An Edgbaston man left paralysed from the neck down after an attack by German neo-Nazis reiterated his intention to take his own life in an autobiography published yesterday.
Noel Martin, aged 47, was severely injured when yobs threw a concrete block at his car, causing it to smash into a tree in Mahlow, south of Berlin, 11 years ago.
Although he is now totally dependent on round-the-clock care to conduct his daily life in Edgbaston, he has campaigned vigorously to eradicate racism.
In his autobiography, entitled Call It My Life, launched yesterday in Germany, he said: "It's not a life, it's an existence.
"I can't feel anything, so I can't touch the world and can only watch as it passes by."
Mr Martin, who was born in Jamaica, said he had contacted Dignitas, the assisted-suicide clinic in Switzerland. "They assessed my case and agreed that, based on my condition, my wish to die is justified."
He announces his intention to kill himself on his birthday on July 23 at the end of the 252-page book. He says he will drink a cocktail through a straw, and "shut (my) eyes and wake up in another world".
He said his only regret was he had not been able to carry out a double suicide pact with his wife Jacqui, who died of cancer in 2000.
Mr Martin has returned to Germany twice since the attack in 1996 to support anti-racism youth exchanges and protest marches. His efforts extended to inviting a reformed neo-Nazi and her children to his house last Christmas.
The autobiography spans his happy childhood in Jamaica, his less happy move to Birmingham, and his decision to take up a job as a plasterer in Germany.
In June 1996 Noel, accompanied by two of his British workmates, was taunted by two neo-Nazis who shouted "n****r p**s off" before chasing the men in a car. The last thing he recalls was a concrete block being hurled through a side window of his car.
He slammed the vehicle against a tree, waking from a coma weeks later to find he had no feeling from the neck down. The tree has since been replaced by a local charity with a granite monument marking the spot.
Martin's autobiography outlines in graphic detail the pain of his everyday life, including his daily struggle with sweat attacks, cramps and haemorrhoids. "People should be aware that I got a life sentence and all that that means," he wrote.
Getting up in the morning takes four hours and he controls the joystick of his wheelchair using some functioning muscles in his right shoulder. A huge bedsore which has seen him confined to bed for four months has prevented him from travelling to Potsdam as planned, for the launch of his book.
Instead he was represented by his son, Negus, aged 29. A video message was played on a large screen.
Robin Herrnfeld, a friend of Martin's with whom he wrote the book over several years, said his intention was far from being a cry for help. "He's very serious about taking his own life," she said. "He describes his life as a prison, and however much I or his friends encourage him to go on, I think his mind is made up.'
Martin said that all that was delaying him were some legal loose ends as he attempts to put all his assets into a computer library charity for poor Jamaicans.
"I would go to Switzerland tomorrow," he said. "But then the Government would get my house and everything that I and my wife worked for, and I would very much like that to be my legacy."