Grieving mother of Josh Hanson pleads for public help to find murder suspect
Grieving mother Tracey Hanson is urging the public to help detectives track down one of the world’s most wanted men.
Ms Hanson spoke out this week on the third anniversary of the death of her 21-year-old son, Josh, who was stabbed in the neck in The RE Bar, in Eastcote, on 11th October 2015.
Police are trying to trace Shane O’Brien, who is believed to have flown out of the UK on a privately-chartered plane, from Biggin Hill Airport, after Mr. Hanson's death. Detectives describe the 30-year-old, who speaks with a London accent, as "very well-connected and supported".They believe he is being helped by associates,who are providing him with money, false identifies and the means to move across borders.
Earlier this week, Tracey Hanson, from London, wore a sandwich board, with details of her son's murder, at train hubs in London to appeal for possible sightings.
She said: "Some people have still not heard about Josh" she added: "I thought about what might work and this grabs the attention of the commuter walking past. "More people are engaging with us now and we are getting more requests for wanted posters."
Since Mr. O’Brien left the UK, he has been spotted several times and was even arrested last year on suspicion of criminal damage and assault in Prague, Czech Republic say police. He gave his name as Enzo Mellonceli, supported by false documentation, before being released on bail, according to detectives. The police only discovered his true identity later.
After the attack on Mr Hanson, Mr O'Brien possibly went to the Netherlands and United Arab Emirates, before returning to Europe.
Mugshots show he had grown his hair to shoulder length and had a full beard and a distinctive new tattoo of an owl holding a skull, which covered up his previous “Shannon 15-04-06” tattoo. DCI McHugh said: “I would like to speak to the tattoo artist that covered up his original tattoo, it would have taken several sittings. When arrested in Prague, O’Brien had boxing gloves with him. He uses gyms and will continue to do so I am sure.”
A £50,000 reward is being offered for information leading to his prosecution. In May, he was added to Interpol'smost-wanted list.
Detective Chief Inspector Noel McHugh, who is leading the case for the Met Police, said: "For Josh's family, the last three years, more than 1,000 days and nights without Josh - have been horrendous. No words adequately describe the pain they are going through."He made a special point of appealing to any lovers O'Brien had.
Mr O'Brien is believed to have been travelling "extensively" with sightings reported in Gibraltar, Nice and Prague. He is known to like boxing and police hope any sports clubs around Europe, who recognise the tattoo, will get in contact.
Tracey Hanson has created ‘The Josh Hanson Trust’, which gives support to those affected by knife crime. They also have events, campaigns and more information on Josh himself. To get more information, visit: http://thejoshhansontrust.org
If you have any information about Shane O’Brien, please contact the Met Police on 101, or in case of an emergency, 999.