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Witness Aaron Eldridge tells of moment John O'Donohue run over and dragged along road to his death in Gillingham

A drug addict has claimed he saw a dealer run over his friend in a car and drag him along in an alleged hit-and-run murder.

Aaron Eldridge said the driver he knew as Guez got out “ranting and raving” and threatening he was going to be next.

He said he put his pal of 23 years, John O’Donohue, in the recovery position and rushed to tell the victim’s partner.

John O'Donohue was previously jailed for seven years

Mr Eldridge’s evidence was given in the form of a statement he made to police after Judge Jeremy Carey told the jury he was too ill to attend court.

Maidstone Crown Court has heard Guez - Jake Austin - was a dealer in heroin and crack cocaine.

Mr O’Donohue - also known as John Hedges - was a drug user and he and Aaron Eldridge decided to rob Austin.

They arranged to meet in Gillingham and Austin arrived in a Ford Mondeo estate car with another man.

After a row in which Austin accused them of ripping him off, Mr O’Donohue and Mr Eldridge walked off along Castlemaine Avenue.

Police at the scene in Castlemaine Avenue, Gillingham, in January

Mr Connolly said Austin drove after them and ended up hitting Mr O’Donohue and smashing through railings.

Mr Eldridge said he injected heroin daily, sometimes taking as much as £90 worth. His friend used crack cocaine and methadone.

On January 23, they contacted Guez and arranged to get nine shots of crack cocaine and heroin for £75. They only had £60 but did not intend to pay for the drugs.

“I was just going to grab the drugs and if Guez started on us John was going to be my back-up,” said Mr Eldridge.

A police cordon around the car in Castlemaine Avenue. Picture: Andy Payton

They arranged to meet at Cypress Court in Grange Road.

“I didn’t have any weapons with me. John had a black handle small kitchen knife to scare them with but not to stab anyone,” said Mr Eldridge.

After grabbing the drugs, they fled but Austin got in the car and drove after them.

“The car went over John and the fence and dragged them both forwards until it stopped" - Aaron Eldridge

Mr Eldridge said of his friend's last moments: “As he ran away, it struck him. It pushed him towards the fence. The car then hit the fence, which collapsed.

“The car went over John and the fence and dragged them both forwards until it stopped.”

The jury, judge and lawyers went on a view of the scene on Tuesday afternoon.

Austin, formerly of Priestfield Road, Gillingham, now of Eltham, south east London, denies murder.

The trial continues.

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