Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - CHRIS BALLINGER chris.ballinger@trin­i­tymir­ Twit­ter: @GetWestLon­don

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

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