The family of a burglar who was fatally stabbed have clashed with locals and police again as they tried to lay a shrine on what would have been his 38th birthday.
Floral tributes, birthday cards and balloons dedicated to Henry Vincent were attached to a road sign and lampposts in Hither Green, south east London, by Vincent’s family.
They had previously vowed never to return to the street in Hither Green.
It is reported some 20 women and youths – many wearing shades, scarves and hoodies to hide their identities – clashed with officers and angry local residents on the afternoon of Sunday April 15 over the shrine, reports the Mirror.
It was erected on a fence 20 yards from 78-year-old Richard Osborn-Brooks’ house, just over a week after Vincent broke into the OAP’s home at 12.45am on April 4.
The pensioner was arrested over Vincent’s death before he was released without charge.
Mr Osborn-Brooks and his sick wife Maureen, 76, are in a police safe house, according to a relative.
Angry local residents had previously torn down tributes left in Vincent’s memory opposite the house, while the pensioner and his disabled wife have gone into hiding over fear of reprisals.
Scotland Yard said Vincent was stabbed in an altercation, after he forced Osborn-Brooks into his kitchen armed with a screwdriver, where a struggle ensued.
Vincent was subsequently taken to hospital and pronounced dead at 3:40am.
Since, Osborn-Brooks’ home has become the epicentre of a row between the Vincent family and local residents.
The row has incited anger nationwide, with one man named Cecil Coley driving to the scene of the crime from London, to tear down the shrine to the ‘career criminal’.
Posted by Cecil Coley on Monday, 9 April 2018
Coley told UNILAD:
When I read online that the scene of crime where Henry Vincent died happened to be the same road as where Richard Osborn-Brooks lived, and the Vincent family and friends had been placing flowers for memorial, I found it disrespectful towards law abiding good samaritans, so I just decided to go there myself and see it.
The thought of removing flowers came later.
Among the flowers were notes containing messages such as ‘You’ll be missed’ and ‘I love you’.
A card from one of Vincent’s daughters read:
They don’t know what they’re on about, they only know what they read, but I will try my hardest to get people to understand who you really was. [sic]
Sorry dad that I wasn’t with you and tell you that everything was going to be alright, you must have been frightened by yourself.
I’ll stand up for you dad, I won’t let you down ‘cos I know you wouldn’t let me down.
The CPS and police urge people to always call the police first – if you are able – in an intruder situation, but according to official guidance, anyone can use reasonable force to protect themselves.
As a general rule, the more extreme the circumstances and the fear felt, the more force you can lawfully use in self-defence.
The law doesn’t require you to wait to be attacked before using defensive force, but does not protect you if, for example, your action is over-the-top or calculated revenge.
You are given greater protection under the law if force is used to protect yourself or others when dealing with a burglar or trespasser on your property.
The CPS says if you have acted in reasonable self-defence, as described above, and the intruder dies you will still have acted lawfully.
However, use of ‘disproportionate force’ could see you facing charges.
If you have a story to tell, contact UNILAD via [email protected]