Family of Chesterfield man who may have been pushed to his death continue fight for answers

The late Russell Cowan.
The late Russell Cowan.

The family of a Chesterfield man who was possibly pushed to his death in Italy say they are continuing their fight for answers into the tragedy.

In 2017, an inquest heard Russell Cowan, 44, died of 'catastrophic' head injuries after a 'precipitous descent from height' while he was in the town of Menaggio for a charity car rally.

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Decorated RAF veteran and businessman Mr Cowan, of Manor Road, Brimington, may have been pushed, a Home Office pathologist told Chesterfield coroners' court.

Now, after an Italian judge ruled that Mr Cowan's death was an accident and closed the file, his family has launched this online campaign to raise money so they can carry on trying to find out the truth once and for all.

Mr Cowan's widow, Trudy, said: "Sadly there are too many unanswered questions and we are still left with worries that his death was not as the Italians would lead us to believe.

"The judge noted how poor the investigation had been and that a witness had withheld information.

"Despite this no charges were brought against him.

"To date we have spent in excess of £30,000 in our fight for answers and sadly we are now struggling to fund this any further.

"We are now at a point when we need your help in the form of donations in order to appeal the judge's decision, which will hopefully support us in finding the truth about how Russell died."

The inquest heard Mr Cowan was seen falling over a fence during the early hours of June 5, 2016.

Mrs Cowan said she and her family visited the scene of the tragedy and found 'the fence could not be scaled and was above Russell's shoulder'.

She added that the family contacted an Italian solicitor who linked them to a private investigator and a mechanical falls expert.

Mrs Cowan said: "Their reports highlighted the inadequate police investigation, which did not question all present at the scene, and no forensic examination of the scene took place.

"The technical report proved that the fall could not have taken place as indicated by the witness, thereby raising the question as to what did happen?"

Mrs Cowan paid tribute to her late husband, saying: "Russell was a fabulous father, husband, son and loved his family and life.

"He saw good in all and worked hard and with passion always."

Mr Cowan was born in Hong Kong and lived locally all his life.

He joined the RAF aged 19, served his country for eight years and was awarded a medal for his efforts during the Balkan war.

Mr Cowan's entrepreneurial skills saw him manage and lead a number of successful businesses.

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