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'Dangerous' man who fled scene of mobility scooter stabbing in London sought by police

87-year-old Thomas O’Halloran was killed in a “shocking act”, Metropolitan Police said.

Undated handout photo issued by the Metropolitan Police of Thomas O'Halloran
Undated handout photo issued by the Metropolitan Police of Thomas O'Halloran
Image: PA

Updated Aug 17th 2022, 7:24 PM

A “DANGEROUS” KNIFE-wielding man who was seen fleeing the scene of a fatal attack on an 87-year-old man in a mobility scooter in London is being sought by police.

Thomas O’Halloran was killed in a “shocking act” of “unprovoked violence”, Metropolitan Police said at the scene in Greenford, west London today.

He was said to be known locally for busking outside Greenford Station and was also known to be raising money for war-torn Ukraine, while his Facebook page says he was originally from Ennistymon in Co Clare.

Met officers and paramedics were called shortly after 4pm on Tuesday to Cayton Road in Greenford to reports of a stabbing and the 87-year-old was declared dead at the scene.

greenford-stabbing CCTV of a man seen running from the scene of the stabbing of Thomas O’Halloran Source: PA

The murder has left O’Halloran’s home community in Clare in deep shock and sadness, Fine Gael Senator Martin Conway has said.

“It is almost unbelievable, that a man of his age using an electronic mobility device, was targeted and murdered in broad daylight. It is truly shocking.”

The senator offered his condolences and said that O’Halloran left Ennistymon for London 71 years ago but travelled home almost every year until about 10 years ago.

 “I sincerely hope the perpetrators are brought to justice as soon as possible,” Senator Conway said.

Detective Chief Inspector Jim Eastwood, who is leading the investigation, said that the man was “clearly a dangerous individual” and asked people not to approach him if he is spotted.

Speaking earlier today, Metropolitan Police Chief Superintendent Sean Wilson said: “I understand that our community will quite rightly be shocked and appalled by this incident, as I am too.

“We are now able to name the man who has tragically lost his life as Mr Thomas O’Halloran, who lived in Greenford and was a very well-known and much-loved member of our community.

“We are appealing to anybody with dashcam or cycle-helmet footage that might have captured this incident to get into contact with us.

“We believe that Mr O’Halloran was stabbed in Western Avenue shortly before 4pm yesterday, Tuesday 16 August, before managing to travel 75 yards or so on his mobility scooter to Runnymede Gardens where he flagged down a member of public for help.”

Wilson said extra police will be patrolling the area for the coming days, adding: “I realise the dreadful impact that incidents like this have on our communities. I would like to reassure you all that we are doing all we can to solve the horrendous crimes that we have seen across London over the last few days.

“I stress that London remains one of the very safest cities in the world.

“I would like to finish by saying our thoughts and prayers remain with Thomas O’Halloran and his family.”

According to a friend who did not want to be named, the deceased was attacked while on his way to busk.

A man who works in a newsagents outside the station told the PA news agency: “He used to play his accordion here.

“He came every day for a long time, at least two years. He usually busked around five o’clock.”

Another shopkeeper said: “He was often outside the station playing his accordion.”

Frasley Coutinho, who lives opposite where the attack happened, said he saw the victim surrounded by a group of young boys.

He said: “I saw a couple of people gathering around him and then he drove past and stopped further up, and then there was a group of young boys around him.”

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