Josh Hanson: 15 sightings of murder suspect Shane O’Brien since he was added to world’s most wanted list

PUBLISHED: 12:57 18 June 2018 | UPDATED: 13:00 18 June 2018

A new picture of Shane O'Brien. Picture: Met Police

A new picture of Shane O'Brien. Picture: Met Police


Police investigating the murder of Kingsbury’s Josh Hanson say there has been “15 potential sightings” of chief suspect Shane O’Brien since he was put on the world’s most wanted list.

Josh Hanson. Picture: Met PoliceJosh Hanson. Picture: Met Police

Josh, 21, died in October 2015. He was found with a serious wound to the neck and a post-mortem found he died of a haemorrhage, inhalation of blood and an incised wound to the neck. O’Brien, 30, fled the country on a private plane immediately afterwards. A £50,000 reward has been offered for information leading to his arrest and prosecution.

Last month he was placed on Interpol’s most wanted list and since then 15 potential new sightings have been reported to police or the National Crime Agency. Four have been discarded but the others are still being investigating, with particular attention being paid to Marbella, Bangkok and Dubai.

Det Ch Insp Noel McHugh, from the Met’s murder squad, said: “We want to hear from anyone and everyone who thinks they see O’Brien or has any information no matter how small.”

An older appeal was made on the two-year anniversary of Josh’s death, and has also led to possible sightings. One person said they had seen him in Prague on several occasions.

Shane O'Brien's tattoo. Picture: Met PoliceShane O'Brien's tattoo. Picture: Met Police

Detectives know O’Brien had been in Prague as he was arrested there in February last year for criminal damage and assault and now believe he was in the city for at least seven months. Appeals have been carried out there to try and build up a picture of his lifestyle. Another person came forward to say O’Brien, from Ladbroke Grove, may have been in Gibraltar around the same time. Someone else said they saw him in Nice in November, and another sighting was reported in Bari, Italy.

Det Ch Insp McHugh added: “Based on what we know about O’Brien’s lifestyle and interests, 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.”

Tracey and Brooke Hanson, Josh’s mum and sister, said: “We are asking the public to help us to get justice for Josh by sharing the wanted poster, so that we can grieve for him in peace.”

Anyone with information can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, police on 020 8785 8099 or the National Crime Agency on 0370 496 7622.

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