CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

‘My son took his life after bailiffs called at home’

Coroner to hold inquest into death of Jerome Rogers

23 March, 2017 — By William McLennan

Jerome Rogers: ‘He had lots of things to look forward to’

A CORONER is to examine the death of a young man whose family have said took his own life shortly after being visited by a bailiff chasing unpaid traffic tickets on behalf of Camden Council.

Jerome Rogers, 20, who was last seen alive by a bailiff, had been issued two penalty notices by the Town Hall while working as a motorbike courier.

The sum he owed spiralled when he failed to pay off the tickets within the allotted 14 days. He eventually faced a bill of more than £1,000, his mother Tracey said.

She said that a bailiff visited her son at home in Croydon for the second time on March 7 last year.

“I didn’t see him again. He walked out of the house that morning as soon as the bailiff left and didn’t come back,” she told the New Journal yesterday (Wednesday).

“I was at work. As soon as I came home I’m thinking my son is still in his room because he couldn’t go anywhere because his bike was clamped. Unbeknown to me he’d walked out of the house once the bailiffs had left and that’s when he left and took his life.”

Ms Rogers said her son’s Honda motorbike had been his “livelihood and his social life”.

He had been researching university courses before his death and “always spoke positively about his future plans and life”, she said.

“We were on holiday in Barbados two or three months before it happened and also we did have a trip planned at Christmas just gone. We were all going to Florida for three weeks as a family. He had lots of things to look forward to.

“He wanted to do his bike test, so he could get a bigger bike. He wasn’t depressed. He wasn’t not looking towards his future and that’s what is suddenly a shock to everyone.”

He had been issued with two “penalty charge notices” while working as a hospital courier, delivering blood and medical documents, for firm CitySprint, she said.

“One ticket was for being in a bus lane a minute or two before the restricted time. The other one was for doing an illegal u-turn. I don’t know how, but it got caught on camera,” she said.

An inquest into his death is due to be held next month.

A coroner agreed at a preliminary hearing in June last year that the inquest would consider evidence from, among others, Camden Council and the bailiff firm it had employed.

Ms Rogers is being represented by high-profile, civil rights solicitors firm Birnberg Pierce, based in Inverness Street, Camden Town.

Irène Nembhard, who represented former Guantanamo Bay detainee Shaker Aamer, who was freed and returned to Britain in 2015, is looking after the case.

Ms Rogers has launched a fundraising drive on the CrowdJustice website to help cover legal costs, including a barrister for the inquest at Croydon Coroner’s Court on April 28.

A spokesperson for Camden Council said: “The council has provided a statement to the coroner. “It would not be appropriate for us to comment ahead of the inquest verdict

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