£50,000 Reward Offered To Find One Of UK's Most Wanted Fugitives
A £50,000 ($65,965) reward has been offered in the hope it will enable authorities to capture one of Britain's most wanted criminals.
Twenty-eight-year-old Shane O'Brien is the chief suspect in the murder of Josh Hanson, 21, who was stabbed and killed in an attack in a bar in west London in 2015. He was pronounced dead at the scene after suffering a serious wound to the neck.
Josh's mum Tracey Hanson has today renewed her appeal for information, on the two-year anniversary of her son's death.
A picture of O'Brien from 2015. Credit: PA
In an emotional appeal, she said: "These past 24 months have been a living nightmare, a nightmare that I would not wish on anyone.
"I nurtured my son from the moment I saw him, held his hand while he took his first steps, handed him his school bag on his first day of school and watched him grow into a bright, capable, funny and loving young man who worked hard and provided for his family.
"We laughed and cried together and shared our innermost thoughts and secrets; he was my son and he was also my best friend.
"Imagine pouring over photos and small video clips because that is all that is left that can bring you close to almost touching your child, and imagine having to share your pain and your grieving alongside a manhunt.
Josh died after being stabbed in the neck by O'Brien. Credit: Met Police
"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.
More Like This
"I hope and pray that you only ever have to imagine what I have just shared with you and it never becomes your reality because it rips at your soul and your very being."
O'Brien is currently top of the National Crime Agency's most wanted list. He has been hunted by cops for two years but has managed to avoid detection.
The appeal comes after the fugitive was arrested in Prague in February this year, for criminal damage and assault. However, according to Scotland Yard, he used an Italian alias - Enzo Mellonceli - and false documents to support a claim for bail.
Images showing O'Brien with longer hair and a distinctive tattoo on his back have been released as part of today's appeal.
He is described as white, 1.8 metres (6ft) tall with grey eyes and dark brown hair. Police said he should not be approached by members of the public, and asked that any sightings of him be reported immediately by calling 999.
Josh Hanson was just 21 when he was brutally killed. Credit: PA
Detective Chief Inspector Noel McHugh, of the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: "It is clear he is being helped by others to evade police and has the ability to move around without using his own identity.
"That is why we decided to offer such a large reward - £50,000 is a substantial amount of money and I hope it will encourage someone who moves in O'Brien's circles to come forward.
"When arrested in Prague, O'Brien had boxing gloves with him. He uses gyms and will continue to do so I'm sure. His new tattoo is so distinctive it should stick in the mind of fellow boxers, or possibly a new partner.
"I would like to hear from the tattoo artist who covered up his original 'Shannon 15-04-06' tattoo, it would have taken several sittings."
Police have urged anyone with any information on his whereabouts to call Crimestoppers anonymously on: 0800 555 111, or the police incident room on: 020 8785 8099. The public can also visit crimestoppers-uk.org.
Source: Evening Standard
Featured Image Credit: Met Police