TRAGIC: Mum Tracey with son Josh

A DESPERATE mother has appealed for expats to keep their eyes peeled for the man, suspected of killing her son.

Tracey Hanson’s plea comes three years since her only son Josh, 21, was allegedly killed by tattooed Irish gym fanatic Shane O’Brien.

Ahead of the third anniversary of his death in October, she believes O’Brien is ‘very likely’ to be immersed in an expat community like the Costa del Sol.

Her views are backed up by a recent Metropolitan Police report – with a reward offer of more than €50,000 – which claims he may be living around the Marbella area.

“He was definitely spotted in Gibraltar and we have had lots of expats in Spain contact us since a Crimestoppers appeal two years ago.

“I really believe he could be lying low and hiding in somewhere like Mijas or Estepona,” she added.

Josh was stabbed in the neck in a crowded bar, in West London, on October 11, 2015, in what witnesses describe as a random and motiveless attack.

Immediately after the incident O’Brien, 30, from London, the chief suspect in the investigation, managed to flee the UK on a private plane.

WANTED: Shane O’Brien

He was later arrested for GBH, while living in Prague the following year.

However, tragically, police were unable to link him to the UK murder as he was arrested under the false name of Enzo Mellonceli and released on bail. He quickly fled.

Since then he is reported to have been seen in the Netherlands, Nice and Gibraltar, although despite efforts from police there, they were unable to find further evidence.

“I am in the worst kind of pain imaginable”, Tracey told the Olive Press, this week.

“He was an innocent boy. We need a trial and a sentence, and most importantly we need an opportunity for Josh’s voice to be heard.”

HAPPIER TIMES: Tracey wants justice for her son

O’Brien – who has a menacing tattoo on his back of an eagle holding a skull – is now one of Europe’s most wanted criminals with a sum of £50,000 offered for any information leading to his arrest.

“If it wasn’t for the public, Josh’s campaign wouldn’t be out there”, his mother continued.

“We’ve had an extraordinary response on social media and I’ve even had people take O’Brien’s ‘Wanted’ posters on holiday and put them up in some of the remotest places around the world.

“We can’t let what took place in Prague happen again!”

The Met continues to encourage the public to stay vigilant, especially if abroad, and urges anyone who thinks they might recognize O’Brien to contact local police immediately.

He was last noted to have shoulder length dark hair, a full beard and is known to frequent gyms, boxing clubs and nightclubs.

HIs distinctive back tattoo covers a previous tattoo, ‘Shannon 15-04-06’.

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