Four men have been charged with killing Tom Kennedy, 28, whose body was found in river near Gori
The family of a British musician allegedly murdered in Georgia have spoken of their devastation.
The body of Tom Kennedy, 28, who was born in Manchester and lived in County Mayo in Ireland, was found in the Mtkvari River near Gori, about 50 miles (80km) west of the capital, Tbilisi.
Four men were charged with his murder on Monday, after reports he had been robbed and beaten last Thursday. Some of Kennedy’s possessions, including his phone, were recovered at a pawn shop.
A fifth man has been charged with failing to a report a crime. The men are exercising their right to remain silent, according to the Georgian site Mtavari TV. They were denied bail by Gori district court.
Prosecutors allege Kennedy was thrown unconscious into the river to conceal the robbery. His body was reportedly found two miles downriver from the alleged beating. A trial is scheduled for 8 November, according to the Daily Mail.
Kennedy’s family have set up a Gofundme page, in part to raise money to repatriate his body. Writing on the site on behalf of Kennedy’s mother, Catherine, his cousin Olivia Barrett said: “We are absolutely devastated there are no words, life will never be the same without our beautiful boy.”
Almost €40,000 (£34,000) had been raised by Wednesday afternoon. The family said the money would go towards the costs of repatriation, the funeral and the cost of travel to Georgia to be at the trial.
Kennedy reportedly arrived in Georgia at the end of August after telling friends he wanted to “go somewhere far away”. His family said he was a talented musician who played the guitar, violin and piano.
Writing on Facebook, his aunt Patricia Pointon, from Manchester, said: “One of the kindest souls to ever walk this earth, you trusted with your heart and played your music as a genius!”
In a statement, the Foreign Office said: “We are in contact with the local authorities following the death of a British man in Georgia and are providing support to his family.”