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‘Angry pig’ hinders water pipe repairs and causes train disruption

Broken water main

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Network Rail

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The water main burst beside the railway track in Surbiton, south-west London

An “angry pig” confronted engineers in a London street, delaying their repair of a burst water main before it was led away with a bag of crisps.

The pipe burst on Lamberts Road, Surbiton, damaging nearby railway equipment, which caused train delays.

Thames Water said their efforts to reach a valve to cut the water were initially hindered by “a large pig” which was “acting aggressively”.

It is not known what flavour crisps were used to lead it away.

Damage caused by the flooding of tracks and signalling equipment meant limited trains have been able to run along the line.

Disruption is currently expected to last until 16:00 GMT although Network Rail said engineers were carrying out inspections.

Thames Water said engineers “were quickly on site” to deal with the burst 120cm (48 in) pipe, but they had been unable to initially carry out the work because of the pig, which is thought to be someone’s pet.

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Man admits to trying to rob Arsenal stars Mesut Özil and Sead Kolasinac

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Media captionFootage posted online showed Sead Kolasinac fighting off an attacker

A second man has admitted trying to rob Arsenal footballers Mesut Özil and Sead Kolasinac in a moped ambush.

Jordan Northover, 26, pleaded guilty at Harrow Crown Court to attempting to steal watches from the pair in Hampstead, north-west London.

His co-accused Ashley Smith, 30, of Archway in North London, admitted his role in the crime in October.

CCTV footage showed Bosnian defender Kolasinac chasing off the two masked attackers on 25 July

In the video, that circulated on social media, 26-year-old Kolasinac is seen fighting off two men who are wielding knives.

He can be seen jumping out of a vehicle to confront the masked men who had pulled alongside the car on mopeds.

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Reuters

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Arsenal Football Club said both Sead Kolasinac and Mesut Özil were fine after the incident

In the footage, both carjackers were seen to be armed and were filmed brandishing knives at full-back Kolasinac.

World Cup winner Özil can also be seen in his black Mercedes G class jeep before he reportedly took refuge in a Turkish restaurant.

Kolasinac and Germany midfielder Özil were left out of the Arsenal side ahead of the opening weekend of the Premier League campaign after the incident.

Judge Rosa Dean said Smith would be sentenced at Harrow Crown Court on Friday.

Northover will be sentenced at a later date.

Özil told the Athletic sports site that he was scared for his wife Amine as the attackers pursued his car.

“Sead’s reaction was really, really brave because he attacked one of the attackers,” he said.

“I tried to move the car, block them, escape, but each time they would be there. My wife was extremely scared.”

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Grenfell Tower fire: Response must be ‘national emergency’, say survivors

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Media captionWhat do survivors and bereaved families want from the inquiry?

A survivors’ group has welcomed a report on the Grenfell Tower fire, calling for the government to treat its response as “a national emergency”.

The report, published on Wednesday, followed the first phase of an inquiry, looking at what happened on the night of 14 June 2017, when 72 people died.

It was critical of the London Fire Brigade’s response and said the tower did not meet building regulations.

The LFB said it was “disappointed” by some of the criticism of individuals.

Campaign group Grenfell United said the report showed “the immediate and real dangers” of “highly combustible cladding and insulation”.

“Lives are at risk and the government need to treat this as a national emergency,” the group said.

The report made 46 recommendations, including improvements in training for fire brigade staff and the development of national guidelines for evacuating high-rise buildings.

Grenfell United called for the recommendations to be implemented in full, saying they would save lives.

The report condemned the LFB for “serious shortcomings” and systemic failures in its response to the fire.

Inquiry chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick said the absence of a plan to evacuate the tower was a “major omission” by the LFB and more lives could have been saved had the “stay-put” policy been abandoned sooner.

Grenfell United responded: “It is heartbreaking to read that more of our loved ones could have been saved that night if the building was evacuated earlier.”

