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Old Bailey

May 2023 date set for provisional trial on murder of Thomas O'Halloran

The judge set a plea hearing for November with a provisional trial of up to three weeks in May 2023.

A MAN ACCUSED of repeatedly stabbing Thomas O’Halloran in the neck, chest and abdomen faces a provisional trial next spring.

Lee Byer, 44, allegedly killed 87-year-old Thomas O’Halloran in what a prosecutor has described as a “vicious attack” in Greenford, west London, on 16 August.

Shortly after 4pm, police received a 999 call from a member of the public who found the victim travelling in his scooter from a passageway that runs between Runneymede Gardens and Welland Gardens.

At that time, O’Halloran was able to tell the passer-by that he had been stabbed, although wounds to his body were clearly visible.

The police arrived within minutes to find O’Halloran had collapsed and was being helped by members of the public.

Police and medics took over first aid but he was pronounced dead at the scene at 4.54pm.

A post-mortem examination found the grandfather, who was known “throughout the local community”, had sustained multiple stab wounds to the neck, chest and abdomen.

Byer, of no fixed address, was charged on 19 August with O’Halloran’s murder and possessing a large knife.

Today he made his first appearance at the Old Bailey before the Recorder of London, Judge Mark Lucraft QC.

The defendant appeared by video link from custody at Belmarsh prison wearing a grey tracksuit.

Judge Lucraft set a plea hearing for 8 November with a provisional trial of up to three weeks from 2 May 2023.

He remanded the defendant into custody.

HalloeNMEMORIAL A woman lays flowers on Western Avenue Frontage Road in Greenford Kirsty O'Connor / PA Kirsty O'Connor / PA / PA

O’Halloran, originally from Co Clare was a passionate musician and described as “very popular” in Greenford, often busking for charity.

Footage on social media shows him busking to raise money for Ukraine months before the killing.

He is survived by his family, including his sister, two brothers, nieces and nephews.

Fine Gael senator Martin Conway said O’Halloran visited Ireland regularly and that his death has left his home community in Ennistymon in “deep shock and sadness”.

“Tommy, as he was known, left Ennistymon for London 71 years ago but travelled home almost every year until about 10 years ago,” he said.

The Irish community in London arranged a musical tribute to O’Halloran yesterday, with over 100 people – many wearing GAA jerseys-  gathering at Cayton Road in Greenford.

The London Irish Centre will be holding an accordion session this evening and lighting candles.

Press Association