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Suspected killer with Irish connections using false identity after fleeing to Dubai

Shane O'Brien
Shane O'Brien

A suspected killer who fled to Dubai has used a false identity and is being helped to avoid capture, police have said.

Shane O'Brien, 28, is alleged to have killed 21-year-old Josh Hanson in an unprovoked knife attack in a bar in Hillingdon, west London, a year ago on Tuesday.

O'Brien, who is from London but has links to Ireland and Spain, is the subject of a European arrest warrant, and was previously placed on Britain's 'Most-Wanted' list.

Josh's mother Tracey, who with her daughter Brooke is fighting for justice for her son, said: "While we try to do all we can to leave a positive legacy for Josh we have the extremely painful and heartbreakingly sad reality that Josh is no longer a part of our family.

"Every second, minute or hour of the day that passes is filled with the pain that we have still not had the justice for Josh that he so rightly deserves.

"Brooke, myself, our family, friends and the many thousands of people who help us daily ask you to come forward if you have any information which would lead to an arrest.

"No matter how small you think this information may be we beg you to get in touch with the Met Police or Crimestoppers and help us put an end to the nightmare we are living with every day and have been for the last 12 months."

The family are running the Justice For Josh Hanson campaign on social media and are also working to try to prevent knife crime.

Josh, from Kingsbury, north-west London, died after he was stabbed in the neck at the RE Bar in the early hours of October 11 2015.

His suspected killer O'Brien fled in the wake of his death, and in March was thought to be on the run in the Netherlands, but has since travelled to the United Arab Emirates.

A £20,000 reward is on offer for information leading to his arrest and prosecution.

Detective Chief Inspector Noel McHugh said: "O'Brien was quickly named as someone we urgently needed to trace and we have tracked his movements across Europe and then to Dubai where we believe he still is.

"Clearly he is being helped by others to evade police and has the ability to move around without using his own identity, but we have a substantial reward available for anyone who can provide information that brings him before the courts.

"If you know anything - even if you think your information is small and insignificant - please come forward.

"Josh's family have been so strong but they need to see the person who killed him brought to justice. As time goes on they are finding the situation desperately difficult and we really need the public's help to find O'Brien."

O'Brien, originally from Ladbroke Grove, is white, 6ft, with grey eyes and short, dark brown hair, and has a tattoo on his back that says "Shannon 15-04-06". He may use the name Troy O'Brien.

Members of the public are advised not to approach him and to call 999.