The death of a burglar after he was stabbed during a struggle with a pensioner in Hither Green has dominated discussion across the country for the past two weeks.

From the original stabbing to the arrest and release of Richard Osborn-Brooks, to the War of the Flowers that erupted over tributes to burglar Henry Vincent, it has become a flashpoint for tensions in the area.

To keep you up to date with everything that happened, here is a timeline of all the events to date.

April 4 - Morning

News Shopper:

At 12.45am on April 4, police received a call saying there was a burglary in progress at a home in South Park Crescent in Hither Green.

78-year-old Richard Osborn-Brooks was at home with his wife when he was confronted with two intruders in his home, one of them reportedly armed with a screwdriver.

In the ensuing struggle, the pensioner stabbed one of the intruders, 37-year-old Henry Vincent, in the chest.

Vincent made it out of the house somehow and was found collapsed in Further Green Road.

He was taken to a central London hospital by London Ambulance Service but died from his injuries at 3.37am.

The second reported burglar fled the scene and at the time of publishing remains at large.

Meanwhile Mr Osborn-Brooks was arrested and held by Met Police on suspicion of murder.


News Shopper: Richard Osborn-Brooks, 78, was arrested on suspicion of murder after fatally wounding the intruder. Photo: Facebook

As the news of what had happened in Hither Green broke and people got the facts, people started to come out in support of Mr. Osborn-Brooks.

As images of the pensioner were released, a petition was launched calling for his release and for no charges to be pressed.

April 5

News Shopper:

More people started to come out in support of Mr. Osborn-Brooks, including a fundraiser launched to raise money for any potential legal fees he may face if he was charged.

Later that afternoon, the 78-year-old was bailed until a date set in May as police continued their enquiries and discussions with the CPS.

Around 5pm Met Police released the name of Henry Vincent, the Swanley burglar who had been killed that night.

Some quick research revealed that Vincent was a known crook who was wanted by Kent Police in connection to a burglary in Farningham in November 2017.

Police meanwhile were urging anyone with information to come forward, mentioning that a white van may have fled the scene that night.

April 6

With public pressure mounting, Met Police announced that Mr. Osborn Brooks would face no further action.

While the pensioner could not return back to his Hither Green home, no charges were pressed against him.

Detective chief inspector Simon Harding said: "We have approached the CPS for early investigative advice, as required under the guidance. We have received and considered that advice, and, at present - on the evidence available - we will not seek a charging decision. Therefore, no further action will be taken against the man."

April 9

News Shopper:

Detectives trying to locate the accomplice in the botched burglary release the image of Billy Jeeves, 28, as a person they wanted to speak to.

They also find a burnt out car on Star Lane in Orpington they believe was used on the day.

Jeeves’ image was released alongside Vincent in January this year as two people they would like to speak to in connection to the Farningham burglary.

April 10

News Shopper:

The inquest into the death of Henry Vincent was opened, and the body was released back to the family by the coroner.

Loved ones of the dead burglar went to the street where he was killed and started to hang flowers, cards and other tributes to him.

However within hours neighbours and other people had arrived at the scene to tear down the tributes.

The family returned again to restore the tributes, insisting to media there that Vincent was “no monster”, but they were torn down yet again within an hour.

One of the people came with a pair of scissors and a beanie, saying he was "taking these s*** flowers down" and calling it an "insult" to Mr Osborn-Brooks.

April 11

News Shopper:

The fundraiser for Mr. Osborn-Brooks had exceeded £8,000, with the person who ran it saying they were hoping the money would be used to “help secure his home”.

The pensioner and his wife had not returned home, with them instead staying in a secure location under police protection.

Back outside his home, the War of the Roses continued, with family of Vincent hanging up flowers as protestors tore them down again no less than four times.

It got to the point that police had to maintain a constant patrol over the area, with mounted police on the street where it took place.

April 12

News Shopper:

Trying to control the mounting tensions at the site, Chief Superintendent Simon Dobinson in Lewisham said residents should “respect the wishes” of those who wanted to pay his respects.

Deputy Commissioner Sir Craig Mackey of the whole Met Police also said though it would have been preferable if the site had remained clear and that those laying it should “respect the local people”.