A London burglar never made it out of the home he intended to rob, but this story is a little different.
Henry Vincent, the would-be robber, was stabbed to death during the attempted burglary by the homeowner, Richard Osborn-Brooks. Osborn-Brooks was arrested on suspicion of murder, but London police released him without taking any further action when they discovered he was defending his home and property.
And now, Vincent’s family has set up several displays of balloons, flowers and cards outside Osborn Brooks’s home in his memory.
Frustrated neighbors keep tearing them down.
“We just want to lay flowers. We don’t want to cause any violence,” said one of Vincent’s relatives, who brought photos, flowers and birthday cards to Osborn-Brooks’ home. Neighbors tore down the display at least four times, and police are attempting to defuse tensions between the robber’s family and local residents.
“This is a tragedy for the family who have lost a loved one. It is also a tragedy for the homeowner forced to take the action he did,” said Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Craig Mackey. “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.”
Around 200 people have joined a closed Facebook group that was set up to peacefully protest because the neighborhood has been “taunted by a constant shrine that is being set up by Henry Vincent’s family.”
A neighbor, Stephen Langley-Hart, who is also a senior citizen, says he has sympathy for the burglar’s family – but that it’s time to move on.
“People are forgetting somewhat that an elderly couple lived here and this man was burgling them. They will probably never be able to get back here again because of the circumstances. What are they going to do? You have got to grieve, even given the circumstances, but it can be done in a better way. Not opposite the house. Perhaps if there are going to be flowers then they should be left at the hospital where he died,” said Langley-Hart.
What Do You Think?
Do you think it’s appropriate for the victim’s family to create a shrine outside Osborn-Brooks’s home, or is it a way of taunting the elderly homeowner? I’d love to hear your take on this very odd situation, so please share your thoughts on my