A removal firm is packing up the belongings of a pensioner who tackled a prolific burglar who had broken into his house.
Richard Osborn-Brooks, 78, and his wife Maureen have not been seen at their home in Hither Green since the death of Henry Vincent, a career criminal who died of a stab wound after struggling with Mr Osborn-Brooks during a break-in.
In another sign that the elderly couple do not intend to move back to the three-bedroom terraced home, eight removal men were seen going into the boarded up house this morning.
A friend said: ‘They are waiting for the dust to settle before they announce that publicly and put their house on the market.
‘It’s the fact that they could come back and that his wife is disabled. They could terrorise him. It’s not safe.’
Removal men are taking away belongings of a pensioner who fought with a burglar at his home
The couple’s car was also removed by police amid claims they are moving out of the house
Richard Osborn-Brooks (left) and his wife Maureen are understood to be moving out of the home where he tackled burglar Henry Vincent (right), who died from a stab wound
Shortly before 9am, removal men arrived and took boxes into the property. A police flatbed lorry also arrived to pick up their car.
One neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: ‘We always hoped they would come back at some stage but this looks rather final to me. It’s all very sad.’
Mr Osborn-Brooks and his wife, who suffers from severe arthritis, have been kept under police guard in a safe house since the attack.
A family friend has saidthe pair had been told they faced reprisals from associates of Vincent.
The couple’s mobile phones have been switched off, friends said.
It is understood the couple plan to sell the home where they have lived for more than 20 years.
Removal men arrived at the house at 9am this morning to take away the elderly couple’s things
The usually quiet suburban street has been at the centre of a row over the rights of homeowners to protect themselves from intruders
Met Police officers took away the couple’s Vauxhall Astra today. They remain in a safe house
The friend added: ‘He’s got what happened that night on his conscience for the rest of his life now.
‘He’s never going to forget that he’s killed someone. He’s not a violent person. He’s a really nice run of the mill guy.’
It comes after vigilantes vowed to stage a roadblock in a bid to stop a funeral procession for Vincent passing the home where he was stabbed.
Vincent’s family are said to be planning a £100,000 ‘funeral of all funerals’ for the victim, with a procession going straight past Mr Osborn-Brooks’ house.
But neighbours of Mr Osborn-Brooks have allegedly said that they are planning to leave a dozen cars at the entrance to the road in an attempt to stop it.
Neighbours of Mr Osborn-Brooks reacted angrily to relatives of burglar Vincent bring balloons and makeshift shrine to the street and their are worries over his funeral procession