At an emotional press conference, relatives of 20 victims of the fire called for an overhaul of the LFB, saying its leadership should resign and even face prosecution.

Nazanin Aghlani, who lost two family members in the fire, said some firefighters displayed a “serious lack of common sense” and failed to see “what was so vivid in front of them”.

“If a fire happened tonight the same thing would happen again,” she said.

‘Too little too late’

The report said evidence from London Fire Brigade Commissioner Dany Cotton that she would not have changed anything about the brigade’s response was “insensitive”.

Ms Cotton said many of the recommendations were welcome and would be “carefully considered”.

She expressed her “deepest sorrow at not being able to save all those who died in the Grenfell Tower fire”.

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Media captionLondon Fire Brigade chief Dany Cotton: “We are truly sorry we couldn’t save everyone’s life that night”

She added: “We welcome the chairman’s recognition of the courage, commitment and bravery of firefighters on the night, but we are disappointed at some of the criticism of individual staff members who were placed in completely unprecedented circumstances and faced the most unimaginable conditions while trying to save the lives of others.”

However, Natasha Elcock, chairwoman of Grenfell United who was rescued with her six-year-old daughter from the 11th floor, said Dany Cotton’s statement was “too little too late”.

“She stood up in the inquiry, in a room full of bereaved and survivors and said there’s nothing she would do to change that night,” she told the BBC.

“If she’d expressed that sorrow that day in that room, that potentially would have washed with us today.”

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Reuters

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White doves were released at a memorial service earlier this year to mark two years since the tragedy

Grenfell United expressed concern at the report’s finding that the LFB were “at risk of not learning the lessons from Grenfell”, adding that firefighters were “let down by their training, procedures, equipment and leadership”.

Other issues highlighted in the report included:

  • A lack of training in how to “recognise the need for an evacuation or how to organise one”
  • Incident commanders “of relatively junior rank” being unable to change strategy
  • Control room officers lacking training on when to advise callers to evacuate
  • An assumption that crews would reach callers, resulting in “assurances which were not well founded”
  • Communication between the control room and those on the ground being “improvised, uncertain and prone to error”
  • A lack of an organised way to share information within the control room, meaning officers had “no overall picture of the speed or pattern of fire spread”

In the House of Commons, MPs held a minutes’ silence to remember victims of the fire, before a debate on the inquiry.

Boris Johnson told MPs that survivors and the bereaved had been “overlooked and ignored” before the fire and “shamefully failed” afterwards.

The second phase of the inquiry will focus on wider circumstances of the fire, including the design of the building.

While this was not the focus of the first phase, the report found there was “compelling evidence” external walls of the building failed to comply with building regulations and “actively promoted” the spread of fire.

It said the principal reason the flames shot up the building so fiercely was the combustible aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding with polyethylene cores which acted as a “source of fuel”.

Grenfell United said the second phase of the inquiry “must now focus on where responsibility for the devastating refurbishment [of the building] lies”, with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, the tenant management organisation and the companies involved facing “serious questions”.

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Josh Hanson murder: Britain’s ‘most wanted’ man jailed for life

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Media captionDet Ch Insp Noel McHugh explains how he managed to track Shane O’Brien

A killer once dubbed one of Britain’s most wanted fugitives has been jailed for at least 26 years.

Shane O’Brien, 31, evaded police for three-and-a-half years after he slashed Josh Hanson’s neck in Hillingdon, west London, on 11 October 2015.

He fled the UK, changed his appearance and moved around Europe before his extradition from Romania in April.

O’Brien, who jurors found guilty of murder last month, was given a life sentence at the Old Bailey.

CCTV released during the trial showed 21-year-old Mr Hanson clutching his neck and stumbling as blood poured out of a 37cm (14.5in) wound.

‘Abrupt, vicious, violent’

After the killing, jurors heard, O’Brien was seen “calmly” walking out of the bar.

He made his way to Ashford, Kent, where a contact had chartered a private four-seater plane to take him to the Netherlands.

