Mother’s leap of faith

Fam­ily mark Josh Han­son’s birth­day with sky dive and meal

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - by Kather­ine Cle­men­tine kather­ine.cle­men­tine@trin­i­tymir­

JUMP FOR JUS­TICE JUS­TICE: T Tracey H Han­son, moth­erth of f mur­derd vic­timi ti J Josh hj joinedi dfi friendsd and fam­ily in a day of sky div­ing to raise funds for the fam­ily’s ap­peal.

THE fam­ily of mur­dered Josh Han­son marked what would have been his 22nd birth­day with an in­cred­i­ble group sky­dive, and raised thou­sands in a team ef­fort.

Mr Han­son, of Kings­bury, was stabbed to death at the RE Bar in Field End Road, East­cote, dur­ing the early hours of Oc­to­ber 11 2015.

Mum Tracey, who pre­vi­ously put out an emo­tional plea to catch her son’s killer, was one of 40 peo­ple who took part in the mass sky­dive.

Josh, who would have turned 22 on Satur­day Fe­bru­ary 27, did a sky dive of his own to raise money for a fam­ily friend’s daugh­ter, who needed a £50,000 op­er­a­tion in Amer­ica, so his fam­ily thought it would be a fit­ting way to mark his birth­day.

Ms Han­son said: “He did re­ally well that day and it was re­ally be­fit­ting to carry that story through – not only was he a great man but he did some­thing at a young age that none of his peers did. I was re­ally proud of him that day.”

The day was de­scribed as a “pos­i­tive” filled with highs and lows for the be­reaved mother and sis­ter, Brooke.

Ms Han­son con­tin­ued: “As hard as it was on Satur­day, it was nice hav­ing ev­ery­one there to sup­port Brooke and I for Josh’s birth­day.

“At one point I was stand­ing there watch­ing ev­ery­one come down and I com­pletely for­got why I was do­ing it.

“One of the boys was com­ing down and the first thing that came into my head was Josh... then I thought no, Josh isn’t here, that’s why we’re do­ing it – but I held it to­gether and it was a re­ally good day.

“Ev­ery­one was ex­tremely emo­tional. I asked if I could show Josh’s DVD of when he did it and they very kindly put up a big screen and played it to ev­ery­one.

“It was a mix­ture of tears and laugh­ter and it in­spired ev­ery­one else to go ahead with it.

“I was ab­so­lutely pet­ri­fied, I haven’t even flown for eight years and for me it was mas­sive to do it.

“I was proud of my­self and ex­tremely proud of Brooke as well, we were in the plane to­gether.

“I’m so full of love for ev­ery­one that did it and the sup­port­ers that came.”

The to­tal raised hasn’t been fi­nalised, but around £5,000 is said to have been raised on mul­ti­ple crowd­fund­ing groups to help set up Tracey’s im­pend­ing char­ity – Jus­tice for Josh Han­son.

Af­ter the sky­dive the group took part in a fam­ily tra­di­tion which saw them en­joy a meal at the Han­son’s lo­cal curry house, Spice of In­dia in Wem­b­ley.

“That was a bit tough be­cause we had birth­day cake, Brooke cut the cake and blew out the can­dles – that was re­ally hard for her.

“It was an emo­tional time be­cause we were in there last year for Josh’s 21st but we got through it.

“We made up party bags for ev­ery­one with a thank you card and a photo of Josh in each one.

“We had a team here lam­i­nat­ing – we worked so hard for it.”

The fam­ily will con­tinue spread­ing the word through the Jus­tice for Josh Han­son Face­book page, now with nearly 27,000 likes.

Tracey added: “Ev­ery sin­gle day I’m send­ing out posters. They’re all over Ire­land, Spain, Cyprus, Cam­bo­dia, Viet­nam, and Lan­zarote.

“I am over­whelmed by the pub­lic and their sup­port.”

n TEAM WORK: About 40 peo­ple turned out for the jump in mem­ory of Josh Han­son. Left, Josh when he com­pleted his sky­dive. In­set above, Josh’s sis­ter Brooke with an in­struc­tor

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