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Greenford: Man arrested on suspicion of murder after elderly man on mobility scooter knifed to death

·3-min read
Greenford: Man arrested on suspicion of murder after elderly man on mobility scooter knifed to death

Police investigating the fatal stabbing of 87-year-old Thomas O’Halloran in Greenford have made an arrest.

Mr O’Halloran was found with stab wounds in Cayton Road, Greenford, near the A40 in west London, at 4.06pm on Tuesday.

Officers believe Mr O’Halloran was stabbed in Western Avenue shortly before 4.06pm before managing to travel 75 yards on his mobility scooter to Runnymede Gardens, where he flagged down a member of the public for help.

From there, officers responded and gave emergency first aid until the arrival of the London Ambulance Service and London’s Air Ambulance. Despite the best efforts of the emergency services, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mr O’Halloran regularly busked around Greenford playing his accordion and collecting money to help Ukraine defend itself against the Russian invasion.

A 44-year-old man was arrested at a property in Southall in the early hours of Thursday on suspicion of murder. He remains in custody.

Detective Chief Inspector Jim Eastwood, leading 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. I would reiterate their previous request that their privacy is respected by everyone as they continue to come to terms with their tragic loss.”

Meanwhile the community in Greenford has paid tribute to Mr O’Halloran describing him as a “nice old man” who raised a smile with his busking and general neighbourliness.

Hitesh Patel, 62, a shop owner at the nearby Greenford station, told the Standard: “He always had a Ukraine flag on the front of his basket. It said ‘Help for Ukraine’. He was a very good, kind man.

“I saw him just before he was killed heading up to the A40 on his scooter. I was filling up with petrol but I wish I had said something. His wife was also always with him in her mobility scooter.

“He told me he was Irish and had three sons. It’s so sad. I can’t believe anyone would hurt him in broad daylight like that. We will miss him and his playing around here.”

Simran Advani, 25, a senior property manager, said: “We always used to see him on his mobility scooter — he always used to smile, he was a nice old man...This is a very quiet area, you never hear any noise on this street.

“It’s scary for a man in his eighties to be killed here.”

Neighbours said Mr O’Halloran was affectionately known as “Uncle Tom” and had lived in Greenford since the Seventies.

One neighbour said: “I’m really upset. He always used to say hello. I watched his boys grow up on the street.”

Forensic experts were on Wednesday seen loading bags into police vans as dozens of officers guarded the scene. A cordon had been thrown around the site of residential semi-detached houses. It covers a T-junction between Cayton Road and Runnymede Gardens.

Anyone who has information that could help police should call 101 ref CAD 4691/16 Aug