Pensioner Richard Osborn-Brooks bailed after arrest over fatal 'burglar' stabbing

A 78-year-old arrested over the death of an intruder stabbed to death in his home has been bailed.

Named by Sky sources as Richard Osborn-Brooks, the pensioner was held at a police station on Wednesday on suspicion of murdering a suspected burglar in Hither Green, southeast London.

He has been bailed until early May pending further enquiries, Scotland Yard said.

On Thursday, Metropolitan Police detectives renewed their appeal for information over the death of an unnamed 37-year-old man.

He was found collapsed in Further Green Road, near to the South Park Crescent address where the suspected burglary took place, in the early hours of Wednesday.

He died less than three hours later at a central London hospital having sustained a stab wound to the upper body, which a post-mortem examination gave as the provisional cause of death.

A second suspect in the burglary, believed to be a white man, fled the scene prior to the arrival of police and is unaccounted for.

Osborn-Brooks had reported a burglary in progress and the injury of a man at his home in Lewisham to police.

Officers revealed a struggle took place between the 78-year-old and the two men.

The pensioner suffered bruising to his arms and was arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm, before being further arrested on suspicion of murder.

The Met Police's Detective Chief Inspector Simon Harding said: "I would like to speak with anyone who has information regarding the outstanding suspect from the burglary, who is believed to be a white male; he may have told someone what happened at the address.

"It is possible that he fled the scene in a vehicle, possibly a white van, leaving the scene in the direction of Further Green Road.

"Did you see this vehicle? Do you know where it went after this? I ask anyone to contact our incident room as soon as possible."

Local residents offered their support to Osborn-Brooks in the aftermath of the suspected murder.

Adam Lake, who lives near the scene, said he did not feel safe from crime and that the pensioner was "just protecting himself".

He said: "He doesn't deserve to be punished for defending himself, and the neighbours that I've spoken to all agree that the priority needs to be to support him after everything that he's been through.

"He was just protecting himself after all."

Another neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: "He deserves a medal. You cannot break into people's houses.

"(I've heard) he's a carer, this is a pensioner that has worked all his life who wants to live and die quietly.

"I lived in America, if this was in America this wouldn't be a big issue."

:: Anyone with information is urged to contact 020 8721 4205 or call 101 quoting reference CAD214/4Apr. To remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.