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Mother wears sandwich board in bid to catch 'murderer'

Sky News logo Sky News 11/10/2018
Ms Hanson says wearing the sandwich boards has been a 'bit demeaning' © Other Ms Hanson says wearing the sandwich boards has been a 'bit demeaning'

The mother of a murder victim has worn a sandwich board displaying the image of her son's alleged killer in a bid to track him down.

Tracey Hanson, whose son Josh was stabbed to death three years ago, also handed out "wanted" posters to train passengers arriving from Europe, where fugitive Shane O'Brien is thought to be hiding.

Police have offered a reward of £50,000 for his arrest and prosecution.

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Ms Hanson said: "I've turned myself into a walking wanted poster.

"It is a bit demeaning, because the last thing anyone would want to do, especially a mother grieving for her child, is to walk around with the man the police want to speak to on her chest.

"It's very painful, very uncomfortable for me to even look at these posters."

Shane O'Brien is thought to have fled to Europe © PA Shane O'Brien is thought to have fled to Europe

The sandwich board carries images of O'Brien, 30, who police believe has been in hiding in Spain, Holland, France or Germany.

There have also been reports of him in Dubai.

Josh Hanson, 21, who worked as a roads planner, died after being stabbed once in the neck in what police believe was a random, unprovoked attack in a north London wine bar three years ago this week.

Josh Hanson was killed in an apparently unprovoked attack © Other Josh Hanson was killed in an apparently unprovoked attack

Police later named O'Brien as the suspect after he left the UK on a private jet and was later "spotted" in various European countries.

He was arrested for assault by Prague police last year, but was posing as an Italian and was freed on bail and vanished before the Czech authorities were alerted to his true identity.

Scotland Yard blamed confusion over fingerprints.

Tracey Hanson says she has become a 'walking wanted poster' © PA Tracey Hanson says she has become a 'walking wanted poster'

His mother said: "More than one person knows where O'Brien is, he is obviously being helped because he is travelling around extensively.

"I would say to them, step into my shoes, live my pain, try if you can for a minute to imagine it.

"My message to them is that even if you are scared, or in doubt or not sure, or think it's too late, you are not going to be judged."

The grieving mother has been giving out wanted poster at train stations © Other The grieving mother has been giving out wanted poster at train stations

Josh's sister Brooke, 28, joined her mother in handing out thousands of appeal leaflets at Victoria and Waterloo stations in London, urging people to study the photographs of O'Brien and the distinctive owl and skull tattoo he has on his back.

Detective Chief Inspector Noel McHugh from the Metropolitan Police said: "We want people to share the posters and photographs of Shane O'Brien, make life so uncomfortable for him that we flush him out.

"Whoever is supporting him, they are providing him with money and support and false identification.

"We just need one person to make that phone call, someone within the group or on the periphery, maybe a girl he's formed a relationship with, or a tattoo artist. It's possible he might change that tattoo."

O'Brien is on Interpol's global most wanted list.

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