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UK’s most wanted fugitive gets life for ‘grotesque’ murder

No remorse: Shane O’Brien PICTURE: MET POLICE/PA

ONE of Britain’s most wanted fugitives, who was on the run for three-and-a-half years, has been jailed for life.

Shane O’Brien, 31, slashed the neck of Josh Hanson, 21, in an act of ‘pitiless savagery’ at a west London bar before calmly leaving and fleeing the UK in a private plane.

The father-of-two grew long hair and a beard, and had a tattoo of his daughter’s name covered over as he used fake documents in Germany, Belgium and the Czech Republic.

Kind and generous: Josh Hanson

He was arrested in Romania and brought back to Britain in April. He was found guilty yesterday of Mr Hanson’s murder after an Old Bailey jury deliberated for 55 minutes.

Jailing him for a minimum of 26 years, Judge Nigel Lickley QC said: ‘This was a grotesque, violent and totally unnecessary attack on an innocent man.’

There were shouts of ‘coward’ as O’Brien was led from the dock.

In court, Mr Hanson’s mother Tracey had tearfully said her son was a ‘considerate, kind and generous’ man taken ‘in the most horrific way possible’.

His grandmother Mary, 80, said: ‘I cry for him every day, what he went through and how he suffered.’

CCTV of the attack on roads planner Mr Hanson on October 11, 2015, showed him stumbling as his girlfriend watched blood pour from a 14.5in wound.

O’Brien said he only wanted to scare Mr Hanson after feeling threatened by his ‘very aggressive body language’.

Speaking outside court, Ms Hanson, said: ‘This is a mother’s worst nightmare and one I will never wake up from. I will never hold him again. Today’s sentence goes some way to giving us the space we need to start to breathe.

‘Josh’s memory will live on not only in our hearts but through the Josh Hanson Trust. If we can save one life, keep one son by his mother’s side, ensure one person gets home safely when they otherwise wouldn’t have, then we will have made the world a more bearable place.’