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 in London, has been remanded in custody.
Lee Byer (44) appeared at Willesden Magistrates’ Court on Friday to face the charge of murder of Mr O’Halloran, in Greenford, west London, on Tuesday.
Mr Byer, from Southall, west London, stood in the dock wearing grey prison-issue tracksuit bottoms and a 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.
The defendant 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.
Outlining the case against the accused, 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.
Mr 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 16th.
“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 Mr Byer.
Mr O’Halloran, originally from Ennistymon, Co Clare 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.
Police officers were called to Cayton Road in Greenford on Tuesday to reports of a stabbing, with Mr O’Halloran declared dead at the scene.
Police said Mr O’Halloran’s family had been informed that someone had been charged and “have asked for their privacy to be respected at this very difficult time”. — PA