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Man convicted of killing 87-year-old in Greenford

Fri 03 May 2024
A man has confessed to killing an elderly mobility scooter rider in what appears to be a motiveless attack, just five days after being released from prison.

Lee Byer, 45, of Allenby Avenue, Southall, was quickly arrested following a public appeal after the brutal attack and killing of 87-year-old Thomas O’Halloran on 16 August 2022.

Byer pleaded guilty to manslaughter on grounds of diminished responsibility and possession of an offensive weapon on 29 April 2024. Sentencing is scheduled for 10 May 2024.


Detective Chief Inspector Laura Nelson who led the investigation said: "First and foremost, my thoughts today are with Thomas’s family who continue to feel the loss of their much loved father and grandfather. His death was senseless."

"Detectives have conducted a meticulous investigation in order to establish the facts of Thomas’s death. Byer’s movements were tracked from his release from prison up to the day of the attack, enabling us to present evidence that could not be disputed. We have worked closely with the forensic command and their examinations have intrinsically linked Byer to the attack."

"We have worked in partnership with the CPS and mental health professionals in order to understand Lee Byer’s mental health. It is the conclusion of mental health experts that Byer was psychotic when he attacked and killed Thomas O’Halloran. The findings have been shared with Thomas’s family."


Thomas was attacked as he returned home on his mobility scooter from Tesco, often seen busking with his accordion. Despite severe injuries, Thomas managed to seek help. Tragically, he succumbed to stab wounds, with a post-mortem revealing ten stab wounds to the chest and neck.

Prison officers, recognizing Byer from media appeals, reported his identity. CCTV showed Byer holding a knife after the attack and disposing of the handle, recovered for forensic examination. DNA evidence linked the handle to Thomas and Byer.

Byer's arrest, just days after his release, contradicted his claims of innocence. The investigation found no motive for the attack, and no prior interaction between Byer and Thomas was uncovered.

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