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Hither Green: Relatives mark dead burglar’s birthday

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    Friends and relatives of Henry Vincent bring birthday tributes to the scene on South Park Crescent in Hither GreenImage copyright PA
    Image caption Mr Vincent’s relatives arrived in South Park Crescent with flowers, cards, balloons and a banner

    Relatives of a burglar who was fatally stabbed during a raid on a pensioner’s home have marked his birthday at the crime scene.

    A group of women brought flowers, balloons and a banner to where Henry Vincent died in South Park Crescent, Hither Green, south-east London.

    Homeowner Richard Osborn-Brooks, 78, was arrested on suspicion of murder but released with no further action.

    Tributes to Mr Vincent have sparked outrage in the community.

    But one relative said today: “We don’t want to cause any violence.”

    Image copyright PA
    Image caption Officers tried to stop people stapling banners and balloons to the garden fences of homeowners

    Mr Vincent, who would have turned 38 on Sunday, is suspected of burgling Mr Osborn-Brooks’s home on 4 April with Bill Jeeves.

    The women marking his birthday 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 a street sign and a lamp-post.

    A 37-year-old woman, who did no want to be named, said: “We’re here because it’s his birthday, we just want to lay flowers. We don’t want to cause any violence.

    “We’re not all criminals. We don’t all do wrong.”

    Another woman said: “We all loved him.”

    Image copyright Kent Police/PA Wire
    Image caption Henry Vincent was under investigation over a separate burglary involving an elderly victim

    Since his death, residents have branded the tributes left to Mr Vincent an “insult” and repeatedly tore them down – prompting Met deputy commissioner Sir Craig Mackey to appeal for respect on both sides.

    Mr and Mrs Osborn-Brooks are reportedly living in a safe house and plan to sell their property.

    Image copyright PA
    Image caption Floral tributes were pulled down from a fence opposite the home of Richard Osborn-Brooks last week
    Image copyright PA
    Image caption Mr Vincent, who was from the travelling community, would have turned 38 on 15 April
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