Former Bethnal Green boxer Martin J Ward named as shooting victim
PUBLISHED: 10:23 03 September 2013 | UPDATED: 10:23 03 September 2013
A former Team GB boxer who launched his career at Bethnal Green's Repton Boxing Club was one of the victims of a shooting on a farm last week.
Martin J Ward, 22, who is now an unbeaten pro, was shot in the shoulder during what police have called a “neighbourhood feud” that started as a fight in Harold Wood, and escalated to a gun being fired at a Navestock farm in Essex.
His brother John, who also once trained as a boxer at the Cheshire Street club, was shot in the leg.
Essex Police have launched an attempted murder investigation and are searching for armed 27-year-old Francis O’Donoghue who is believed to have been at home on the travellers’ site at Lizvale Farm when the shots were fired there last Tuesday afternoon.
Police have widened their search into London and Hertfordshire, where it is believed O’Donoghue may be hiding out on a travellers’ site with friends or family.
Essex Police’s Supt Trevor Roe said: “We have taken several witness statements which all suggest Francis O’Donoghue was at the site at the time of the shooting.
“We would urge anyone who knows him to avoid him purely because he is in possession of a handgun.
“There is nothing, though, to suggest that people in the wider community are at risk of being injured.”
Police described O’Donoghue as white, approximately 5ft 11ins tall and of medium build. He has short-brown hair and protruding ears, and speaks with an Irish accent.
Meanwhile the brothers are making good progress in their recovery.
On Thursday, Martin, who narrowly missed out on selection for the London 2012 Olympics, tweeted: “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!”
His manager Tony Sims, who trains him at his Hainault gym, described the incident this week as “just terrible”.
“We must now wait for the boys to make a full recovery,” he said.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact Essex Police on 101. If you see O’Donoghue, or know his whereabouts, call 999.