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John Bishop labels shrine to burglar ‘disgusting’

The comedian said a police request for Hither Green residents to respect the family’s floral tributes was a ‘disgrace’.

Comedian John Bishop has said a police appeal to the residents of Hither Green to respect flowers laid by burglar Henry Vincent’s family is a “disgrace”.

The Liverpudlian waded into the row over the shrine set up close to the home of pensioner Richard Osborn-Brooks, who was initially arrested on suspicion of murder after intruder Vincent died from a stab wound.

The 78-year-old was later released and will face no further action.

Tensions between the burglar’s family and residents and supporters of Mr Osborn-Brooks have escalated after flowers laid opposite the house were repeatedly torn down and replaced, forcing mounted police to patrol the area.

Chief Superintendent Simon Dobinson said on Wednesday that he was “aware” of residents’ concerns over floral tributes.

But he added: “We would urge members of the public to respect the wishes of those who choose to place flowers and other tributes in the area.”

Bishop, whose tweet gained more than 11,000 likes within hours, said: “The police suggesting that the family of Henry Vincent should be allowed to place floral tributes opposite the house he tried to rob is a disgrace.

“He was a scumbag who preyed on pensioners. Tributes condone his actions, and imagine how it makes Mr Osborn-Brooks feel. Disgusting!

The father-of-three was not the only one to take exception to the shrine.

Actor James Dreyfus, star of The Thin Blue Line, said: “I sincerely hope that ghastly, aggressive ‘floral tribute’ is torn down again tonight. Fantastic neighbours.”

On Thursday, Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner Sir Craig Mackey said the intruder’s death was a “tragedy” but that it would have been “preferable if the pavement had remained clear”.

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