The brother of a Harry Potter actress and his friend were found dead next to railway tracks after a drunken night out, an inquest has heard. Benjamin Haddon-Cave, 27, and Patrick Bolster, 26, were discovered on the tracks between Hackney Wick and Stratford in east London on March 21, a hearing was today told. Music producer and actor Benjamin, whose sister Jessie Cave played Lavender Brown in the Harry Potter films, and his friend were found by officers who had been called to reports of a fire on March 21. Poplar Coroner’s Court heard how Benjamin, of Clerkenwell, central London, died of electrocution, while Patrick, from County Cork in Ireland, died from brain haemorrhage, electrocution, and thermal trauma.
But both families were unhappy with the court’s findings on their sons, with Benjamin’s parents saying he had been portrayed as ‘reckless’. A statement from Benjamin’s family, read to the court, said: ‘We believe that he had been portrayed as some reckless train surfer but that could not be further from the truth.
The inquest was told the two friends were both intoxicated following a comedy night at the Howling Hops Brewery, near Hampton Wick railway station. It was heard that they had levels of alcohol in them which would cause ‘extreme drunkenness’. Patrick’s family disputed a report of an examination on the student at Aberystwyth University in Wales. Representing the family, Ellen Robertson said: ‘The pathology report is clearly based on an error and that cause of death can’t be relied upon.’ Ben’s girlfriend of around seven years, Sylvia Gregorzko, said the two friends arrived at about 8:45pm to a comedy evening she hosted. She said at around 12.45am the pair decided to leave, and were planning on going back to Ben’s for a few more drinks.
‘As far as I’m aware Ben had never be involved in anything like this before,’ she said. The two bodies were discovered after a train driver was called by a signalman telling him his train was one fire but when he stopped to look he didn’t see any flames. A driver, Steven Large, said: ‘I got a call from the signalman saying that there was a train on fire someone and he would be putting me out of the way… ‘Just before I was coming to a stand I could see there was a tank wagon and it looked like there was a black tarpaulin on top. ‘When I got close to it I could see legs and boots. I could see it was a body.’ The hearing was told that, Patrick’s girlfriend, Sunita Edirisooriya, received a message from him which said: ‘You are my life, all is right with the world. Maybe we should just get a flat and be happy.
A loving statement from her, read to the court, she said it scared her ‘how much I loved him’ and that he made her ‘happier than I ever thought I could be. She said: ‘His spirit brightened up the room, he was always making people laugh… ‘He was gentle and sweet. He always put the needs of others before his own’. Another statement from Benjamin’s family said: ‘As a family we have been blindsided by Ben’s death. ‘It was completely uncharacteristic of him to make a reckless decision. It’s just not something he did, putting himself into the arena of danger. ‘He was phenomenally talented and prolifically creative.’ The inquest continues.