The killer grew a beard and long hair and changed his tattoos as he travelled through countries including Germany, Belgium and the Czech Republic, the court was told.

In 2017, the father-of-two was arrested over a dispute in a Prague nightclub but gave police a false name and fled while on bail.

The trial heard the 31-year-old was added to Europol and Interpol’s most wanted lists but still managed to lay low.

However, he was eventually caught by Romanian authorities after he contacted Scotland Yard to arrange a possible meeting, the jury heard.

Sentencing the father-of-two, Judge Nigel Lickley QC called it “a grotesque, violent and totally unnecessary attack on an innocent man”.

“The reason why you behaved in such a way may never be fully explained. You, however, know the reason,” he said.

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Metropolitan Police

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Josh Hanson was pronounced dead at the RE bar in Hillingdon

In a victim impact statement, Mr Hanson’s mother Tracey described her son as being “considerate, kind and generous”.

“He was taken from us in the most horrific way possible – suddenly, abruptly, viciously and violently,” she said.

The victim’s sister, Brooke, said the 21-year-old “was not just my brother, he was my best friend”, and described his “infectious smile” and “magical presence”.

She told the court she had suffered from anxiety and post-traumatic stress since the killing and found herself always wondering if she could have protected him from the “evil” that took him away.

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EPA

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The 31-year-old was eventually detained by authorities in Romania

During the trial, O’Brien had claimed he felt threatened by Mr Hanson’s “very aggressive body language” and had only meant to scare his victim.

There were angry shouts of “coward” from the public gallery as he was led away from the dock.

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Extinction Rebellion protests continue in London despite ban

An Extinction Rebellion protester on the Department for Transport

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Getty Images

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Extinction Rebellion is calling on the government to explain its plan to meet a net-zero emissions target

Extinction Rebellion activists are continuing protests despite a London-wide ban by police.

The group says it has taken initial steps towards a judicial review of the ban. Lawyers and politicians have also criticised the move.

Meanwhile climate change protesters targeted the Department for Transport and MI5 on Tuesday morning.

A government spokeswoman said protests “should not disrupt people’s day-to-day lives”.

Extinction Rebellion’s co-founder, Gail Bradbrook, was arrested after climbing on to the entrance of the Department for Transport on Tuesday morning. Police also cleared further protesters from outside the building.

Activists have also been arrested on Millbank outside MI5’s headquarters, where a small group had gathered. Two men briefly sat in the middle of the road before being moved by officers.

The Metropolitan Police began clearing protesters from Trafalgar Square on Monday evening following the announcement of new restrictions under Section 14 of the Public Order Act, which required activists to stop their protests in central London by 21:00 BST or risk arrest.

The force said it decided to impose the rules after “continued breaches” of conditions which limited the demonstrations to Trafalgar Square.

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Getty Images

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Protesters who camped out in Trafalgar Square have now been moved on

Extinction Rebellion said it had taken the “first steps” towards a judicial review of the Met’s “disproportionate and unprecedented attempt to curtail peaceful protest”.

“Our lawyers have delivered a ‘Letter before Action’ to the Met and asked for an immediate response,” a statement read.

Tobias Garnett, a human rights lawyer working for the movement, said the letter warned police to withdraw the order, giving them a deadline of 1430 BST to respond, or else the group would file a claim in the High Court.

“We will be looking for an expedited hearing either today or tomorrow morning,” he added.

The Met confirmed it had received “pre-action judicial review correspondence” alleging Human Rights Act breaches.

“The letter will be reviewed by the Met’s Directorate of Legal Services, and we will respond to the claimant in due course,” a statement read, adding it would be “inappropriate” to comment further.

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Getty Images

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There was a large police presence at the Department for Transport

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has said he is “seeking further information” about the decision to impose the ban and why it was necessary.

“I believe the right to peaceful and lawful protest must always be upheld,” he said.

A spokeswoman for the government said the UK was “already taking world-leading action to combat climate change”.

