The OAP cleared of killing a suspected burglar is reportedly too frightened to return to his own home over fears there’ll be a revenge attack.
78-year-old Richard Osborn-Brooks stabbed and killed 37-year-old Henry Vincent, who allegedly attempted to burgle the pensioner’s home on Tuesday night, April 3.
Arrested after the incident, Osborn-Brooks was released without charge and will face no further action following a public campaign to have him released.
Despite being cleared, reports claim Osborn-Brooks is now in hiding, along with his disabled wife Maureen, too scared to return home in case associates of Vincent will come after them.
A second burglar, thought to be 27-year-old Billy Jeeves, fled the scene and is currently on the run.
A source close to the couple told The Sun:
Richard doesn’t want to go home. He’s relieved to be in the clear but is not celebrating. He’s genuinely sorry about what happened to Vincent but felt he had no choice.
The police are still very concerned for him and his wife, who has arthritis.
Osborn-Brooks and his wife have been placed in police protection with officers also guarding their house.
CCTV cameras have also been installed with police giving neighbours leaflets, warning them of the dangers of bogus callers.
Osborn-Brooks was in bed with his wife at his home in South London when he heard two men breaking in at around 12.45am, April 3.
Armed with a screwdriver, 37-year-old Vincent allegedly forced Osborn-Brooks into the kitchen where a struggle ensued.
Receiving a fatal stab would, Vincent was discovered collapsed in the street and was pronounced dead in hospital at 3.37am.
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Arrested on suspicion of murder, Osborn-Brooks was held at a local police station but was released after nearly 20,000 people signed a petition calling for police to drop the investigation.
Over £7,000 was also raised to pay for his legal fees.
Adam Lake, who lives near the scene, was one of the people who campaigned for his release telling the Mirror:
He doesn’t deserve to be punished for defending himself, and the neighbours I’ve spoken to all agree the priority needs to be to support him after everything he’s been through.
He was just protecting himself after all. When I heard it was a burglary I wasn’t surprised, there’s been a noticeable increase in crime in the area.
We’ve even had to put up CCTV at home because we didn’t feel safe. Such an awful event, I feel terrible for the man that was burgled.
One of Osborn-Brooks’ friends, Tony Guest, who worked with him at the RAC in Croydon during the 1970’s, also believes he didn’t deserve to be punished.
I was shocked when someone told me it was Richard involved in this incident. He has every right to protect his property, he deserves a medal.
He would finish working and come down and work the machines with us. We’d have a game of chess at lunch time and he’d come for a beer with us after work, or a nightclub. He wasn’t like the rest of the bosses, he would stick up for us and was part of the team.
He was ahead of his time and a very intelligent person.
A full inquest will take place in due course to review the circumstances of Vincent’s death in a public forum.
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Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.