A 44-year-old man has been charged with the murder of 87-year-old Thomas O’Halloran who was fatally stabbed on August 16 while riding his mobility scooter in Greenford, west London, the Metropolitan Police announced on August 19.
Chief Superintendent Sean Wilson described the attack as an act of “unprovoked violence,” according to the BBC.
The suspect, Lee Byer, a resident of Greenford, was due to appear at Willesden Magistrates Court later on Friday, police said.
This footage from June shows O’Halloran playing an accordion outside a Tesco store in Perivale, West London, to raise money for Ukraine following the Russian invasion.
Local residents who knew O’Halloran said he regularly played music outside Tesco and at the London Underground station in Greenford, local media reported.
Stephen Pound, a former Member of Parliament for Ealing North, which includes Greenford, told GB News that O’Halloran was “a sweet, sweet, lovely man” who was widely known the area and who had been raising money in aid of Ukraine in the weeks before his death.
“Someone like Thomas O’Halloran — he was a very Ealing person, he comes from the Irish community which is very deep in our part of the world. And he was well liked and well loved, but above all, he was one of those characters who would make an area,” Pound said. “The brutality, the cruelty, and the apparent random nastiness and the evil of his death actually really is corrosive to us, and it’s going to take a while for us to recover,” he continued.
Pound said he didn’t know if O’Halloran had an immediate family, but said “he had a Greenford family, and everyone in Greenford and my part of the world is mourning him today.” Credit: Kieran McKenna via Storyful