Man appears in court charged with murdering elderly busker on mobility scooter
A man charged with murdering an elderly busker on a mobility scooter has been remanded in custody after appearing in court.
Lee Byer, 44, was arrested in Southall, West London, in the early hours of Thursday morning.
Tragic pensioner Thomas O’Halloran, 87, was attacked on a street in Greenford, west London on Tuesday afternoon.
Byer appeared at Willesden Magistrates’ Court this morning following his arrest.
He stood in the dock wearing grey prison-issue tracksuit bottoms and T-shirt, with a sweater tied around his waist.
The accused spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and that he was of no fixed abode.
Byer was not asked to enter pleas to charges of murder and possession of an offensive weapon and was remanded in custody by Deputy District Judge Ross Cohen ahead of his next appearance at the Old Bailey on Tuesday.
Lee 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 16.
“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 Byer.
The popular accordion player was stabbed to death earlier this week while reportedly surrounded by a gang of youths.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
They charged Byer as 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.”
On Thursday night, residents packed in to Greenford Community Centre for a meeting with police about local safety.
The family of the victim, who is Irish, are being supported by specially trained officers, police say.
One local shopkeeper said Byer had been in his store on Saturday buying chocolates and a card for his mum’s birthday.