Saturday 25 May 2019

Two arrested after barristers' clerk stabbed to death in brawl outside pub

Joe O'Brien Photo: Greater Manchester Police
Joe O'Brien Photo: Greater Manchester Police

Eleanor Barlow

A man and a teenager have been arrested after a 24-year-old barristers' clerk was stabbed to death in a brawl outside a pub.

Joe O'Brien, from Blackley, Manchester, died in hospital after suffering serious stab wounds in the "large fight" outside the Royal Oak Hotel pub in Failsworth, Greater Manchester, at about 3am on Sunday.

His family have paid tribute to a "much loved son, brother, grandson, uncle, nephew and friend".

Two other men, aged 21 and 23, were injured in the fight and the 21-year-old was taken to hospital, where he is being treated for stab wounds that are not believed to be life-threatening, a Greater Manchester Police spokesman said.

A 22-year-old man and 17-year-old have been arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder and remain in custody for questioning.

In a statement, Mr O'Brien's mother Roz McDonald said: "Joe was a much loved son, brother, grandson, uncle, nephew and friend to many.

"He was hard working and had a great sense of humour. He was kind and generous, both with his time and with his money.

"His friends, his family and Manchester United were his life.

"Joe worked as a barristers' clerk at Deans Court Chambers in Manchester and he loved this job.

"The majority of Joe's time was spent either with his friends, or caring for his mother, who he always put first."

Detective Chief Inspector Cheryl Chatterton said: "We are deeply saddened by Joe's death and we are determined to find answers for his family, who are being cared for by specialist officers at this dreadful time.

"While we have made arrests, it is absolutely essential that anyone with information comes forward to the police as soon as possible."

Information can be left with police by calling 0161 856 9908 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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