BRITAIN’S most wanted fugitive has finally been caged for slashing a man’s neck in a cold-blooded killing in a London bar.
Shane O’Brien spent three and a half years fleeing an international manhunt after murdering 21-year-old Josh Hanson in an act of “pitiless savagery” at a West London bar.
Shane O’Brien has been found guilty of murder[/caption]
He slashed Josh Hanson in the neck in a bar in Hillingdon[/caption]
Hanson fled the country on a private jet in 2015 after calmly walking out of RE Bar in Hillingdon on October 11 and arranging the flight to the Netherlands.
The 31-year-old grew long hair and a beard and got the tattoo of his child’s name covered over as he used false identity documents to travel to countries including Germany, Belgium and the Czech Republic.
Friends helped the boxing and martial arts fan avoid authorities after he was added to both Europol and Interpol’s most wanted lists, the Old Bailey heard.
O’Brien told jurors he had felt threatened by Mr Hanson’s “very aggressive body language”, saying he felt the roads planner was “ready to attack me” and may have been armed.
At bar closing time, he approached Mr Hanson, asking him “what’s your problem?” before pulling the knife from a pocket of his expensive Canada Goose jacket and fatally slashing his victim.
O’Brien claimed he wanted only to “pretend to attack” Mr Hanson with the blade to “scare him”, adding: “From the bottom of my heart, I did not mean to touch him with that blade.”
But jurors convicted him of murder after 55 minutes of deliberations.
He will be sentenced by judge Nigel Lickley QC on October 17.
After an international manhunt O’Brien was finally arrested in Romania on March 23 and brought back to Britain on April 5.
KILLER ‘CRIED LIKE A BABY’ DURING TATTOO REMOVAL
O’Brien got a tattoo to cover the name of his child as he went on the run[/caption]
The court heard O’Brien “cried like a baby” while getting a tattoo covered over to help evade detection while on the run.
A tattoo artist in Prague named Thiago inked a large piece on O’Brien’s back in 2016 depicting an owl clutching a skull between its talons, concealing the name of one of his children.
He said the 31-year-old was anxious to have the menacing image completed as quickly as possible and appeared evasive and on edge when asked about his background during small talk.
A statement the tattoo artist gave to police said: “When it came to the third session, when I started tattooing he cried like a baby and said it was really painful.
“He said he would come back the next day, as he would spend more time in Prague as he had found a job.
“I asked him what did he do here? He looked like he didn’t want to tell me. I could see he didn’t want to talk about it.”
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The tattoo was completed after a month, and some time after that O’Brien was arrested in the Czech capital for assault in 2017.
A mugshot of him, bearded and long-haired in a bid to change his appearance, was then released which sparked a renewed appeal in the international hunt for him.
But he slipped through the net because he was not flagged as a fugitive as he had been using the alias Enzo Mellonceli, supported by false documentation.
The killer changed his appearance after going on the run[/caption]
CCTV footage showed O’Brien at RE Bar in Hillingdon[/caption]
His victim had been at the bar with his girlfriend on the night[/caption]
The 21-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene[/caption]
The attack took palce at RE Bar in West London[/caption]