£20k reward to help bring justice for Josh’s family
Police believe main suspect is ‘being helped by other people’
A £20,000 reward has been offered in the hunt to find the leading suspect in the murder of Josh Hanson in Hillingdon.
The Met described Shane O’Brien as “one of Britain’s most wanted fugitives” on Thursday July 7 as they doubled the sum available for information leading to the 28-year-old’s arrest and prosecution.
O’Brien and is on the most wanted lists of Crimestoppers and the National Crime Agency, was thought to have been hiding in the Netherlands but police now believe he has travelled to Dubai.
Josh died after what police described as a “brutal” and “unprovoked” incident at the RE Bar in Field End Road, Eastcote, in the early hours of October 11 last year.
The 21-year-old, of Kingsbury, was pronounced dead at the scene, with a post-mortem examination later giving a wound to the neck as one of the causes of his death.
In January this year, Josh’s mum Tracey said the search for justice was adding to the anguish for his heartbroken family.
Detective Chief Inspector Noel McHugh, from the Met’s homicide and major crime command, said: “We hope the offer of this substantial reward will encourage anyone with information to come forward and help us detain O’Brien.
“Clearly O’Brien is being helped by other people to evade police – some of those allegedly assisting him have already been arrested.
“The fact that O’Brien is moving from country to country demonstrates he has the means to travel without using his own identity.
“So we would ask people to look closely at O’Brien’s photo and if you recognise him contact us. He has a distinctive tattoo on his back that says ‘ Shannon 15-04-06’ which may help identify him.”
He added that police had taken calls about potential sightings across the world, and urged people to get in touch with any information as they could hold that “crucial clue”.
Josh’s mum Tracey said: “It has been eight-and-ahalf months since my son and Brooke’s brother Josh was murdered in an unprovoked knife attack and we are still fighting for justice.
“Not a single second, minute or hour of the day goes by without us not being able to properly grieve or mourn for Josh as Shane O’Brien, the man police would like to speak to in connection with Josh’s murder, is still at large.
“We are asking the public to help in any way they can, if you have the slightest doubt in your mind as to whether you think you may have seen Shane O’Brien or know someone who has, please come forward and help us get justice.
“Our lives will never ever be the same without Josh and it just gets harder and harder every day, so please if you have any information at all no matter how small or irrelevant you think it may be, please call the police.”
O’Brien, who is originally from Ladbroke Grove, is described as white, 6ft tall with grey eyes and short dark brown hair. He may use the name Troy O’Brien.
Members of the public have been advised not to approach him, and to report any sightings immediately to police by dialling 999.
Two men have already been arrested as part of the murder investigation.
On October 28 last year, a 24-year-old man and a 29-year-old man – who were on an inbound flight to the UK – were arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice and assisting an offender.
Both men remain on police bail pending further enquiries, and are next due before police on a date in early September.
n MURDERED: Josh Hanson was killed in a vicious and unprovoked attack n WANTED: A reward of £20 £20,000000 has bee been offered for information leading to the arrest of Shane O’Brien, who may use the name Troy O’Brien