Family of Hither Green burglar stopped by police from pinning birthday tributes to fence near his victim's home

Telegraph Reporters
Women from the travelling community, who said they were relatives of Henry Vincent, arrive at the scene in Hither Green - Gareth Fuller/PA

Police stopped the family of a dead burglar attaching balloons and banners to fences beside his victim's home on what would have been his birthday. 

Friends and family of Henry Vincent, the burglar who was killed after breaking into into the home of a pensioner and his disabled wife, held a vigil close to the house where he died to mark his 38th birthday.

Around 20 women from the travelling community, who said they were relatives of Vincent, arrived at the road in Hither Green, south London, to lay flowers close to the spot where the criminal was fatally injured in the home of 78-year-old Richard Osborn-Brooks. 

Some carried balloons saying "You’ll be missed" and placards featuring photographs of Vincent.

They were escorted by five police officers who tried to stop them stapling the banners and balloons to the garden fences of homeowners. Eventually, the tributes were attached to the street sign itself and a lamppost. 

Floral and birthday tributes at the scene on South Park Crescent in Hither Green, London Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA

Mr Osborn-Brooks has been advised to stay away from the property since the night he fatally stabbed career criminal Vincent with a screwdriver, amid concern for his own safety.

Neighbours have voiced their objections to the tributes, while members of the public have been seen tearing down flowers and condolence messages attached to the fence.

Birthday floral tributes were eventually pinned to a lamppost Credit: Gareth Fuller /PA
Friends and relatives of Henry Vincent bring birthday tributes to the scene on South Park Crescent in Hither Green, London, following last week's incident where Vincent was fatally stabbed in a botched burglary Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA
Friends and relatives of Henry Vincent bring birthday tributes to the scene on South Park Crescent in Hither Green Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA

Vincent, who was a member of the traveller community, is expected to be buried near his family’s site in Orpington, Kent.

His family have also revealed plans to route his horse-drawn funeral procession past Mr Osborn-Brooks’ house in Hither Green, south east London.

Henry Vincent died while attempting burgling the home of pensioner Richard Osborn-Brooks Credit: Kent Police

The Metropolitan Police last week told neighbours of the 78-year-old that laying flowers near the scene was “not a crime”.

Met Deputy Commissioner Sir Craig Mackey said: "It would have been preferable if the pavement had remained clear and the local area had not become the focus of disruption which then needed police resources to manage.

Sir Craig added: "The local authority are considering how the flowers and items are managed and we are inputting to that”.

Police address friends and relatives of Henry Vincent Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA

Contacted for comment by The Telegraph, a spokesman for The Met said its position had not changed.

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