Memorial for burglar Henry Vincent pulled down again

Flowers placed for the burglar who died after a struggle with a pensioner have been torn down again.

The family of Henry Vincent laid flowers near to the home of Richard Osborn-Brooks, 78, who was cleared over the career criminal's killing.

A fence outside the pensioner's property in Hither Green, southeast London, has become a flashpoint for tensions, with flowers and cards at the memorial being destroyed by locals and then replaced by Vincent's loved ones.

The shrine, which included handwritten cards from the 37-year-old's children, was put in place on Monday night only to be pulled down afterwards.

Image:Mr Gordon said 'these people are scumbags, scumbags, scumbags'
Iain Gordon told onlookers he is a member of the Fair Society group
Image:Iain Gordon told onlookers he is a member of the Fair Society group

Vicent's family returned to reattach the tributes on Tuesday only for them to be vandalised again within minutes.

Iain Gordon, who said he was part of the Fair Society group, tore down flowers at 12.30pm on Wednesday as the stand-off rumbled into its third day.

Mr Gordon, from Lewisham, said: "These people are scumbags, scumbags, scumbags.

"If you don't know why I pulled the flowers down then you aren't a human being.

"Would you go around allowing someone to stab your parents?

"Would you allow someone to come round with a screwdriver?

"And then be considered human beings?"

Richard Osborn-Brooks, 78, has been arrested on suspicion of murder
Image:Richard Osborn-Brooks, 78, was cleared over Vincent's killing
Henry Vincent
Image:Henry Vincent died after leaving Mr Osborn-Brook's house

Mr Gordon's act is reported to be the fourth of its kind since the memorial was erected.

One card at the scene, apparently written by one of Vincent's children, read: "To my daddy, no words can describe the pain and heartache we are going through.

"These people won't put us down. We love you dad. We miss you so much."

Met Police have released this image of Hither Green suspect Billy Jeeves
Image:The Met Police has released this image of Hither Green suspect Billy Jeeves

Vincent died in the early hours of Wednesday 4 April, after a break-in at Mr Osborn-Brook's home in South Park Crescent.

Police said two men entered the pensioner's home, with one of them forcing his away into the kitchen while the other man went upstairs.

Vincent, armed with a screwdriver, is said to have been stabbed in the stomach during a struggle with Mr Osborn-Brooks.

Police have not said what object was used to inflict the fatal blow.

Both intruders are said to have fled after the altercation, with Vincent collapsing on nearby Further Green Road.

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He was taken by ambulance to a central London hospital where he later died.

Police are still hunting a suspect named Billy Jeeves in relation to the break-in.

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