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Home   Medway   News   Article

Gillingham man Jake Austin in court charged with murder after father John O'Donohue died following hit-and-run

29 January 2014
by Lynn Cox
A 25-year-old is due at crown court on Friday after being remanded on a murder charge following a fatal hit-and-run crash.
 
Jake Austin, believed to be of Priestfield Road in Gillingham, gave a London address when he appeared before Medway magistrates today.
 
Wearing a black hooded top and with a short cropped hairstyle, he spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth.
 
John O'Donohue died in hospital after being knocked down

John O'Donohue died in hospital after being knocked down

 
He will appear at Maidstone Crown Court on Friday.
 
The appearance comes after it was revealed crash victim John O'Donohue died of severe head injuries following the crash.
 
The 33-year-old - also known as John Hedges - died in hospital on Friday after being hit by a car in Castlemaine Avenue, Gillingham, on Thursday night.
 
An inquest was opened and adjourned today, when it was revealed a post mortem examination at Medway Maritime Hospital gave his cause of death as severe head injuries.
 
On Monday, detectives working on the investigation arrested a 20-year-old Rochester man on suspicion of the supply of a controlled drug and affray.
 
The car involved in the hit-and-run in Gillingham. Picture Andy Payton

The car involved in the hit-and-run in Gillingham. Picture: Andy Payton

He has since been released on police bail while inquiries continue.

Detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate launched a murder investigation after Mr O'Donohue's death.
 
It is believed he and a friend were involved in a dispute with the occupants of a green Ford Mondeo estate at the junction with Grange Road at about 8.50pm on Thursday.
 
They both walked off down Castlemaine Avenue and were soon followed by the Mondeo, which drove down the road towards them and hit Mr O'Donohue. 
 
The other man was unharmed and ran to raise the alarm at a nearby badminton club.
 
A team of detectives now believe the two men ran across a park behind the badminton club.
John O'Donohue, who died after a hit-and-run in Gillingham

John O'Donohue, who died after a hit-and-run in Gillingham

Earlier, Mr O'Donohue's mother paid tribute to her son, calling him a "gentle giant".
 
Maise O'Donohue said: "John was a gentle giant who lived for his children.
 
"He was a loving father, son and grandchild and was a family man first and foremost."
 
The investigation continues and officers would still like to hear from anyone who has not yet come forward with information.
The car mounted a grass verge before hitting a railing. Picture Andy Payton

The car mounted a grass verge before hitting a railing. Picture: Andy Payton

Anyone who can help is asked to phone Kent Police on 101, quoting incident reference 23-1466, or Kent Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
 

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