Council Removes Shrine For The Burglar Killed By Homeowner
In the days that have followed the death of burglar Henry Vincent - who was stabbed by homeowner Richard Osborn-Brooks after he broke into his house and later died - there's been quite the tug-of-war between people's sympathies, and where they should or shouldn't lie.
Soon after the incident, a shrine of flowers and cards were laid close to Osborn-Brooks' home in Hither Green, London, paying tribute to 37-year-old Vincent.
However, it wasn't long before some neighbours became riled by the tributes for the late intruder, and the shrine was dismantled.
In a persistent move, it was then put back up again - only for it to get taken down again.
Then it went up again. And down again. Up, down.
Yeah, it sounds like something out of a nursery rhyme, but this is, indeed, real news - and the saga continues.
The Mirror reports that the local council has now stepped in - with council workers removing birthday tributes including cards, flowers and balloons, which had been left in celebration of what would have been Vincent's 38th birthday.
A Met Police spokesman said: "On the evening of Sunday, 15 April Lewisham Council staff moved the floral tributes which had been left in South Park Crescent to a local community garden.
"This decision was made jointly with the Met police to reduce the impact on the local community."
Pensioner Osborn-Brooks and wife Maureen are currently living in a police safe house and are under 24-hour police supervision.
Lewisham Police even had to set up a police guard several days ago as tensions rose with the bizarre tug-of-war.
Chief Superintendent Simon Dobinson, the borough commander for Lewisham, said: "We 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.
"While the location and nature of floral tributes is generally not a matter for police, our officers are providing support both to residents and those who are mourning.
He continued: "We do not want anyone to feel intimidated or that they are not being allowed to respond in a dignified way to a tragic death.
"A small police presence remains in place in and around South Park Crescent to provide reassurance to the public.
"We urge members of the public to respect the wishes of those who choose to place flowers and other tributes in the area."
Featured Image Credit: PA