A row over the memorial to burglar Henry Vincent has continued to drag on as tributes were torn down for a third time.
Supporters of 78 year old Richard Osborn-Brooks – who was arrested on suspicion of murdering 37-year-old Vincent while defending his home last week before being released without charge – have removed scores of floral bouquets and balloons placed outside the home of the pensioner.
A man who wished to remain anonymous said he drove from his home in north London to remove flowers laid in tribute to Vincent, after becoming ‘infuriated’ by the story.
Elvina Lee, who said she was Vincent’s first cousin, said: “This is the best place for these flowers to be. I don’t know what’s wrong with these people (who dismantled them)… I think they’re scum. He was like a brother to me, he loved his family and his three babies. He wasn’t a murderer, he wasn’t a rapist, they’re putting (sic) him as a monster.”
Chief Superintendent Simon Dobinson said: “My officers 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.”
“They are not there to safeguard or facilitate the laying of floral tributes; we are liaising with the local authority who are considering appropriate management of the floral tributes.”
“I do not want anyone to feel intimidated or that they are not being allowed to respond in a dignified way to a tragic death.”
“We would urge members of the public to respect the wishes of those who choose to place flowers and other tributes in the area.”
“We would also request those placing tributes or visiting the area to behave in a responsible manner so as not to disrupt the local community.”