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Josh Hanson murder: Mother struggles to mourn his death as killer remains at large

PUBLISHED: 12:59 11 April 2016 | UPDATED: 14:52 28 March 2018

Josh Hanson was stabbed to death on October 11

Josh Hanson was stabbed to death on October 11

Archant

The mother of a Kingsbury man who was stabbed to death has spoken of her struggle to mourn as his killer remains at large.

Brooke, Tracey and Josh HansonBrooke, Tracey and Josh Hanson

Joshua Hanson was killed in an ‘unprovoked and motiveless’ attack inside ‘the RE bar’ in Eastcote on October 11 last year.

The 21-year-old was with his girlfriend and pals when his attacker approached him and stabbed him in the neck.

He died at the scene and six months on his killer is still at large.

Tracey Hanson, Joshua’s grieving mother, told the Times she is scared of mourning his death and why.

Josh Hanson was killed in an 'unprovoked and motiveless' attackJosh Hanson was killed in an 'unprovoked and motiveless' attack

She said: “According to a therapist I am grieving and not mourning. It is very hard for me to mourn.

“Nothing feels the same anymore, I am a different person, I think and feel differently too.

“Grief is the weight in the chest and that knot in the stomach and not being able to speak about your thoughts and feelings. Mourning is the outward expression of grief, crying and speaking the unspeakable.

“In order to heal we need to mourn and that is the part that scares me.”

Shane O'Brien has been named as a suspectShane O'Brien has been named as a suspect

Days after the murder, Shane O’Brien was named by police as a suspect and a £10,000 reward is being offered for information leading to his arrest.

The hunt for the 27-year-old has gone international with wanted posters featuring his face posted all over the world thanks to Ms Hanson and her daughter Brooke’s network of friends and the power of social media.

An appeal has also featured on BBC1’s Crimewatch but so far detectives have been unable to track down O’Brien, who they believe could be hiding in Holland.

Last year two men aged 24 and 29 were arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice and assisting an offender.

Both have been bailed to return to a police station at a later date.

Ms Hanson said: “I can not believe that someone, somewhere knows something and hasn’t come forward, it is like Groundhog Day seeing the wanted poster and sharing our appeal.

“But know this to be true we will continue to drive awareness, send out posters, and appeal until justice has been served.”

Following Joshua’s death a fundraising page was set up to pay for his funeral and establish an anti-knife crime in his name.

So far it has raised more than £31,000.

Ms Hanson said: “It won’t bring my beautiful boy back but it will be a start to all the good work that we will do in his name.

“I have met some truly amazing people who have experienced the same as me who do amazing things to make a change and this spurs me on.”

Detective Chief Inspector Noel McHugh, who is leading the murder hunt, added: ““I would appeal directly to O’Brien to contact us, or ask that anyone who has seen him or who knows where he is to contact us as well. I do believe someone out there will know where he is.”

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

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