Pensioner Lawfully Killed Burglar
A terrified pensioner who stabbed a burglar to death has been cleared of any wrongdoing, a coroner has ruled.
Richard Osborn-Brooks, 79, killed thief Henry Vincent, 37, with a kitchen knife whilst trying to defend himself and his wife, who suffers with dementia.
The incident, which took place in April of last year, saw Mr Osborn-Brooks so scared of reprisal that he left his home and went into hiding following the event.
The retired RAC manager was arrested on suspicion of murder, before being released without charge.
An inquest ruling that the death was unlawful could have sent the case back to police. But the recent decision that Vincent was lawfully killed has cleared the pensioner of any wrongdoing
Mr Osborn-Brooks gave evidence to the inquest via videolink, with the screen disabled so that only his voice could be heard.
He said Vincent had knocked on the front door of his house in Hither Green, south-east London, shortly after midnight on April 4 last year. When he answered the knock, the raider and his accomplice forced their way in and dad-of-three Vincent ran up the stairs to look for money.
The arrest of Mr Osborn-Brooks sparked outrage and an online campaign raised thousands of pounds in support of him.
There was further controversy when Vincent’s family and friends laid cards and flowers outside the home he targeted, repeatedly returning with more when they were ripped down.