The statement added: “While we share people’s concerns about global warming, and respect the right to peaceful protest, it should not disrupt people’s day-to-day lives.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel tweeted that “supporting our [police] is vital” and accused the Labour Party of supporting “law breakers”.

‘Overreach of powers’

Meanwhile, lawyers have also questioned whether the ban by police is legal.

Anti-Brexit barrister Jo Maugham QC said the move was “a huge overreach” of police powers, while human rights lawyer Adam Wagner described it as “draconian and extremely heavy-handed”.

Mr Wagner added in a tweet: “We have a right to free speech under article 10 and to free assembly under article 11 of the (annex to the) Human Rights Act. These can only be interfered with if the interference is lawful and proportionate. I think the police may have gone too far here.”

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott tweeted: “This ban is completely contrary to Britain’s long-held traditions of policing by consent, freedom of speech, and the right to protest.”

Allan Hogarth, of Amnesty International, issued a statement saying the ban was “an unlawful restriction on the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly”.

A number of demonstrations have been staged across the capital by Extinction Rebellion, which is calling on the government to do more to tackle climate change.

The protests were due to last two weeks and have led to more than 1,400 arrests.

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PA Media

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Police remove an Extinction Rebellion protester from Trafalgar Square in central London

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PA Media

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Protesters gathered their belongings as police removed the last of the Extinction Rebellion demonstration

The Met said there had been 1,457 arrests by 08:45 BST on Tuesday, in connection with the nine days of Extinction Rebellion protests in London.

Last week, the Home Office confirmed to BBC News that it was reviewing police powers around protests in response to recent demonstrations.

What are the rules around protests?

Police have the powers to ban a protest under the Public Order Act 1986, if a senior officer has reasonable belief that it may cause “serious disruption to the life of the community”.

Police are also under a duty to balance the task of keeping the streets open with the right freedom of assembly under the Article 11 of the Human Rights Act 1998 and freedom of expression, under Article 10. These rights are not absolute – the state can curtail them.

However, the BBC’s home affairs correspondent Dominic Casciani said: “The test, if and when it gets to a court battle, is whether police action was proportionate to threat and only what was strictly necessary.”

By law, the organiser of a public march must tell the police certain information in writing six days in advance.

Police have the power to limit or change the route of the march or set other conditions.

A Section 14 notice issued under the Public Order Act allows police to impose conditions on a static protest and individuals who fail to comply with these can be arrested.



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Extinction Rebellion: Police order activists to move or face arrest

Extinction Rebellion activists intending to continue protesting in central London “must” go to Trafalgar Square or risk arrest, police have warned.

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PA Media

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Demonstrators who refuse to move to a specified area of Trafalgar Square face arrest

Police enforced a Section 14 notice to stop “serious disruption” to communities, after officers removed those camped out in Westminster.

Police have made 471 arrests over the two days of protests.

The prime minister has described the activists as “unco-operative crusties”.

But campaigner and TV presenter Chris Packham said they are “the concerned people of the world.”

Extinction Rebellion activists are protesting in cities around the world, including Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam and Sydney, and are calling for urgent action on global climate and wildlife emergencies.

Protesters say they are occupying 11 sites in central London and people have travelled from across the UK to take part in the demonstrations.

Activists glued themselves to a government department and to the underside of a lorry outside another.

A protester who attached himself to the top of a trailer with a bike lock for more than 28 hours in Trafalgar Square was arrested and removed from the area by five police officers.

The Metropolitan Police said at 15:20 BST on Tuesday there had been 471 total arrests over the two days, including 152 on Tuesday.

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PA Media

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Police have made 471 total arrests over two days of protests

Police have enforced a Section 14 Notice of the Public Order Act 1986, forcing those who wish to continue protesting to move to the pedestrianised area around Nelson’s column in Trafalgar square.

Anyone suspected of breaching the condition – which has no time limit – could be arrested and prosecuted, police said.

