Former Te Awamutu lad killed in London

KIWI MAN: Karl Robert Jones, 34, who grew up in Te Awamutu, died in London on Queen's Birthday Weekend.
KIWI MAN: Karl Robert Jones, 34, who grew up in Te Awamutu, died in London on Queen's Birthday Weekend.

When police officers walked up Karyn Jones' driveway at 8.30am on Monday she thought her fun-loving and adventurous sibling had done something stupid and was in trouble with the law.

When they said: "Do you know Karl Robert Jones?", she said "yeah".

They were talking about her little brother - the Te Awamutu lad who moved to Auckland after high school to study civil engineering before seeing the world. The 34-year-old had been in London for about seven years. He had no children, yet he was serious about one girl.

In Karyn Jones' mind, her brother was a natural sportsman harbouring a spirit for life. He was adventurous and a bit wild - a survivor who lived for the moment. He spent a year tripping around South America on a few pennies and survived, for example. Now, the police had come to say he was dead.

"He's such a loss," she said.

"He's very popular. He's got lots of mates that thoroughly enjoyed his energy, worldwide - Australia, London, New Zealand.

"We've just been overwhelmed with condolences. We didn't know he had this much of a network, it's insane. There are grown men breaking down in tears every day around us. We had no idea - it has been quite humbling."

A death notice described "Jonesy" as a "loyal friend to so many mates, an independent and proud spirit now free to roam".

His parents, Berry and Kenneth, lived in Te Awamutu for 35 years. They now reside in Warkworth where the family has been wading through grief, unknowns and logistical nightmares.

The London Metropolitan Police are investigating the circumstances around Jonesy's death and arrests in relation to the incident that occurred on Fulham Palace Rd were on the cards.

But for the family, it's a murky story so far. Karyn Jones has heard a version of what happened from one of her brother's Kiwi friends who was there early Sunday morning.

She heard how her brother was in town when "banter" broke out between two groups of men.

Jonesy's "best friend" allegedly had a bottle smashed against his head.

"That's when they decided to gap it," she said.

"They were taking him to hospital down the road to get stitched up."

She said her brother was behind his mate when "some of these thugs" came from behind and allegedly struck Jonesy on the head with a bottle. At that point he started falling into the road, she said.

This is where the fog really thickens.

Karyn Jones stressed that the exact details of what occurred aren't known and are still under investigation. They were also awaiting autopsy results to determine the cause of death.

Yet, she was told her brother was pulled to safety before toppling again, somehow, onto the road where a car struck him.

The driver has been located and Jones said it was not clear whether one injury or the other killed her brother.

The family were expecting more news overnight.

Jonesy's family are planning to fly to London next week where a celebration of his life will be held. Another is planned for his return home.

Waikato Times