Britain’s most wanted Shane O’Brien jailed for life after ‘savage’ murder

Shane O’Brien, one of Britain’s most wanted fugitives, has been jailed at the Old Bailey.

He has been handed a life sentence with a minimum term of 26 years for the “grotesque” murder of 21-year-old Josh Hanson.

O'Brien faced justice for murder following a three-and-a-half year international manhunt.

The 31 year old slashed the neck of Josh Hanson, 21, in an act of "pitiless savagery" at a west London bar before fleeing the UK in a private plane.

Council worker Mr Hanson clutched his neck as his horrified girlfriend watched blood pour out of a 37cm (14.5ins) gaping wound from his left ear to right chest.

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Father-of-two O'Brien then calmly walked out of RE Bar in Hillingdon in the early hours of October 11 before enlisting the help of a friend called "Vanessa" to secure a private four-seat plane to take him from Biggin Hill airport to the Netherlands, the Old Bailey heard.

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, his trial heard.

After an international manhunt O'Brien was finally arrested in Romania on March 23 and brought back to Britain on April 5.

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During the murder, he had 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.

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