A £50,000 reward has been offered to try and find one of Britain’s most wanted fugitives. Shane O’Brien, 28, is the chief suspect in the murder of 21-year-old Josh Hanson, who was killed in an unprovoked knife attack in a bar in Hillingdon, west London. He was stabbed in the neck in front of about 40 horrified onlookers.
On the second anniversary of the murder his mother, Tracey Hanson, issued a heart-rending appeal for help finding her son’s suspected killer.
She said: ‘He was my son and he was also my best friend…it rips at your soul and your very being.’ O’Brien, who heads the National Crime Agency’s ‘most wanted’ list, was flown out of the UK in a privately chartered plane from Biggin Hill Airport after Mr Hanson’s murder.
At that time it was believed he could be hiding in the Netherlands. Information later indicated he had travelled to Dubai.
In February this year he was arrested in Prague for criminal damage and assault, but used the Italian alias of Enzo Mellonceli, supported by false documentation, and was bailed pending further enquiries.
An image taken then shows the father-of-two has grown his hair, has a full beard and has a distinctive new tattoo of an owl holding a skull, which covers up his previous ‘Shannon 15-04-06’ tattoo.
Detective Chief Inspector Noel McHugh, of the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: ‘£50,000 is a huge amount of money which demonstrates the Met’s determination and commitment in finding O’Brien and bringing him before the courts.
‘Today marks the second anniversary of Josh’s brutal and senseless murder and my team, supported by the National Crime Agency, have been working tirelessly to track O’Brien’s movements.
Two men have so far been arrested as part of the investigation into Mr Hanson’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 to return on a date in October pending further enquiries.
O’Brien, originally from Ladbroke Grove, is described as white and 6ft with grey eyes and dark brown hair.