MURDER SUSPECT NOW ON WORLD WANTED LIST
INTERPOL HUNT SUSPECT SHANE O’BRIEN AS FAMILY OF STABBING VICTIM JOSH HANSON MAKE A FRESH APPEAL FOR WITNESSES
THE MUM and sister of a young man who was stabbed in the neck in an unprovoked attack at a bar in Eastcote have pleaded for help in catching the chief suspect who has been placed on a worldwide Most Wanted list.
Detectives investigating the murder of Josh Hanson are appealing for any information following possible sightings of the chief suspect who has been placed on Interpol’s global list.
A reward of £50,000 for information leading to the arrest off Shane O’Brien was announced in October, marking the two-year anniversary of Mr Hanson’s death.
The 21-year-old from Kingsbury was stabbed in the neck in an unprovoked attack while partying at the Re: bar, in Field End Road, in the early hours of October 11 2015.
O’Brien, 30, from Ladbroke Grove, fled the UK immediately after Mr Hanson’s murder and has been on the run ever since. Police believe O’Brien was flown out of the country on a private chartered plane from Biggin Hill airfield.
Following the news he has been placed on the Most Wanted list, Mr Hanson’s mum Tracey, and sister Brooke, said: “We have lived for two years and seven months without Josh but we still have hope that we will get justice for him.
“Imagine if together, we could get justice for Josh. Well I believe we can, I believe that by sharing the wanted poster, home and away, justice will be ours in a matter of time.
“Brooke and I count down the days, hours and minutes hoping and praying that we receive a call to tell us that Shane O’Brien has been arrested.
“Our lives will never be the same without Josh and I would not wish our living nightmare on anyone, it is a pain that no words alone can describe.
“With O’Brien on Interpol’s Most Wanted list we encourage people from all over the world to get in touch for a copy of the Metropolitan Police Wanted Poster, which currently has a £50,000 reward on offer for information leading to his arrest and prosecution.
“We need your help, can you please share the wanted poster, if you are going on holiday or if your local shops are happy to display it, please ask and we will send them out to you.
“If you can help us please get in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @JusticeforJoshHanson.
“Someone, somewhere also knows where O’Brien is and can change the pain and uncertainty that each day brings for us. Please, please, please do the right thing and make that call or encourage someone else to.”
An appeal in October prompted a number of people to come forward with possible information about O’Brien and detectives have been working hard since then to gather more information.
Three days after the appeal, information was received that a man matching O’Brien’s description had been seen in central Prague on several occasions, the last time around mid-September.
Another person came forward to say O’Brien may have been in Gibraltar and other information was suggested that O’Brien may have been in Nice in November.
A great deal of work has been carried out, with the help of the National Crime Agency, around all these sightings to gather further information.
Investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Noel McHugh, from the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: “We are looking to people in nightclubs and boxing gyms as well as ex-pats and any women he may have become involved with to come forward.
“Those who have been in close proximity to him may well have seen his distinctive and rather poor quality cover-up tattoo of a owl holding a skull. As always, any calls we receive with information will be dealt with in the upmost confidence.
““After more than two-and-ahalf years, some may feel that will we never catch O’Brien.
“But with the work that has and continues to be done, I believe we are making it more and more difficult for those supporting and helping O’Brien to remain hidden and there will come a point where they will see him as a liability and they will make that anonymous call.
“It is hugely significant that he is now included on Interpol’s worldwide Most Wanted list, it is about reducing O’Brien’s options.
“I would urge the public to remain vigilant wherever they are in the world. If you think you see O’Brien, please make that call immediately – I can’t emphasis enough how important it is for us to move quickly. The best number to call is the National Crime Agency’s public line on 0370 496 7622.
“As well as contacting the NCA, please also inform local police so they can act immediately. Of course, in an emergency always call 999. O’Brien is dangerous and should not be approached. A substantial reward of £50,000 remains on offer for information leading to his arrest and prosecution.”
DCI McHugh added that he is keen to also hear from those involved with the private aircraft industry.
He said: “O’Brien left the UK in a privately chartered plane. Has he chartered more planes as he moves around the world - are you that pilot or ground crew who has seen O’Brien?
“Equally O’Brien could be using ports and private boats.
“His new tattoo is so distinctive it should stick in the mind of fellow boxers, or possibly a new partner. I would still like to hear from the tattoo artist who covered up his original ‘Shannon 15-04-06’ tattoo, it would have taken several sittings.
“There is a very large reward on offer for bringing O’Brien before the courts but more than that I hope people will be motivated by a need to help Josh’s family.
“Josh was an amazing young man with his whole life ahead of him and Tracey and Brooke miss him desperately. They need to see O’Brien bought to justice.”
O’Brien, originally from Ladbroke Grove, is described as white and 6ft with grey eyes and dark brown hair.
Anyone with information about O’Brien or his whereabouts can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, the police incident room on 020 8785 8099 or the National Crime Agency’s public line on 0370 496 7622.
Interpol put Shane O’Brien on its international ‘most wanted’ list last week
Victim: 21-year-old Josh Hanson