Council workers have removed bouquets of flowers and balloons left in memory of dead career criminal Henry Vincent – just hours after his traveller family held vigils and created another shrine to mark his 38th birthday.
Around 20 women had left bouquets on the fence opposite pensioner Richard Osborn-Brooks’s home where Vincent, 37, was fatally stabbed.
After six days of tit-for-tat action between the dead man’s relatives and local residents unhappy with the placards outside the OAP’s home, the council stepped in to remove the shrine in an attempt to ‘reduce the impact on the local community.’
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Council workers removed bouquets of flowers and balloons left in memory of dead career criminal Henry Vincent
Council workers place the flowers and balloons left by the family of the burglar in a nearby park after removing them from outside the pensioner’s now-empty home
Lewisham Council staff finally removed flowers, balloons and placards this evening – after six days in which the criminal’s family returned again and again to maintain the vigil
Two plain clothed Lewisham Council staff descended on the tributes this evening, placing them in a white van before driving away.
The man and woman collected balloons saying ‘you’ll be missed’, red heart balloons, flowers and a placard with a picture of Vincent.
In a statement the council 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.’
It comes after relatives today claimed they were being racially discriminated against as members of the travelling community.
After friends and neighbours of the 78-year-old and his wife tore previous tributes down, one woman said: ‘Just leave them [the flowers] alone, we are not coming back anymore to this s*** road.’
A police car and two officers surveyed the scene in Hither Green, south east London, after telling them to move the shrine further away from Mr Osborn-Brooks’s home.
The council FINALLY act: Lewisham Council released a statement saying it had removed the vigil to reduce the impact on the local community
A large group of family and friends have turned up to pay tribute to career criminal Henry Vincent, as they laid another shrine to mark his 38th birthday
Around 20 people, all of which women, left more bouquets of flowers on the fence opposite the home where Vincent, 37, was fatally stabbed
Five youths stood across the road, just 20 yards up the road from Richard Osborn-Brooks’ boarded up home, with their faces covered
After friends and neighbours of 78-year-old Richard Osborn-Brooks and his wife Maureen tore tributes to Henry Vincent down, one woman said: ‘Just leave them [the flowers] alone, we are not coming back anymore to this s*** road.’
A police car and two officers surveyed the scene in Hither Green, south east London, after telling them to move the shrine further away from Mr Osborn-Brooks’s home
A woman calling herself Henry’s aunt said: ‘At the end of the day Henry was not a murderer, he was not a killer. What you’re doing here, the bombers don’t get as much publicity as this.
A shrine is pictured to Henry Vincent in Hither Green
Asked if she felt they were being racially discriminated against, she said: ‘Yes I do and at the end of the day you cannot get any worse a penalty from a judge than the death sentence can you? Henry got a death sentence.
‘I would not care if Henry got fifty years in prison as long as I could see him every day….. his blood was split and there have been death threats to his children. What have they done in life? ‘They are not married yet or anything.’
She added they would not be returning to the road and were only here due to Henry’s birthday.
A family member added: ‘He was a great dad, the children got a good education, go to church, there’s only one judge and that’s Jesus Christ.’
Originally today’s mourners tried to put the shrine back on the fence 20 yards from Richard Osborn-Brooks’s house, but police moved them on.
Confusion reigned as they moved up and down the road looking for a new place to put the shrine.
They then decided to place them at a house in Further Green Road, where residents had previously agreed to have the tribute outside their house, but the owner was not in.
They eventually settled on the end of South Park Crescent.The placard with the picture of Henry Vincent has not been placed at the shrine.
The news comes as the family of Vincent revealed they would bring a horse-drawn funeral procession outside Mr Osborn-Brooks’ home.
A police officer watches on as family and friends of Mr Osborn-Brooks built yet another shrine in honour of the dead burglar
Friends and family members of Mr Vincent wear sunglasses and cover their faces as they lay down tributes to the dead burglar
The women carried balloons saying ‘you’ll be missed’, red heart balloons, flowers and a placard with a picture of Vincent (shown)
Three police officers at the property spoke to the women and told them to move the tributes to a different location away from the house (shown)
The family of career criminal and stabbed burglar Henry Vincent today paid tribute to him on his birthday
Two women, who said they were family members, placed a bouquet on a fence near pensioner Richard Osborn-Brooks’ home in Hither Green, south east London
Tributes are pictured at a new shrine in Hither Green, south east London, where relatives of Henry Vincent have left cards, balloons and flowers for his 38th birthday
Vincent’s family, who come from the traveller community, have been locked in an ongoing battle with Osborn-Brooks’ neighbours over floral tributes left outside.
And in a further dig at those neighbours, who object to the Vincent family laying flowers outside the house where he was stabbed to death with a screwdriver, they now plan to bring the funeral procession past Osborn-Brooks’ home, in Hither Green.
Former Kray twins hitman Freddie Foreman claimed Mr Osborn-Brooks deserved a bravery award for his actions.
The 86-year-old, who was involved in the infamous disposal of Jack McVitie’s body, said the pensioner was ‘doing what any man would to protect his home and his family’.
He told The Sun: ‘Every man’s home is his castle and that burglar has gone in there armed with a screwdriver to raid him.
‘That old boy has fought him off – and could have got killed himself.So he should get some kind of bravery award for what he did.’
Supporters of stabbed burglar Henry Vincent (right) have been trolling those defending pensioner Richard Osborn-Brooks (left) on Facebook. Mr Osborn-Brooks’ relatives believe he has been banned from speaking to them after being placed in a safe house
A woman, who said she was his cousin, said she thought ‘more people were going to be here’ and confirmed it would have been his 38th birthday today
Protester Iain Gordon protests outside the house in Hither Green yesterday. Family of dead burglar Henry Vincent have vowed to hold a funeral procession past his house
2.10pm Tuesday: The shrine had been rebuilt earlier today by relatives and friends of robber Henry Vincent after it was torn down by vigilantes
A source close to his family said they are planning to spend £100,000 to pay tribute to Vincent, according to The Sun.
But residents fear Vincent’s traveller friends could become violent, following tit-for-tat rows over the flowers.
The source said: ‘They plan to take the procession right past the house. It’s supposed to be a message to locals and the guy who killed him that gipsies are not to be messed with.’
The source added: ‘Vincent’s spent his life ripping off the elderly yet his funeral’s designed to make you think he was some kind of gipsy god.
‘They’re planning to spend £50,000 just on flowers. There will be limousines and ornate horse-drawn carriages.’
Vincent is due to be buried near his family’s site in Orpington, Kent.