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Henry Vincent: Burglar killed by pensioner ‘had recently used cocaine and heroin’ | UK News



A burglar who was killed by an elderly homeowner “may have been experiencing the effects” of drugs at the time of the break-in.

Henry Vincent was stabbed as he burgled the home of Richard Osborn-Brooks in Hither Green, southeast London, on 4 April 2018.

At an inquest into his death, the pathologist who carried out the post-mortem on Vincent said a toxicology report indicated “a recent use of both cocaine and heroin”.

Vincent’s cause of death was given as an incised wound to the chest.

Henry Vincent
Richard Osborn Brooks’ home was boarded up after the burglary

At the hearing, an audio recording was played of the statement that Mr Osborn-Brooks, 78, gave to police following the altercation.

The pensioner told officers that two men had knocked on his door – and after he opened it, he described being pushed inside.

Mr Osborn-Brooks can be heard telling officers: “I grabbed that knife out of the knife block and I threatened him with it… he yelled up to his mate ‘he’s got a knife’.

“His mate had a sharp thing in his hand, afterwards I realised it was a screwdriver… I said ‘mine’s bigger than yours’.

“He said: ‘Come near me and I’ll stab you.’

“He came toward me with the screwdriver… I just put the knife forward.”

The pensioner said the knife “went in about four inches”.

The family of burglar Henry Vincent, who was fatally stabbed when he broke into a pensioner's home, have marked his 38th birthday with balloons and flowers at the scene. Pics from Olivia Kinsley
Vincent’s family angered the pensioner’s neighbours by laying flowers outside

Vincent’s sister Rose told the hearing: “My brother was not a violent person. He was a father, he was a son, he was a brother.

“No one deserves to die.”

Mr Osborn-Brooks was initially arrested on suspicion of murder but was later released without charge.

His arrest provoked a public outcry, and an online fundraising campaign in support of the pensioner subsequently raised thousands of pounds.

Vincent’s friends and family sparked outage in the usually quiet neighbourhood by laying flowers and cards opposite Mr Osborn-Brooks’ house, which was boarded up after the burglary.

The tributes were repeatedly torn down by neighbours who were angry that the career criminal was being remembered in such a way.

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