Police hunt for man in boxer shooting with TV appeal

Martin Ward, 22, was the victim in what police have called an attempted murder

Martin Ward, 22, was the victim in what police have called an attempted murder - Credit: Archant

Detectives hunting a man suspected of shooting a boxer who launched his career in Dagenham have received “one significant lead” following a national TV appeal.

Francis O’Donoghue, the attempted murder suspect, is wanted in connection with the shooting last month of former Team GB boxer Martin Ward, who began his career at Dagenham Boxing Club, and his brother John.

The story featured on BBC Crimewatch last night, and police believe they are closing in on the 27-year-old glazier following some information they received from the public.

Martin J Ward, who narrowly missed out on selection for the London 2012 Olympics, was shot in the shoulder on August 27 during what police called a neighbourhood feud that escalated into a fight in Harold Wood, Essex.

The police announcement follows the arrest yesterday afternoon of a 28-year-old man from Islington on suspicion of assisting an offender.


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He has now been released on police bail until late October pending further enquiries.

Mr Ward and his brother are said to be making good progress in their recovery.

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A Tweet from Mr Ward on August 29 said: “Thanks to everyone for the messages and phone calls of support for me and my brother John! Really does mean a lot! On the road to recovery now!”

O’Donoghue is believed to be armed and police are urging people not to approach him.

They added that there is nothing to suggest people in the “wider community” are at risk of injury.

He is described as white, approximately 5ft 11ins tall and of medium build with short-brown hair and protruding ears.

Anyone with information should contact detectives at Harlow’s Major Investigation Team on 01279 621802, e-mail them on SCDappeals@essex.pnn.police.uk or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Anyone who knows where O’Donoghue is should call 999.

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