A Section 14 order allows the police to impose conditions on a static protest – where campaigners are gathered in one place, rather than marching.

To impose the condition, police must have evidence that serious disruption is being caused to communities.

Activists have attached themselves to the underside of a lorry, which is blocking the road outside the Home Office.

The vehicle is parked on Marsham Street, where hundreds of protesters set up camp overnight. One activist climbed on top of the lorry and set up a tent.

There was a large police presence in the area on Tuesday, with pictures showing officers removing activists from the lorry.

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Media captionBoris Johnson’s comments came as he attended a book launch

Protesters have also glued themselves to the Department for Transport building – a tactic used in similar protests in April.

Two activists have attached themselves to the doors of the building, while others demonstrate outside.

Meanwhile, a group have placed 800 potted trees outside Parliament, in Old Palace Yard, as they call on the government to plant billions of trees across the UK.

Trees have been dedicated to MPs, and protesters hope they will use them to reforest the country.

Sean Clay, 36, from Newcastle, told the BBC: “Planting trees would go a long way to restore the habitats we have lost as well as absorbing carbon emissions.”

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Activists have created a “fledgling forest”

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Reuters

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Labour MP Kate Green said she was the first to collect a tree

Asked about Boris Johnson’s description of demonstrators, Packham told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme: “I was there yesterday. I met farmers, I met teachers, I met scientists, I met lawyers, I met grandparents, I met mothers and fathers, and I met children.

“These are the concerned people of the world.”

Mr Johnson had suggested while attending a book launch on Monday that the demonstrators should abandon their “hemp-smelling bivouacs” and stop blocking roads.

Protester Claudia Fisher, 57, from Brighton said campaigners would like to discuss their views with the prime minister.

Responding to his description of activists as “unco-operative crusties”, Ms Fisher said: “We are a little bit crusty, I’ll put my hands up to it, after a night sleeping out on the grounds of Whitehall, but we’re not uncooperative.

“We’re actually very cooperative. We… would really like to hear what he has to say, and we’d really like him to… hear what we have to say.”

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PA Media

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Activists set up tents throughout Westminster, including Horseferry Road

John Curran, a 49-year-old former detective sergeant for the Metropolitan Police, was one of the protesters who camped overnight.

Mr Curran, who has a three-year-old daughter, says he was arrested while protesting with Extinction Rebellion in April, and is willing to be arrested again.

He said: “Clearly there is some frustration (for the police) that they probably have better things to be doing, and I agree, but the responsibility for that must lie with the government.

“Take action, and we won’t have to be here.”

Image caption

A food van served porridge to protesters who stayed near to Parliament Square overnight

Activists camped at Smithfield Market overnight, but say they allowed traders to operate.

‘A last resort’

By Becky Morton, BBC News

The only rush hour traffic around Parliament this morning came from cyclists, who were cheered as they passed encampments of protesters dotted around Westminster.

Roads have been blocked by tents and gazebos, with protesters from all over the country camping overnight.

Bowls of porridge were served from food trucks, while volunteers said some local businesses had donated pastries.

One of those who spent the night here is Mikaela Loach, 21, who travelled down by bus from Edinburgh with a friend.

She said taking part in this week’s action was a “last resort”.

“I’ve spoken to my local MP, I’ve taken part in protests, I just feel like I haven’t been listened to,” she said.

“I have been changing things in my lifestyle for a long time to try and be more eco-friendly, but I had a realisation a few months ago that it doesn’t matter if I go vegan or zero waste if the government doesn’t do anything.

“There need to be big structural changes.”

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BBC Sport

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Extinction Rebellion protesters settled in for the night outside Westminster Abbey

In an update at 14:44 BST on Tuesday, Transport for London (Tfl) said road closures included the Strand in both directions between Lancaster Place and Trafalgar Square; Trafalgar Square itself and Whitehall in both directions.

Also closed are Parliament Square; Marsham Street; Horseferry Road; and Millbank in both directions between Parliament Square and Horseferry Road.

