RELATIVES of a burglar yesterday returned to the street where he was fatally stabbed by an intended victim, saying they wanted to leave a last tribute to him on his birthday.
A group of about 20 women tied cards, flowers and balloons to a lamppost about 200 yards from the spot where Henry Vincent was found collapsed after targeting Richard Osborn-Brooks, 78.
They created the new shrine after one on a fence nearer to the home of the pensioner and wife Maureen was repeatedly torn down by incensed locals in Hither Green, south-east London.
Vincent’s aunt told reporters: ‘Just leave the flowers alone, we are not coming back any more to this s*** road.’ The group, followed by five young men, tried to put flowers on the fence they had used before but were moved on by police officers.
One woman also brought a placard with a picture of Vincent, which was not left at the shrine. Later Lewisham Council workers came and moved the tributes to a ‘community garden’. It said it was working with police ‘to reduce the impact on the local community’.
A woman who said she was Vincent’s aunt described him as a drug addict but added: ‘He was not a killer. The bombers don’t get as much publicity as this.’ She said death threats had been made against his children and added: ‘Henry got a death sentence. I would not care if he got 50 years in prison as long as I could see him every day.’ Another relative said: ‘He was a great dad.’
Mr Osborn-Brooks was released without charge after stabbing serial offender Vincent, who died in hospital aged 37. He and his disabled wife do not plan to return to the house, a friend has said.
Vincent’s suspected accomplice Billy Jeeves, 28, remains at large.