The father of murdered British exchange student Meredith Kercher was found bruised on a London street and taken to hospital, where he later died.
An inquest into John Kercher’s death heard how the 77-year-old was discovered with fractures to his arm, ankle, face and ribs but had no memory of how he sustained the injuries.
The hearing was told that police who were called to the scene on 13 January last year could not establish whether Kercher fell or was hit by a car in a possible hit and run due to a lack of witnesses.
He was on his way to a corner shop near his home on Windmill Road, Croydon, when he collapsed, officers said, but Kercher could not recall anything after regaining consciousness.
The father-of-four was taken to hospital for treatment but died of pneumonia weeks later, on 1 February.
Despite an extensive door-to-door, by police and Kercher’s son Lyle, no CCTV footage was recovered that could provide a breakthrough and no witnesses ever came forward.
Detective sergeant Zoe Hendrick, of the Metropolitan Police, told the hearing: “Two pieces of CCTV were found. As it was a dark, wet and rainy evening it was impossible to identify how he had come to be in the street.
“Following door to door enquiries and media appeals, nothing came to light.”
Kercher was said to have been “in distress” about being taken to Croydon University Hospital, where doctors found he had low blood pressure.
Two days after being admitted he developed some breathing problems and doctors found he had developed pneumonia. His condition quickly worsened and his breathing deteriorated.
It was also discovered that before he collapsed, Kercher suffered from obstructive chronic pulmonary disease and had previously had a stroke. On 17 January, he was put on a ventilator and operated on.
Despite doctors’ best efforts, though, Kercher did not regain consciousness as sedatives were removed and it was decided to place him on end-of-life care after speaking to the family.
Assistant coroner Dr Julian Morris recorded a narrative conclusion of pneumonia and “traumatic injuries”.
Kercher is known for being the father of Meredith, a British student who was murdered while on an exchange trip to Perugia, Italy, in 2007.
Her then boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito and American flatmate Amanda Knox were convicted of her murder but were later acquitted after it was alleged they became involved in a sex game gone wrong.
Both served almost four years in jail but were later released, with Knox returning to the US in 2011.
She was retired in 2014 and convicted but did not turn up to court in Italy. A year later, that verdict was quashed by the Italian Supreme Court.
Since moving back to Seattle, Knox has written various books advocating for people wrongly convicted of crime and in 2016 she took part in an eponymous Netflix documentary about her case.
Rudy Guede was also jailed for Meredith’s murder after his bloody fingerprint was found at the scene. He was sentenced to 30 years behind bars but was released after 12 – a decision Knox publicly slammed last year.
“I do know that many, many, many people have suffered a great deal because of what he did and I continue to this day to be shocked that he is the forgotten killer,” Ms Knox told ABC News at the time, adding Guede did “not have to live with the burden of forever being associated with Meredith’s death” in the same way she did.
Additional reporting by SWNS