New hope for Duggan mother as she heads to court

Erica Duggan (Photo: Daniel Easterman)

Erica Duggan (Photo: Daniel Easterman)

The mother of a north London student who died under suspicious circumstances in Germany has taken her quest for justice to the British courts.

Erica Duggan has waged an 11-year battle with the German authorities over the fate of her son Jeremiah.

The 22-year-old was found dead on the roadside in the town of Wiesbaden in 2003 after attending a youth event organised by Larouche, widely regarded as a cult-like group.

Mrs Duggan has claimed the German police have failed to conduct a proper investigation, destroying evidence and carrying out a cover-up.

This week, at a hearing at North London Coroner’s Court, she broke down in tears as she gave testimony, telling how police had regarded her son’s death as suicide and refused to mount a proper investigation.

Coroner Andrew Walker agreed to grant a formal inquest next year.

Speaking outside the court, Mrs Duggan said: “Our legal system can do what no other court in the world has done — to look into the danger which killed my son.

“German justice has failed. It’s very difficult to think my son’s life was cut short and thrown away without any value. It’s very shocking that this would happen in Germany — they didn’t valued his life and don’t want to look into it.”

Later in the day, Mrs Duggan delivered a letter addressed to Chancellor Angela Merkel to the German embassy in central London. She was accompanied by members of her family and supporters

The document, written in the style of Emile Zola’s J’Accuse article after the Dreyfus case, names German police and prosecution officials who Mrs Duggan has accused of obstructing the investigation.

She drew parallels with the Stephen Lawrence case in Britain, claiming that the German police force was institutionally racist.

She said: “It has been a terrible strain. It has taken away my life for 11 years. It’s affected all of our family and the time I’ve got to spend with them. I resent that.”

In a statement, a spokesman at the German embassy said it could not comment on the case as it was a matter for the German judiciary.

Last updated: 4:45pm, May 29 2014