Accused pensioner bailed as neighbours argue he 'should not be punished for self defence'

Richard Osborn-Brooks, 78, was arrested on suspicion of murder after fatally wounding an intruder at his home

Richard Osborn-Brooks, 78, was arrested on suspicion of murder after fatally wounding an intruder at his home

Thursday, April 5, 2018

A 78-year-old man, named locally as Richard Osborn-Brooks, who was arrested over the fatal stabbing of an intruder during a burglary at his south-east London home, has been bailed until May pending further inquiries, Scotland Yard have said.

The pensioner had been quizzed by police over the death of the intruder, who neighbours said should not be punished for defending himself at home.

Adam Lake, who lives near the scene, said he did not feel safe from crime and that Mr Osborn-Brooks was "just protecting himself".

He 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."

Officers were called to reports of a burglary in progress after two men entered a house in South Park Crescent in Hither Green, south-east London, the Metropolitan Police said.

The 38-year-old intruder, who died after a struggle with the pensioner, had an accomplice who dragged him towards a van before leaving him for dead, according to an eyewitness.

One suspect, armed with a screwdriver, forced the homeowner into his kitchen when he discovered them, while his accomplice went upstairs, the force said.

Detectives believe a struggle ensued between "one of the males and the homeowner" and the intruder was stabbed in the upper body but they refused to confirm whether the suspect had been stabbed with the screwdriver.

He was later found collapsed in nearby Further Green Road by paramedics from London Ambulance Service, who took him to a central London hospital where he died at 3.37am.

The second suspect fled the scene and has yet to be found. He remains in custody at a south London police station.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111

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