London

Josh Hanson murder inquiry: £50,000 reward offered

Shane O'Brien Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Shane O'Brien is the chief suspect in the murder of 21-year-old Josh Hanson

A £50,000 reward has been offered in an attempt to find a fugitive wanted in connection with the murder of a 21-year-old who was stabbed in the neck.

Josh Hanson died at the RE bar in Eastcote, north-west London, in October 2015 following an unprovoked attack.

Police say chief suspect Shane O'Brien, 29, has a distinctive new tattoo of an owl holding a skull.

Mr O'Brien, who heads the National Crime Agency's "most wanted" list, was arrested in Prague in February.

But he used the Italian alias of Enzo Mellonceli, supported by false documentation, and was bailed on allegations of criminal damage and assault pending further inquiries.

An image taken after the arrest shows he has grown his hair, has a full beard and has a distinctive new tattoo of an owl holding a skull.

Image copyright Metropolitan Police
Image caption Josh Hanson was found with a serious neck wound at the RE Bar in Eastcote

Mr Hanson, from Kingsbury in north-west London, was found with a serious wound to the neck at the RE Bar in Hillingdon at about 01:10 BST on 11 October 2015. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

A post-mortem examination gave the cause of death as haemorrhage, inhalation of blood and an incised wound to the neck.

The Met said the £50,000 reward for information leading to Mr O'Brien's arrest and conviction demonstrated the "determination in finding him".

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Mr Hanson's mother, Tracey, described the past 24 months as a "living nightmare"

Mr Hanson's mother Tracey has described the past 24 months as a "living nightmare that she would not wish on anyone".

"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," she said.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Scotland Yard said there were about 40 people in the bar when Josh Hanson was stabbed

The Met, who offered a £10,000 reward in January 2016, said it was clear Mr O'Brien was "being helped by others to evade police".

"That is why we decided to offer such a large reward. I hope it will encourage someone who moves in O'Brien's circles to come forward," the force added.

"His new tattoo is so distinctive it should stick in the mind of fellow boxers, or possibly a new partner."

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