expect them to leave no stone unturned on finding out what led a perfectly normal young man to do this.”
Jermiah Duggan’s family has launched a memorial fund. Those wishing to donate, should contact Jeremiah Memorial Fund, PO Box 159, Harrow. HA1 2ZL, or Jeremiah_Duggan_Memorial_Fund@hotmail.com.