Josh Hanson murder: Mother speaks of heartache as son’s suspected killer is named among Europe’s most wanted

PUBLISHED: 14:50 16 April 2018 | UPDATED: 11:18 17 April 2018

Shane O'Brien is wanted for murder  (Picture: Met Police)

Shane O'Brien is wanted for murder (Picture: Met Police)


The grieving mum of murdered Kingsbury man Josh Hanson has spoken of her trauma as her son’s alleged killer is named on Europe’s most wanted list.

Tracey and Josh Hanson (Picture: Met Police)Tracey and Josh Hanson (Picture: Met Police)

Josh Hanson was stabbed in an “unprovoked and motiveless” attack inside the RE Bar in Eastcote on October 11, 2015.

The 21-year-old was with his girlfriend and pals. He died at the scene and, 30 months on, his killer is still at large.

Josh’s mother Tracey Hanson said: “The 11th day of the month is my son’s anniversary and April marks two and a half years since Josh’s murder. That is also 30 months – 130 weeks or 913 days – without justice for him too.

“I am numb and still in shock at what has happened to Josh and I will be like this for the rest of my life.”

Josh Hanson was stabbed to death on October 11 2015Josh Hanson was stabbed to death on October 11 2015

Shane O’Brien has eluded police since fleeing the country more than two years ago.

Europol, which has announced Europe’s most wanted, said he is wanted for murder and grievous bodily injury. A reward of up to £50,000 is available for information leading to his arrest.

Police received information he was in the Netherlands and Dubai – then, in February 2017, he was arrested in Prague for criminal damage and assault. He used the alias Enzo Mellonceli, and was bailed pending further enquiries, police said.

Ms Hanson added: “Shane O’Brien is now on Europol after a lot of pressure from me. I am also asking for him to be put on Interpol’s most wanted.

“This dual appeal would mean various crime agencies work together. This is not currently being done but I am hoping that this will change.”

Det Insp Noel McHugh, lead investigator on the Josh Hanson case, told the Times: “We are doing a huge amount of work and waiting for that call from someone who knows where Shane O’Brien is. There’s no way he can just disappear. He is clearly being supported by a small group of people and has the means to move around. With a false identity it’s possible to travel.

“If one person holds the clue to where he is that can help us put all the information together. We can get justice for Josh and his family.”

Josh’s mother has poured her energies into The Josh Hanson Charitable Trust, which she set up to promote knife crime awareness by providing activities for young people.

She added: “If your child was murdered and ripped from your life, you would be trying your very hardest to do all you could to help prevent this from happening to another child. You would not wish this on anyone.

“The pain and frustration that rises up inside you when you read that another child has been murdered is debilitating.

“It is scary knowing that another family is going through the same that you went through when you were told that your child was dead – the feelings of helplessness come flooding back and you are right back there in that moment in time knowing there is nothing that you can do to change it.”

She added: “We have raised over £20,000 with our fundraising but we have a long way to go to secure a base where we can deliver, support and empower youths.

“Our next fundraiser is on April 28 where a team of 26 very dedicated women and men will take part in Tough Mudder. If anyone would like to donate they can do this by visiting our JustGiving page.

“Josh, along with all those who have lost their lives to murder, cannot die in vain. We have to make changes to help and prevent this from happening to more unsuspecting victims and their families.”

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

Visit the Facebook page justiceforjoshhanson for more information. To donate to Tracey’s charity, visit

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