Family campaign for murdered son
Justice for Josh offers hope against knife crime ‘epidemic’
THE murder of 21-year-old Josh Hanson in an Eastcote nightclub has left his family “in a dark place”, his mother said.
Tracey Hanson spoke out this week, three months after her son was fatally wounded at RE Bar in Field End Road, which has remained closed since the incident on October 11.
She said the family, including Josh’s sister Brooke, is determined to get justice and to tackle the scourge of knife crime.
Ms Hanson, who set up a Facebook page called ‘Justice for Josh Hanson’, said: “It seems to get harder every day. It’s hard to completely grieve when you’re busy trying to get justice.
“My day’s now spent with around eight to 10 hours on social media, it’s a lot of work. I’ve had people reach out to me, who’ve gone through some very similar experiences and that’s just heart-wrenching.
“For me it’s about knife crime – stop and search needs to be more active – it’s an epidemic as far as I’m concerned.”
Josh, who was described by police as a ‘hard working lad’ with everything to live for, was stabbed in the neck.
A manhunt is continuing for 27-year-old Shane O’Brien of Ladbroke Grove, a suspect in the case, who remains at large and there is a £10,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.
Ms Hanson, from Kingsbury, added: “Since that day we’ve been in a dark place, but then you just get a message of hope and have people behind you that you’ve never even met, and it’s very humbling.
“When I received the call to hear what had happened to Josh, I went there, and was there until 5am. The police told me nothing was going to happen but I just didn’t want to leave until Josh’s body was removed.
“We’ve got to work hard now, to get justice for Josh, and create awareness about knife crime and anything we can do to prevent that.”
She said the family set a place for Josh at Christmas and set off lanterns at new year.
“Josh had so many plans laid out for this year. What he lived for was to work very hard, and live life. He was saving for his first property which is very commendable at 21,” said Tracey.
Around 2,000 people attended his funeral at the Sacred Heart Church in Kilburn on November 20.
The family hopes their ‘Justice for Josh Hanson’ campaign will gain official charity status in 2016, after raising more than £30,000 so far.
The charity will put on events for families who have been affected by unprovoked knife crime.
Anyone with information about Shane O’Brien’s whereabouts is asked to call detectives on 020 8785 8099 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via crimestoppers-uk.org.
n EVERYTHING TO LIVE FOR: Josh Hanson pictured with mum Tracey and sister Brooke. Inset, tributes left at the scene of the murder