All bridges remain open, however there is no access from Westminster Bridge into Parliament Square.

Extinction Rebellion claims protests in the capital will be five times bigger than similar events in April, which saw more than 1,100 people were arrested.

What is Extinction Rebellion?

Man holding a Extinction Rebellion placard

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Extinction Rebellion facts

  • 2025year when the group aims for zero carbon emissions

  • 298,000followers on Facebook

  • 1,130people arrested over April’s London protests

  • 2018year the group was founded

Source: BBC Research

Extinction Rebellion (XR for short) wants governments to declare a “climate and ecological emergency” and take immediate action to address climate change.

It describes itself as an international “non-violent civil disobedience activist movement”.

Extinction Rebellion was launched in 2018 and organisers say it now has groups willing to take action in dozens of countries.

In April, the group held a large demonstration in London that brought major routes in the city to a standstill.

Read more here.

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Josh Hanson death: ‘Most wanted’ man guilty of Hillingdon bar murder

Josh Hanson

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Metropolitan Police

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Josh Hanson was pronounced dead at the scene of the attack at the RE bar in Hillingdon

One of Britain’s most wanted fugitives has been convicted of murder after a three-and-a-half-year international manhunt.

Shane O’Brien slashed 21-year-old Josh Hanson in the neck after a brief conversation in RE Bar in Hillingdon, west London, in October 2015.

The 31-year-old was on Interpol and Europol’s “most wanted” lists before he was extradited from Romania in April.

An Old Bailey jury deliberated for 55 minutes before finding him guilty.

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Met Police

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Shane O’Brien was arrested in Romania on 23 March and extradited to the UK on 5 April

Council worker Mr Hanson was stabbed in front of his girlfriend and suffered a 37cm (14.5ins) wound from his left ear to the right side of his chest on 11 October 2015, the Old Bailey heard.

O’Brien walked calmly out the bar before enlisting the help of his friend “Vanessa” to secure a private plane to take him from Biggin Hill airport to the Netherlands, the jury was told.

He grew long hair and a beard and got a tattoo of his child’s name covered over.

He then used false identity documents to travel to countries including Germany, Belgium and the Czech Republic.

Friends helped O’Brien avoid police after he was added to both Europol and Interpol’s most wanted lists, his trial heard.

Despite being arrested in Prague in 2017 for assault, he managed to slip through the net after using the alias Enzo Melloncelli and fleeing when released on bail.

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Met Police

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O’Brien calmly walked out of RE Bar in Hillingdon in the early hours of 11 October after the attack, the court heard

O’Brien told jurors he had felt threatened by Mr Hanson’s “very aggressive body language” on the night of the attack. He said he felt Mr Hanson was “ready to attack”.

At bar closing time he approached Mr Hanson and asked him, “what’s your problem?”, before pulling the knife from his jacket pocket and fatally slashing his victim.

‘Broken beyond repair’

He claimed he wanted to “pretend to attack” Mr Hanson in a bid to “scare him”.

“From the bottom of my heart, I did not mean to touch him with that blade,” he added.

Commenting on the verdict, Mr Hanson’s mum Tracey said: “The aftermath of Josh’s murder has left us broken beyond repair as Josh was taken from us in the most horrific way possible – suddenly, abruptly, viciously and violently.

“Nothing will ever erase the CCTV footage of Josh’s final moments from our minds as he was struck with a knife so horrifically and callously, along with his suffering as he tried to fight for his life.”

Det Ch Insp Noel McHugh, of Met Police, said in a statement: “This is the day I, and certainly Josh’s family, almost feared would never come – O’Brien finally convicted of that unprovoked and vicious attack in a bar in Eastcote close to four years ago. And we still do not have a clear answer – why?

“O’Brien is an extremely dangerous individual who murdered a young man in the prime of his life in a packed bar for no reason whatsoever.”

He will be sentenced on 17 October.

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