Greenford stabbing: man, 44, arrested over fatal stabbing of pensioner on mobility scooter - what happened?

Thomas O’Halloran, 87, was attacked while riding a mobility scooter on a road in nearby Greenford, in west London, on Tuesday afternoon

A man, 44, has been arrested on suspicion of murder after a pensioner was stabbed to death on his mobility scooter.

He was arrested at an address in Southall, west London, in the early hours of Thursday morning (18 August) and remains in custody, police said.

Thomas O’Halloran, 87, was attacked on a road in nearby Greenford on Tuesday afternoon.

Officers were called to Cayton Road, in Greenford, west London, to reports of a stabbing and despite the efforts of paramedics Mr O’Halloran was declared dead at the scene.

Detectives believe he was stabbed in Western Avenue at around 4pm before managing to travel 75 yards on his mobility scooter to Runnymede Gardens, where he flagged down a member of the public for help.

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Thomas O’Halloran, 87, was stabbed to death in Greenford, west London. Credit: Met Police

Who was the stabbing victim?

Police have named the victim as 87-year-old Thomas O’Halloran.

Ch Supt Sean Wilson gave an update from the crime scene on Wednesday, saying: “Mr O’Halloran had his life needlessly snatched away in a shocking act of unprovoked violence.

“I understand that the community will, quite rightly, be shocked and appalled by this incident as I am too.

“Mr O’Halloran was a very well known and much loved member of our community.

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A man in his 80s has been fatally knifed while riding a mobility scooter in Greenford, west London. Photo: Ronaldo Butrus

“My thoughts are with his family and friends. I’d like to appeal for their privacy to be respected while they come to terms with their loss.

Simran Advani, 25, a senior property manager who lives near to where the stabbing took place, said she often saw an elderly man on his mobility scooter who “always used to smile”.

She told the PA news agency: “He was a nice old man. He often goes round the block, he always went on the road not the pavement.”

The police’s prime suspect after an 87-year-old man Thomas O’Halloran was stabbed to death. Credit: Met Police

Have the police made any arrests - is there a suspect?

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A man, 44, has been arrested on suspicion of the murder of Mr O’Halloran in west London.

He was arrested at an address in Southall, west London, in the early hours of Thursday, the Metropolitan Police said.

Detective Chief Inspector Jim Eastwood, who leads the investigation, said: “I would like to thank the public for their overwhelming support following this horrific incident.

“As a result of the release of a CCTV image yesterday, an arrest has been made and this investigation is progressing at pace.

“Mr O’Halloran’s family have been updated with this development and continue to be supported by specially trained officers.”

It comes after police on Wednesday revealed images of a man who was seen running from the scene armed with a knife.

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He was wearing grey shorts, a dark coloured t-shirt, a white baseball cap and white patterned builder style gloves.

Police images of the man suspected of attacking Thomas O’Halloran. Credit: Met Police

Det Ch Insp Jim Eastwood, who is leading the investigation, said at the time:“We are keen to identify the man in the CCTV images as a matter of urgency.

“He is clearly a dangerous individual and people are advised not to approach him, but to call us immediately on 999 if they know him or have any information regarding his whereabouts.

“My team and I have been working around the clock to bring Mr O’Halloran’s killer to justice, but we need your help. If you have any information at all that will assist us with our investigation – no matter how small – please contact us or alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously.

“I’d also appeal to anyone who might have dash cam or cycle helmet footage that might have captured the incident to get in touch with us.”

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A third image of the main suspect has been released by police. Credit: Met Police

Was the stabbing victim riding a mobility scooter when he was attacked?

Police believe Mr O’Halloran travelled “75 yards or so on his mobility scooter” after he was stabbed in Greenford.

In an interview with reporters from the scene, Ch Supt Sean Wilson said: “Detectives from the Met’s specialist crime command, with the assistance of my officers, have been working tirelessly over the last 20 hours to understand what has happened and to identify who is responsible for this horrific crime.

“They have been following up a number of inquiries, including the reviewing of CCTV and forensic examination of the area, however, we do need your help.

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

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Police at the scene near to Cayton Road, Greenford in west London, where an elderly man who had been riding a mobility scooter was stabbed to death. Credit: PA

“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.

“So please, if you saw anything, we do need to hear from you.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “I’m devastated that an elderly man was killed in a horrific attack this evening. My thoughts are with the victim’s loved ones.

“I’m in close contact with Met Police who have an additional uniformed presence in the area. I urge anyone with information to come forward.”

So far this year there have been 58 homicides in London, including this stabbing of a pensioner on his mobility scooter.

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Police at the scene near to Cayton Road, Greenford in west London, where an elderly man who had been riding a mobility scooter was stabbed to death. Credit: PA

What have neighbours said about the Greenford stabbing?

Ms Advani added: “This is a very quiet area, you never hear any noise on this street. It’s scary for a man in his 80s to be killed here. Most people on this road are elderly, you never hear any noise and never see any young people.”

Forensic experts in blue overalls could be seen loading bags containing various items into police vans as dozens of officers guarded the scene.

A police cordon had been thrown over the site of residential semi-detached houses. It covers a T-junction between Cayton Road and Runnymede Gardens, which runs parallel to the busy A40.

Chief Superintendent Sean Wilson speaking to the media at the scene near to Cayton Road, Greenford, in west London, where Thomas O’Halloran, 87, who had been riding a mobility scooter, was stabbed to death. Credit: PA

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Two blue, yellow and white crime scene tents marked “MPS” were pitched up next to the A40 on Runnymede Gardens, where forensic officers were working under bright lights on the road surface.

Another neighbour, who did not wish to give his name, told PA: “It’s not nice, it’s normally quiet here. It’s out of the way.

“I feel sorry for his family – I’m not entirely shocked with the amount of stabbing you hear on the news.

“There are not many people coming and going, there’s not really any foot traffic. There’s playing fields and a school nearby. A lot of people park their cars here.”

He said there was a bus stop nearby, but “other than that not many people are walking around here”.

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Ch Supt Wilson added:“Detectives from the Specialist Crime Command, with the assistance of my officers, have been working tirelessly over the last 20 hours to understand what has happened and to identify who is responsible for this horrific crime.

“The public will see extra officers patrolling the area over the coming days. They are there to help and protect you – so if you have any concerns or information that you want to share then please approach them.

“I realise the impact incidents like this have on our communities, but I’d like to reassure you that we are doing all we can to solve the horrendous crimes we’ve seen across London over the last few days.

“I stress that London remains one of the safest cities in the world, but we need your help and so please come forward with any information you have about this awful incident or any other violent crimes.

“Our thoughts and prayers remain with Thomas O’Halloran and his family at this time.”