$1000 gang debt fac­tor in death

The Press - - News - Jack Fletcher

A Christchurch man com­mit­ted sui­cide af­ter he felt he was ‘‘out of op­tions’’ to re­pay a $1000 debt owed to gang mem­bers, a coro­ner says.

On April 24, 2017, Kerry Juan O’Don­nell made at­tempts to col­lect money to re­pay mem­bers of the Head Hunters mo­tor­cy­cle gang, but was un­suc­cess­ful. He died the next day. In his find­ings pub­lished yes­ter­day, Coro­ner David Robin­son re­ferred his re­port to po­lice to take ‘‘such ac­tion . . . as is con­sid­ered ap­pro­pri­ate’’ in re­la­tion to ‘‘in­tim­ida­tory be­hav­iour by cer­tain mem­bers of the Head Hunters gang’’.

Robin­son’s re­port de­tailed O’Don­nell’s com­mu­ni­ca­tions lead­ing up to his death, in­clud­ing men­tion of un­paid ‘‘bills’’.

O’Don­nell, a for­mer Rebels Mo­tor­cy­cle Club mem­ber, re­ceived a text mes­sage about 4pm on April 24 that said four Head Hunters mem­bers were look­ing for him, in­clud­ing one who was de­scribed as ‘‘a mean look­ing muther (sic)’’.

The 44-year-old had split from his wife in 2016, lead­ing to a long pe­riod of ‘‘low mood’’ for which he con­sulted doc­tors. Life­line: 0800 543 354 – Pro­vides 24 hour tele­phone coun­selling. Samaritans: 0800 726 666 – Pro­vides 24 hour tele­phone coun­selling.

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