British musician dead after ‘being beaten and thrown in river after argument’ in Georgia

·2-min read

A British musician was found dead after he was allegedly beaten and thrown unconscious into a river in Georgia.

Guitarist Thomas Kennedy was out drinking when a verbal and physical fight broke out with a group of local men. Local media reported the 28-year-old’s body was found on 8 October in the Mtkvari River near the village of Kvakhvreli in Gori municipality.

Four Georgian men and one boy have been arrested on suspicion of murder and face 13-17 years in prison if convicted.

The UK Foreign Office said it was supporting the family of the Manchester-born man and was also in contact with Georgian authorities following the incident.

Mr Kennedy is known to have played the acoustic guitar and was a keen busker. According to Georgia news station Mtavari TV had been studying at a local music college after arriving in the country from his home in Ireland on 30 August. The channel reported Mr Kennedy’s mobile phone had been found by police at a local pawn shop where it was traded for cash following his death.

The family of the musician said they were “absolutely devastated” by his death.

“Life will never be the same again without our beautiful talented boy ... He died brutally and tragically,” they wrote on GoFund Me campaign page started to finance the repatriation of Mr Kennedy’s body back to Ireland, where he had lived in County Mayo.

“It is currently very difficult to repatriate Tom home due to the Covid-19 restrictions, so we are setting up this GoFundMe Page to raise funds to bring Tom home as soon as possible. This is costly, and with the help of the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust, we will get him to his beloved home of County Mayo,” the family wrote.

A Foreign Office spokesperson told The Independent: “We are in contact with the local authorities following the death of a British man in Georgia and are providing support to his family.”

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