In yet another case of bizarre news from the UK that makes the country seem backwards when it comes to self-defense and common sense, a shrine to a burglar killed by a geriatric pensioner was erected outside of the old man’s house- while the homeowner is forced to live elsewhere under police protection.
Dozens of bouquets were placed along the garden wall of homeowner Richard Osborn-Brooks’ home in the Hither Green district of southeast London, commemorating the death of burglar Henry Vincent.
The 37-year-old Vincent was killed at around 12:45 AM on April 4 by Osborn-Brooks, after a struggle with the 78-year-old homeowner while his accomplice was robbing the home. Vincent was threatening Osborn-Brooks with a screwdriver before the struggle, which ended with Vincent being stabbed either with the screwdriver or a knife in the kitchen in defense of himself, his home and his wife, Maureen.
Initially arrested by Police on suspicion of murder, the elderly man and his wife have since been forced into police protection after receiving multiple death threats from friends and sympathizers alike.
Since the incident, the family home has been boarded up and the garden wall has become a contested shrine in support of Vincent, a bad guy dealt with in a manner unsettling to many- particularly in a country where self-defense laws tend to be much more restrictive.
Yesterday, much of the shrine -consisting of balloons, flowers, and cards- was torn down and left on the sidewalk, causing outrage among many of Vincent’s sympathizers.
“It’s terrible, they don’t understand that it’s somebody’s child. They’re a memory of a son and a friend,” said Vincent’s cousin, Phoebe Smith, who added that whoever tore town the display should be “ashamed of themselves.”
Several neighbors are less than pleased about the shrine, particularly as it has grown to cover their own fences.
“I am annoyed they put them on my fence. I do not appreciate it,” said resident Saverimuthu Augustine. “If it is a normal person it is different – it could have been my house [that was burgled].”
Other neighboring residents feel intimidated, adding that the “massive” display of over “101 bouquets” showing support for a criminal was rather “aggressive.”
According to the BBC, locals in the neighborhood expressed concern for Osborn-Brooks, nothing that his life is ruined- at least for a while.
“One minute he is in his house and the next his life is turned upside down,” Theresa Webb said. “Everyone around here sends their best wishes to him.”
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