December 13 2013 Latest news:
Friday, September 20, 2013
An Essex man on the run from police following a double shooting is now East Anglia’s most wanted man.
The manhunt to arrest Francis O’Donoghue is intensifying following the shooting of two of his neighbours on the London border after the August bank holiday weekend.
Detectives say a recent BBC Crimewatch appeal prompted a call into the incident room which has given them a specific lead to pursue.
A few hours before the programme aired, a 28-year-old man from Islington in north London was arrested by armed police in Navestock on suspicion of assisting an offender. He was later released on police bail until late October pending further enquiries.
The attack – over which police want to question O’Donoghue – happened on a travellers’ site off Goatswood Lane in Navestock at 3.30pm on Tuesday, August 27.
Two men in their 20s from the Brentwood area sustained gunshot wounds to the legs and chest and underwent surgery.
They are now recovering with relatives after being discharged from hospital.
Detectives believe the shooting was the culmination of an ongoing neighbour feud.
Police are focussing their attention on traveller’s sites in Essex, Hertfordshire and throughout London.
O’Donoghue, 27, who works as a glazier, is urged to hand himself in
Supt Trevor Roe, of Essex Police, said: “Francis knows that we want him and his friends know we want him which is why they are doing their best to help him.
“Let us make one element clear to these people: We will look to prosecute anyone who is found to be assisting or harbouring this fugitive.
“This has turned into a partnership approach operation where we are relying on the community to provide us with the leads to go and arrest Francis.
“He still may be in possession of a handgun which is why he needs to be taken off the streets. The support we have so far received from the public has been fantastic and they are providing us with leads so we thank them, but urge them to continue with the calls.”
People should avoid any physical contact with him as he may be in possession of a handgun, with anyone coming into contact him urged to call police immediately. However, there is nothing to suggest that people in the wider community are at risk of being injured.
O’Donoghue is described as white, approximately 5ft 11ins tall, of medium build, has short-brown hair, has protruding ears and speaks with an Irish accent.
Anyone with information in connection with this shooting is urged to contact detectives at Harlow’s Major Investigation Team on 01279 621802, email them on SCDappeals@essex.pnn.police.ukor call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. Anyone who knows of the man’s whereabouts is urged to call 999.