Josh Hanson murder: Mother’s appeal on second anniversary of his death

PUBLISHED: 14:30 11 October 2017 | UPDATED: 14:53 28 March 2018

Tracey and Josh Hanson (Picture: Met Police)

Tracey and Josh Hanson (Picture: Met Police)


The mother of a Kingsbury man stabbed to death in an unprovoked attack has made an emotional appeal to help catch his killer on the second anniversary of her son’s murder.

Shane O'Brien is wanted in connection of Josh Hanson's murder  (Picture: Met Police) Shane O'Brien is wanted in connection of Josh Hanson's murder (Picture: Met Police)

Josh Hanson was stabbed in the neck at the RE Bar in Hillingdon while on a night out with friends on October 11.

Police still want to speak to Shane O’Brien in connection with the killing but have been unable to trace him after he fled the country two years ago.

Tracey Hanson, who has fought for justice for her 21-year-old son and has set up a charity in his name to divert young people from crime, has raised nearly £40,000 towards opening a community coffee shop.

She said: “Grieving isn’t an option for me right now. One day the full on grieving process will start. Until we’ve had our day in court, this man is taken off the streets and can harm no-one else, I’m not ready to grieve yet. I need to save my energy.”

Distinctive tattoo on Shane O'Brien's back, wanted in connection with Josh Hanson's murder (Picture: Met Police) Distinctive tattoo on Shane O'Brien's back, wanted in connection with Josh Hanson's murder (Picture: Met Police)

Her comments come as police increase the reward to £50,000 for any information that leads to O’Brien’s arrest and released new images of the 29-year-old.

Police received information he was in the Netherlands and Dubai then in February he was arrested in Prague for criminal damage and assault. He used the alias Enzo Mellonceli, and was bailed pending further enquiries, police said.

He has grown his hair and has a full beard and a distinctive tattoo of an owl holding a skull, which covers a previous “Shannon 15-10-06” tattoo.

Ms Hanson added: “These past 24 months have been a living nightmare, a nightmare that I would not wish on anyone.

“I nurtured my son from the moment I saw him, held his hand while he took his first steps, handed him his school bag on his first day of school and watched him grow into a bright, capable, funny and loving young man who worked hard and provided for his family. We laughed and cried together and shared our innermost thoughts and secrets; he was my son and he was also my best friend.

“While we grieve Shane O’Brien, the man the police would like to speak to in connection with my son’s murder, has yet to be caught and we still wait for justice. Justice for the most heinous crime that my son had to endure and justice to ensure that innocent people are safe.

“Please can you help us? Josh leaves behind a sister and a family who miss and love him very much.”

O’Brien, originally from Ladbroke Grove, is described as white and 6ft with grey eyes and dark brown hair.

Two men have been arrested as part of the investigation into Josh’s murder.

On October 28 2015, detectives arrested a 24-year-old man and a 29-year-old man - who were on an inbound flight to the UK - on suspicion of perverting the course of justice and assisting an offender.

They were subsequently bailed pending further enquiries.

Anyone with information about O’Brien can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or the police incident room on 020 8785 8099.

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