Burglary suspect 'stabbed to death' by pensioner during home raid was wanted by police over another break-in

Henry Vincent killed during struggle with 78-year-old homeowner, who has been arrested on suspicion of murder

Forensics enter home where pensioner is accused of fatally stabbing intruder

A suspected burglar stabbed to death during a raid on a pensioner’s home was already under investigation over a break-in involving another elderly victim, it has emerged.

Henry Vincent, 37, was named on Thursday as the intruder fatally wounded at the London home of Richard Osborn-Brooks, who was later arrested on suspicion of murder.

Vincent and an accomplice are believed to have threatened the 78-year-old with a screwdriver during the burglary in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Vincent was stabbed after a struggle broke out in the pensioner’s house in Hither Green, south-east London.

A witness said his alleged accomplice dragged him away towards a white van before leaving him for dead. He described seeing a white Vauxhall Astra van pull up next to a man “moaning and groaning” and ”bleeding heavily from his chest through his shirt”.

The van’s driver attempted to drag the man into the vehicle before driving off north when he noticed he was being watched, the witness said.

Police are still hunting for the surviving intruder.

In January, Kent Police said Vincent was wanted in connection to a November 2017 distraction burglary in Farningham in which which two men stole jewellery from the house of a man in his 70s.

Mr Osborn-Brooks was released on bail on Thursday after being questioned by police.

Neighbours said the pensioner, who suffered bruising during the struggle, should not be punished for defending his home. Mr Osborn-Brooks is said to live with his wife, who suffers from dementia.

Burglary suspect Henry Vincent was killed during an alleged break-in

“They were indoors minding their own business and their world has been turned upside down,” said one elderly neighbour. ”I feel so sorry for him and his wife.”

Adam Lake, who also lives nearby, said: “He doesn’t deserve to be punished for defending himself, and the neighbours that I’ve spoken to all agree that the priority needs to be to support him after everything that he’s been through. He was just protecting himself after all.”

Police were called to a reported burglary at the house at 12.45am on Wednesday.

“The 78-year-old resident had found two men inside the address and a struggle ensued between him and the men,” said a Metropolitan Police spokesman.

“It is believed that one of the suspects had a screwdriver and threatened the homeowner with it.”

Officers found Vincent collapsed nearby with a stab wound to his upper body.

He was taken to hospital by ambulance and pronounced dead at 3.37am.

Mr Osborn-Brooks was initially arrested on suspicious of causing grievous bodily harm. He was later arrested again on suspicion of murder before being bailed until early May.

Forensic officers on Further Green Road in Hither Green, London

Detective Chief Inspector Simon Harding said: “I would like to speak with anyone who has information regarding the outstanding suspect from the burglary, who is believed to be a white male; he may have told someone what happened at the address.

“It is possible that he fled the scene in a vehicle, possibly a white van, leaving the scene in the direction of Further Green Road. Did you see this vehicle? Do you know where it went after this? I ask anyone who can help to call our incident room as soon as possible.”

Kent Police said its probe into the distraction burglary last year was ongoing.

A spokesman for the force: “Following an appeal for information, a man was arrested and released under investigation.”

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