A shrine left in memory of the Hither Green burglar has been ‘torn down by angry locals’, according to reports,
Floral tributes, ribbons, balloons and cards were left near the home of pensioner Richard Osborn-Brooks, the man believed to have confronted burglars in his home on Wednesday morning (April 4).
At one point, it’s alleged one of the burglars armed with a screwdriver forced Osborn-Brooks into the kitchen, while the other went upstairs.
The trespasser, now named as Henry Vincent, a ‘career burglar’, was later found by paramedics collapsed in the road outside ‘covered in blood’. He was rushed to hospital but pronounced dead at 3.37am.
Osborn-Brooks, who hasn’t returned to his home, was arrested and questioned on suspicion of murder but was released and won’t face any further action.
Following Vincent’s death, dozens of tributes were left attached on a nearby fence on the Hither Green property by his friends and family.
Well done residents – who have taken down the flowers outside the home where burglar Henry Vincent was killed by the occupant whilst defending his own home.
— Mark Williams-Thomas (@mwilliamsthomas) April 10, 2018
Blue balloons and notes containing messages such as ‘you’ll be missed and ‘I love you’ were also attached to the shrine.
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.
— Lesley Ashmall (@lesleyashmall) April 10, 2018
This understandably angered residents, who are believed to have taken the tributes away.
One of the neighbours told The Sun:
If it was safe for him to return, that shrine would turn his stomach.
These people should accept Vincent was the architect of his own death, yet they come here and rub it in Richard’s face. They have no shame. Richard is the real victim here.
HITHER GREEN update: A suspected burglar stabbed to death in a struggle with an elderly man in his home early yesterday has been named as Henry Vincent (38). He had been sought by Police for a distraction burglary on a man in his 70s at Farningham near Dartford in November 2017. pic.twitter.com/lrc6U3SaGR
— Kent 999s (@Kent_999s) April 5, 2018
Osborn-Brooks’ neighbour, Nick Myatt, explained the suspect lives with his disabled wife who he looks after, saying:
I saw him a few times, he’s a lovely old man and he cares for his wife who I think has dementia or is disabled. He’s a nice man, nice to talk to.
He’s an old man – it’s a shame really. I hope the law sees sense and let’s him off. I don’t think it’s right.
I don’t know his name. I just hope he gets off. One of the police told me it’s definitely him that’s been arrested.
They’ve set up a shrine outside the house of which a guy tried to rob and then got killed. Tells you all you need to know about the world these days. #hithergreen
— Conor Johnstone (@conorjohnstone5) April 9, 2018
After the fatal stabbing five forensic officers entered the house to gather evidence.
Following Osborn-Brooks’ arrest there was a huge campaign to have him released without action, as most believed he was simply protecting his home and his disabled wife.
In light of the murder, a traveller friend of Vincent issued a grave warning to Richard and those close to him.
The couple are now said to be in police protection.
Reading about a ‘shrine’ next to the house where the burglar was stabbed by the home owner. Cards such as ‘one in a million’ & ‘you must have been so scared’. Piss off. Robbing a pensioner at night in their own home. Fucking chavs.
— GPV Hayes (@GaryHayes82) April 9, 2018
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