Hither Green burglar stabbing: Mounted police patrol area

Image source, PA
Image caption,
Richard Osborn-Brooks' home in Hither Green remains boarded up

Police are continuing to patrol part of London where a burglar was stabbed to death amid tensions over tributes.

Flowers and balloons in memory of Henry Vincent were repeatedly attached and torn down on Tuesday opposite where the burglary took place in Hither Green.

Richard Osborn-Brooks, 78, was initially held on suspicion of murder, but released with no further action.

The Met has asked members of the public to "respect the wishes" of those leaving tributes in the area.

Scotland Yard said it was liaising with Lewisham Council on an "appropriate management of the floral tributes".

In a statement, Ch Supt Simon Dobinson said: "We would also request those placing tributes or visiting the area to behave in a responsible manner so as not to disrupt the local community.

"I do not want anyone to feel intimidated or that they are not being allowed to respond in a dignified way to a tragic death."

A police presence was maintained in the area "to provide reassurance to the public", following mounted patrols on Tuesday.

Media caption,
A man was seen stamping on flowers and balloons left in tribute of Henry Vincent

Mr Vincent, 37, along with Bill Jeeves are suspected of burgling Mr Osborn-Brooks' home, which remained cordoned off by police on 4 April.

Floral tributes to Mr Vincent, understood to be part of the travelling community, were put back up on the fence opposite the home earlier but have already been pulled down.

Local resident Iain Gordon, who said he was from the Fair Society group, pulled down the flowers saying: "If you don't know why I pulled the flowers down then you aren't a human being."

Mr Vincent's family had argued the fence was "the best place" for a tribute.

Local residents have expressed concerns of "intimidation".

On Tuesday, Elvina Lee, who said she was Mr Vincent's cousin, defended him, saying he "wasn't a murderer, he wasn't a rapist - they're putting him as a monster".

Image source, PA
Image caption,
Mounted police patrolled the area on Tuesday

Police had been called to Mr Osborn-Brooks's property at about 00:45 BST on 4 April over reports of a burglary when they found Mr Vincent collapsed in nearby Further Green Road.

A witness said an accomplice dragged Mr Vincent toward a van before leaving him for dead.

Image source, Kent Police/PA Wire
Image caption,
Henry Vincent was under investigation over a separate burglary involving an elderly victim

On Monday, Met detectives said 28-year-old Mr Jeeves was wanted in connection with the burglary.

Mr Jeeves's white Vauxhall Astra van was found burnt out and destroyed in Star Lane in Orpington, Bromley, south-east London, on Saturday evening.

Detectives want to hear from anybody who may have seen the van - with the registration GU52 AXT - in the days and hours before and after the burglary.

In January, Mr Jeeves and Mr Vincent were named and pictured by Kent Police in connection with an investigation into a distraction burglary on a man in his 70s.

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