News Item: (AUS) Pressure from Head Hunters gang members over $1000 debt 'dominating factor' in man's death
(Category: Biker News)
Posted by ace
Thursday 17 May 2018 - 00:05:59

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 on Wednesday, 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 said it was unclear exactly how the debt came about. His 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 and psychiatrists.

In a series of text messages sent to her, with whom he was on good terms, O'Donnell said he had until 10pm that night to "come up with some money".

"Now he wants 1000 by end of night as well … I don't know anyone with a 1000 bucks to lend me! Im toast (sic)," one of his messages said.

He told her he "didn't think he was going to make it", and that "either [he] was going to top himself or the Head Hunters would get [him]".

He was unable to come up with the funds and drove to Weedons Ross Rd, near West Melton, west of Christchurch, where he texted his former wife until 10.30pm. He refused to tell her where he was, rejected her offers of assistance and told her not to contact police, which she obliged partly out of fear "of the gang element".

The next morning, on April 25, he sent goodbye text messages to his two daughters, family and friends. At 1.30pm he told his ex wife where he was parked and she drove to his location. CPR was performed while she was on the phone to ambulance staff, who arrived a short time later. O'Donnell was unable to be revived.

"His relationship with [his ex wife] was one factor, but the dominating factor [in his suicide] appears to have been his fear of reprisals at the hands of the Head Hunters or his perception as to the consequences of him not complying with the alleged demands," the coroner said.

In light of the former wife's failure to contact emergency services once she knew O'Donnell's location, Robinson urged anyone who was aware of a person's suicidal thoughts to call emergency services immediately.

This news item is from White Trash Networks
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