Man appears in court charged over ‘vicious’ fatal knife attack on pensioner on mobility scooter

19 August 2022, 06:40 | Updated: 19 August 2022, 14:13

A 44-year-old man has been charged with the murder of 87-year-old Thomas O'Halloran
A 44-year-old man has been charged with the murder of 87-year-old Thomas O'Halloran. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

A man charged with the murder of 87-year-old Thomas O'Halloran, who was stabbed in the chest in a "vicious attack" on a mobility scooter, has been remanded in custody.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Lee Byer, 44, appeared at Willesden Magistrates' Court on Friday over the alleged killing of Mr O'Halloran, in Greenford, west London, on Tuesday.

Byer, from Southall, west London, stood in the dock wearing grey prison-issue tracksuit bottoms and T-shirt, with a sweater tied around his waist.

He spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and that he was of no fixed abode.

Malik Aldeiri, defending, made no application for bail.

Byer was not asked to enter pleas to charges of murder and possession of an offensive weapon - a large knife - and was remanded in custody by Deputy District Judge Ross Cohen ahead of his next appearance at the Old Bailey on Tuesday.

Mr O'Halloran was fatally stabbed in Greenford
Mr O'Halloran was fatally stabbed in Greenford. Picture: Alamy

Outlining the case against Byer, prosecutor Louise Ahmad described the alleged murder as a "vicious attack".

She said Mr O'Halloran, a grandfather who was known "throughout the local community", collapsed from his mobility scooter outside Runnymede Gardens having been stabbed in the chest.

He was found by a member of the public, who telephoned for assistance, she added.

Pensioner fatally stabbed in Greenford shown playing his accordion for Ukraine

Byer looked at members of the media in court and covered his face with his hand during the hearing, which lasted less than four minutes.

The judge said he faces a bail hearing at the Old Bailey next week and is expected to face a plea and trial preparation hearing at the same court on September 16.

"This is a matter this court has no power to deal with and accordingly I am sending both matters... to the Central Criminal Court," he told Byer.

Mr O'Halloran, originally from Co Clare in the west of Ireland, was a passionate musician and described as "very popular" in Greenford, often busking for charity.

Footage on social media shows him busking to raise money for Ukraine months before the killing.

Officers were called to Cayton Road in Greenford, west London, on Tuesday to reports of a stabbing, with Mr O'Halloran was declared dead at the scene.

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

Police said Mr O'Halloran's family had been informed of the murder charge and "have asked for their privacy to be respected at this very difficult time".

He is survived by his family, including his sister, two brothers, nieces and nephews.

Fine Gael senator Martin Conway said Mr O'Halloran visited Ireland regularly and that his death has left his home community in Ennistymon in "deep shock and sadness".

"Tommy, as he was known, left Ennistymon for London 71 years ago but travelled home almost every year until about 10 years ago," he said.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Mideast Tensions Key Events

Military chief says Israel will respond to Iran’s missile strike

Tzipi Hotovely warned that the UK could be the next target of Iran without deterrence

‘We want deterrence, not revenge’: Israel’s ambassador to the UK warns Iran ‘won’t hesitate to attack London'

A moment's silence has been held 35 years on from the Hillsborough disaster.

Liverpool falls silent to mark 35th anniversary of Hillsborough disaster as 97 balloons released in memory of victims

Israel must show it is 'prepared to go berserk' on Iran security minister says as Rishi Sunak urges 'restraint'

Israel must show it is 'prepared to go berserk' on Iran, security minister says, as Rishi Sunak urges 'restraint'

Maryland-Bridge-Collapse

Ship that caused Baltimore bridge collapse ‘had apparent electrical issues’

Trump-Hush Money

Prosecutors seek Trump fine over social media posts they say violate gag order

France Sudan Conference

World donors pledge more than two billion euros in aid for war-stricken Sudan

Prince Harry suffers major blow as he loses High Court appeal amid police protection row

Prince Harry suffers major blow as he loses High Court appeal amid police protection row

Climate NOAA Coral Bleaching

Scientists say coral reefs around the world are experiencing mass bleaching

Donald Trump

Trump arrives at court for start of jury selection in historic hush money trial

The attacker is 15, police say

Teenager arrested after Sydney church stabbing, as police officer's jaw broken in 'riots'

Angry crowds gather outside Christ the Good Shepherd Church in Sydney following a stabbing

'Riot' breaks out after second Sydney stabbing with church goers holding attacker 'captive'

Rishi Sunak condemned Iran's actions

Rishi Sunak says Iran sought to 'plunge the Middle East into new crisis' with Israel attack as he urges 'restraint'

Supreme Court Thomas

Justice Thomas misses Supreme Court session with no explanation

Una Crown pictured with her husband Jack

Pensioner arrested on suspicion of murdering 86-year-old Una Crown, who was found dead at home 11 years ago

London's public transport network is vast and comprehensive, but not without its faults...

London's most ‘bizarre and infuriating’ transport quirks including a five-metre cycle lane and ‘labyrinth’ Tube station