Man arrested over fatal stabbing of ‘very popular’ 87-year-old on mobility scooter

A 44-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of the murder of 87-year-old Thomas O’Halloran on a mobility scooter 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 is 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.”

It comes after officers were called to Cayton Road in Greenford, west London, on Tuesday to reports of a stabbing and Mr O’Halloran was declared dead at the scene.

Detectives believe Mr O’Halloran 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.

Mr O’Halloran was originally from Ennistymon, Co Clare, in the west of Ireland.

The local community in Clare expressed their “deep shock” following the pensioner’s death.

Mr O’Halloran is survived by his family, including his sister, two brothers, nieces and nephews.

Local Fine Gael senator Martin Conway said Mr O’Halloran visited Ireland regularly and that his death has left his home community in Ennistymon and north Clare in “deep shock and sadness”.

Mr Conway noted the passionate musician was “very popular” in Greenford and often busked for charity.

Footage on social media shows Mr O’Halloran busking to raise money for Ukraine months before the killing.

He can be seen playing his accordion and smiling, with a makeshift blue and yellow collection box strapped to his frame, in the video posted online in June.

Former Labour MP Stephen Pound paid tribute to Mr O’Halloran, an ex-constituent whom he knew from the busker’s regular public presence in the area.

He told GB News: “Tom was a real local character. He would be outside Greenford station playing the accordion, occasionally the harmonica.

“He was a sweet, lovely man… He was well-liked and well-loved, but, above all, he was one of those characters who would cement an area.”

Copyright (c) PA Media Ltd. 2022, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) The Metropolitan Police / PA.