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Young Tenterden man Jason Pettey found dead on footpath

By Tricia Jamieson

Dozens turned out for a candlelit vigil to a young man found dead on a footpath.

The body of Jason Pettey, 19, was discovered by a dog walker at 7am on the path behind Tenterden station.

Police confirmed they were not treating the death as suspicious.

Jason Pettey had previously contemplated suicide before taking his own life, an inquest heard
Jason Pettey had previously contemplated suicide before taking his own life, an inquest heard

Jason, a former Homewood School pupil, worked at the Original Factory Shop in Tenterden High Street.

His father, Vince Pettey, of Boresisle, St Michael’s, said: “I could not have wanted a better son.”

Last night, between 75 and 100 friends turned out to pay their respects at an impromptu memorial event near to where he died.

Friends turned out for a candlelit vigil to Jason
Friends turned out for a candlelit vigil to Jason

Loved ones held up their illuminated phones in a gesture which "looked like the stars were walking the earth," according to friend Bea Knight.

Dozens have also laid flowers and personal items at the entrance to the footpath by the car park for the Kent & East Sussex Railway.

“He was the most kind-hearted person you could have met. He did not have a bad word to say about anyone" - Amy

Among them was former school friends Amy Haffenden and Natasha Poyton, both aged 19.

Natasha said: “We knew him from Year 9. He would do anything for you and would always look out for you.”

Amy said: “He was the most kind-hearted person you could have met. He did not have a bad word to say about anyone.

Flowers and tributes left to Jason Petty in the car park behind the Kent and Sussex Railway
Flowers and tributes left to Jason Petty in the car park behind the Kent and Sussex Railway

“He was really into his music and played the guitar. I don’t know why this happened.”

Both girls wrote a message with the flowers saying how much they would miss Jason. They said they had heard of his death on Facebook and by text message.

Harry Styles had known Jason since they were pupils at St Michael’s Primary School.

Harry, who works at The Vine in Tenterden High Street, said: “We went on to Homewood together and remained friends.”

The path where Jason's body was found
The path where Jason's body was found

“He was a genuinely nice guy. You could not fault him.

“It was a massive shock when I found out what had happened.

“I had only served him in the pub a couple of weeks ago when he seemed fine and nothing seemed wrong.

A tribute left at the scene
A tribute left at the scene

“I saw the story online that a body had been found and then had a message on Facebook on Tuesday night that it was Jason. It was such a shock to the system.”

Jason had one brother and was said to be close to his family.

An inquest into the death will be opened shortly.


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