Tributes destroyed outside pensioner's house where burglar was killed

Floral tributes left on South Park Crescent in Hither Green
Floral tributes left on South Park Crescent in Hither Green
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Tributes to an intruder who died in a botched raid after a struggle with a pensioner lay in tatters on Tuesday morning.

Burst balloons, soiled cards and ruined flowers lined the pavement of South Park Crescent, Hither Green, outside the home of Richard Osborn-Brooks, 78.

Family and friends of Henry Vincent, 37, had erected a shrine opposite the pensioner's home on Monday - but within hours they had been torn down.

A resident who gave his name only as Peter said: "I wouldn't want them on my wall anyway put it like that. They were climbing the fence and everything yesterday. Will he ever be able to come back and live here? I doubt it. It's sad."

A woman with him who did not give her name added: "You just feel sorry for him as well, because he's probably worked his whole life to get that house and now he's out through no fault of his own."

Nikita Hill, 39, who lives nearby, said: "I don't think they should have put it outside his home. Maybe they could have done it further away. But he's got loved ones and family too so I understand why they did it."

Resident Theresa Webb, 43, said of the shrine: "It was inappropriate, poor taste really.

"You're thinking: 'How long will it be up there?' I'm relieved it's down. There was one hundred and one bouquets down there.

"But I can't say what a mother's or a family's grief is."

She added of Mr Osborn-Brooks: "One minute he's in his house and the next his life's turned upside down. Everyone around here sends their best wishes to him."

A man who said he had lived on the street for more than 30 years said he had installed new locks on his house since the raid.

He said the tributes should have been left alone to "die-off", adding: "I'm worried these people might come back and cause a rumpus. We lock the door during the day now, we never used to.

"If they do come I'll just stay inside, simple as that."

Video posted online showed a man ripping down some tributes to Vincent on Monday night.

Saverimuthu Augustine, 78, who suffers with a heart condition, said some had been attached to his property.

He said: "I'm annoyed they put them on my fence. I don't appreciate it.

"If it's a normal person it's different, but he went and burgled a house - it could have been my house."