Jake Austin jailed for John O'Donohue car crash murder

Jake Austin (left) and John O'Donohue (right) Image copyright Kent Police
Image caption Jake Austin drove at speed at John O'Donohue, not slowing down when he hit him and crashed

A drug dealer has been jailed for life for murdering a pedestrian who was hit by a car following an argument in Kent.

Jake Austin, 25, of Gillingham, was ordered to serve at least 18 years at Maidstone Crown Court.

He had admitted the manslaughter after the death of John O'Donohue in Gillingham in January, but was convicted of murder. Austin also admitted supplying cocaine.

Mr O'Donohue, 33, ended up trapped and fatally injured under a car.

After sentencing, Det Insp Ivan Beasley said Austin drove at speed towards Mr O'Donohue, not slowing down even when he hit his victim and crashed through railings and a wall.

In a statement released through police, Mr O'Donohue's family said: "We as a family know that life will never be the same without John. John's children now have to grow up without their dad."

'Blood on airbag'

Kent Police said the killing followed a row in Castlemaine Avenue on 23 January.

Mr O'Donohue and a friend had arranged to meet Austin and his associate, but an argument broke out and the foursome got into a fight, the force said.

As the pair walked off, Austin got into his Ford Mondeo and drove after them.

Mr O'Donohue's friend was unharmed and ran to raise the alarm.

Emergency teams took Mr O'Donohue to hospital but his injuries were too severe and he was pronounced dead the following afternoon.

Police said Austin told them he had not been in the car for weeks, but they charged him after they found "overwhelming" forensic evidence, including blood on the driver's airbag, that he was in the car.

Image copyright Kent Police
Image caption Police said they found "overwhelming" forensic evidence in the car
Image copyright Kent Police
Image caption Austin did not slow down even after he hit Mr O'Donohue and crashed

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