Man, 44, denies murder of elderly pensioner who was stabbed to death on mobility scooter

Grandfather Thomas O’Halloran collapsed from his mobility scooter outside Runnymede Gardens having been stabbed repeatedly. Credit: PA

A man has denied fatally stabbing an elderly mobility scooter rider.

Lee Byer, 44, pleaded not guilty on Friday to the murder of 87-year-old Thomas O’Halloran in Greenford, west London, on 16 August.

Mr O’Halloran, a grandfather who was said to be well known in the local community, collapsed from his mobility scooter outside Runnymede Gardens, having been stabbed repeatedly.

A picture of Thomas O'Halloran left among floral tributes outside Perivale Tesco, Greenford Credit: PA

Police were alerted by a member of the public who had found the badly injured victim travelling in his scooter from a passageway that runs between Runneymede Gardens and Welland Gardens at around 4pm.

Mr O’Halloran was able to tell the passer-by that he had been stabbed, although wounds to his body were clearly visible.

By the time officers arrived minutes later, he had collapsed and was being helped by members of the public.

Police and medics took over first aid but he was pronounced dead at the scene at 4.54pm.

A post-mortem examination found he had sustained multiple stab wounds to the neck, chest and abdomen.

Byer, of no fixed address, was charged on 19 August with Mr O’Halloran’s murder and possessing a large knife.

At a hearing on Friday at the Old Bailey, Byer stood in the dock as he pleaded not guilty to both charges.

Court artist sketch of Lee Byer, 44, of Southall, west London appearing previously at Willesden Magistrates' Court

The defendant, who is in custody, faces a trial of up to three weeks from 2 May.

Judge Mark Lucraft KC set a pre-trial hearing for 13 February next year.

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

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