Flowers and tributes for the burglar who was stabbed to death during a botched break-in at a pensioners home have been moved from the street where he died by the local council.
Henry Vincent, 37, was killed during a struggle with Richard Osborn-Brooks, 78, whose house he had broken into in Hither Green, south-east London,with an accomplice while armed with a screwdriver earlier in the month.
Mr Osborn-Brooks was arrested on suspicion of murder following the death of Vincent on 4 April but was later told he would face no further action.
After a week long dispute between supporters of Mr Osborn-Brooks and the family of Mr Vincent in the ordinarily quiet neighbourhood, the cards, balloons and flowers were moved to a local community garden.
His family celebrated what would have been his 38th birthday on Sunday by leaving tributes near to where he died. At the request of the police, they left their tributes around 100 metres away from the house where he was fatally stabbed.
The familyhad previously attachedflowers to a fence almost opposite the house but they were ripped down at least four times by locals angry at the tributes.
On Sunday evening, around 20 women from the travelling community arrived at South Park Crescent to lay flowers.The police stopped the group from stapling cards to the fence telling them the council had assigned a place for them- andtributes were instead left by a sign and lamppost located just along from the fence.
However, on Sunday evening Lewisham Council and the Met Police said all the flowers and tributes had now been taken away from South Park Crescent.
It said council staff had relocated them to a “local community garden” and the decision had been made in conjunction with the police in order “to reduce the impact on the local community”.
The original shrine, which neighbours dubbed inappropriate and in poor taste, included hand-written cards from his children and aunt.
To my daddy, no words can describe the pain and heartache we are going through,” read one.”These people wont put us down. We love you dad. We miss you so much.
Mr Vincents family,who have identified themselves as Gypsies, have said they are being stigmatised due to their background and should be permitted to grieve in peace.
Mr Osborn-Brooks and his wife are reported to have been staying in a police safe house since the incident.