Mother in plea to find suspect on eve of third anniversary of son’s killing


The mother of a man allegedly murdered by one of Britain’s most wanted fugitives has issued a renewed appeal for help finding her son’s suspected killer.

Shane O’Brien, 29, is the chief suspect in the murder of 21-year-old Josh Hanson, who was stabbed to death in a bar in Hillingdon, west London, on October 11 2015.

To mark the third anniversary of the killing, Tracey Hanson handed out leaflets at Victoria Station in central London advertising a £50,000 reward for information leading to O’Brien’s arrest.

Shane O'Brien
Shane O’Brien has a distinctive tattoo, covering up a previous one which could have identified him (Met Police/PA)

“I wish the story of my life was different and that it was Josh walking out of that station. The moment I received that phone call, my life stopped.

“The public have been absolutely unbelievable, if it wasn’t for their support … We’ve had posters in Australia, Thailand, Cambodia, all over Europe. It’s the public that we need.”

Her daughter Brooke, 28, joined her in appealing for help to find the alleged killer of fitness fanatic and Spurs fan Josh, who worked as a roads planner.

Tracey Hanson
Josh’s mother Tracey Hanson (David Mirzoeff/PA)

An image taken then shows he has grown his hair, has a full beard and has a large distinctive new tattoo of an owl holding a skull on his back, which covers up his previous “Shannon 15-04-06” tattoo.

He is currently believed to be in Europe and has also used the alias Enzo Machado.

The suspect, who tops the National Crime Agency’s “most wanted” list, is said to have fled the country by private jet after the killing and has spent time in the Germany and Dubai.

John Hanson murder
Josh Hanson was killed on October 11 2015 (Met Police/PA)

A small group of people are believed to be helping him with cash, the hire of a private plane, false identities, and moving between borders, he said.

DCI McHugh urged the public to share images of the suspect far and wide among their contacts, and to call anything in as soon as they see it. He said that every lead would be followed up.

“This family have been ripped apart by what happened,” he said.


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