Local council finally decided take tributes to Henry Vincent down
Friends and members of Vincent’s gypsy family left bouquets of flowers and balloons in memory of the career criminal and marking what would have been his 38th birthday in Hither Green, south east London.
The shine was left on the fence across from the home of pensioner Richard Osborn-Brooks, who fatally stabbed Vincent during the break-in while his disabled wife was asleep upstairs.
Vincent was known to target defenceless pensioners and swindling them out of their life savings and homes.
He was already wanted for a “distraction” raid on a pensioner’s home in November where he escaped with a jewellery box while a woman diverted attention with her crying.
Other elderly homeowners were told their house was going to fall down when Vincent and an accomplice showed them rotten wood before paying the thieves to fix the non-existent problem.
On 80-year-old woman was persuaded to sign the house over to the thieves and another paid out all of this life savings for work on a chimney that was never done.
Within days of Vincent’s death, a relative of his launched a horrific rant about elderly victims.
Bill Vincent wrote on Facebook: “The old b*****s deserve everything they get.”
He continued in his sickening commentary defending burgling OAPs.
He added: “An OAP a day will keep your balance a bay got to love the old c***.
“Old c***s ain’t safe. Take every penny they got get old b******ds to remorgage, take the money and let erm get chucked owt nxt one.”
The posts have since been deleted.
Clashes between the gypsies and local residents peaked after police ordered the shrine to stay despite the shrine being pulled down multiple times.
As of last Wednesday a local man had torn the flowers down for a fourth time declaring: “These people are scumbags, scumbags, scumbags. We’ve had enough in this country of scumbags.
“If you don’t know why I pulled the flowers down then you aren’t a human being.
“Would you go around allowing someone to stab your parents?
“Would you allow someone to come round with a screwdriver? And then be considered human beings?”
Chief Superintendent Simon Dobinson said he urged residents to respect the wishes of those who are placing flowers as a way to mark their loss.
He said: “I am aware of the concerns that have been raised by residents regarding the floral tributes placed in Hither Green.
“My officers have a responsibility to provide reassurance to local residents so they can go about their daily lives, while also respecting the wishes of family and friends to mark the loss of a loved one.
“They are not there to safeguard or facilitate the laying of floral tributes; we are liaising with the local authority who are considering appropriate management of the floral tributes.
“I do not want anyone to feel intimidated or that they are not being allowed to respond in a dignified way to a tragic death.
“We would urge members of the public to respect the wishes of those who choose to place flowers and other tributes in the area.
Richard Osborn-Brooks didn’t face any charges a burglar was fatally stabbed
“We would also request those placing tributes or visiting the area to behave in a responsible manner so as not to disrupt the local community.”
Local residents were furious when placards and flowers in memory of Vincent showed up outside the OAP’s home and the council official decided remove the shrine after almost a week of tension between Vincent’s traveller family and friends, and the local residents.
Two staff from Lewisham Council came down to Hither Green on Sunday evening and put the tributes in a white van before driving away.
The council said in a statement: “On the evening of Sunday, April 15 Lewisham Council staff moved the floral tributes what have been left in South Park Crescent to a local community garden.
“The decision was made jointly with the Met police to reduce the impact on the local community.”
Two police officers watched the scene as they told the mourners to move the shrine further away from the OAP’s house.
Neighbours have been furious with the council and police for keeping the shrine up
They tried to put the shrine just 20 yards away from Mr Obsborn-Brooks’ home but police moved them on leading them to walk up and down the street looking for a new spot.
The mourners eventually moved down the road.
The move comes after relatives of Vincent claim they are being racially discriminated because they are gypsies.
A woman who claims to be Henry’s aunt told the Daily Mail: “At the end of the day Henry was not a murderer, he was not a killer.
“What you’re doing here, the bombers don’t get as much publicity as this.”
he added that she felt racially discriminated against and said: “Yes I do and at the end of the day you cannot get any worse a penalty from a judge than the death sentence can you? Henry got a death sentence.
“I would not care if Henry got 50 years in prison as long as I could see him every day…his blood was split and there has been death threats to his children. What have they done in life? They are not married yet or anything.”
Vincent’s family and friends have made a further dig at the OAP’s neighbours by saying they now plan to bring the funeral procession past Osborn-Brooks home.
A source close to the family told The Sun: “They plan to take the procession right past the house. It’s supposed to be a message to locals and the guy who killed him that gipsies are not to be messed with.”
“Vincent’s spent his life ripping off the elderly yet his funeral’s designed to make you think he was some kind of gipsy god.
Tributes to the dead burglar were moved to a nearby garden
“They’re planning to spend £50,000 just on flowers. There will be limousines and ornate horse-drawn carriages.”
Over the weekend it was revealed that the OAP is waiting for tensions to subside before putting the house on the market and moving away.
A friend of Mr Osborn-Brooks said: “They are waiting for the dust to settle before they announce that publicly and put their house on the market.
“It’s the fact that they could come back and that his wife is disabled. They could terrorise him. It’s not safe.”