South Park Crescent in Hither Green has become a flower battlefield after a shrine made by the family of a deceased burglar was shot down by members of the public.
On April 4, two burglars entered a property at South Park Crescent at Hither Green, South London. The owner of the house, the 78-year-old Richard Osborn-Brooks, found them inside and would probably have killed one of them after she was threatened with a screwdriver.
The burglars are suspected to be Henry Vincent and Billy Jeeves; two career criminals who rob burglaries in houses and possessions on a regular basis.
The 38-year-old Henry Vincent had left the building and collapsed in the neighborhood, where he was found by paramedics with a stab wound on his upper body; he was taken to hospital but died shortly after 3.30 am.
The police are still looking for Billy Jeeves, who is also suspected of being involved in the burglary, although his van was completely destroyed and burned in Orpington.
The homeowner Richard Osborn-Brooks was initially arrested on suspicion of murder, but released without further action.
This has opened national discussions about whether or not it is right to kill an intruder, and what amount of force is justified in self-defense. The story, however, goes much broader; the family of the deceased burglar has flowers and balloons tied to the fence opposite the house in question as a sheen for him.
With handwritten messages to him, the friends and family of Henry Victor argue that the fence is the right place to pay tribute to the man they have lost – a husband and a father.
On the other hand, friends, family and neighbors of retired Richard Osborn-Brooks say that this is disrespectful and that he may not feel safe returning home. They feel that the group of travelers who have placed the flowers just tries to thwart the community and not place the tributes on a private fence.