OAP who knifed burglar to death still forced from his home three months on as pictures show overgrown garden and boarded-up windows

Richard Osborn-Brooks, 78, and his wife Maureen were forced to flee into police protection over fear of revenge attacks following 37-year-old Vincent's death in the early hours of April 4.

Vincent and an accomplice broke into the couple's Hither Green home in South East London.

Mr Osborn-Brooks was then forced into the kitchen of the house while the other assailant went upstairs.

But during a struggle Vincent, who was armed with a screwdriver, was somehow stabbed.

He staggered into the street and collapsed, but died later in hospital.

Mr Osborne-Brooks was initially questioned for murder but was quickly cleared by police.

Following traveller Vincent's stabbing, family members erected provocative floral shrines to the dead burglar opposite and close to the Mr Osborn-Brooks' three-bedroomed terraced house.

The shrine sparked a bitter "War of the Roses" between furious locals and outsiders who ripped down floral bouquets.

But three months on from Vincent's death, the windows of the house remain covered in metal grilles with large weeds overgrowing the front garden on South Park Crescent.

Clusters of weeds, some several feet high, fill the small garden with some creeping up the front door.

Three red traffic cones remain outside the house, which was under 24-hour police guard for days following the burglary.

So far, no For Sale sign has been erected outside the house, which is worth an estimated £405,000.

Neighbours living on the street said they hadn't heard anything about the Osborn-Brooks' wellbeing, and that the house had remained untouched since a security firm boarded it up and placed a CCTV camera 20ft away from the house to monitor it 24/7.

One resident today said: "It's so sad to see the house like that. It's all totally overgrown. It's in a real sorry state.

"We have not heard anything about how Richard and Maureen are. We just hope they are ok.

"It's just not the same here now. I'm sure they'd hate to see their home looking like this."

The couple are understood to be in a police safehouse.

Speaking in April, a close family friend, who didn't want to be named, said: "Richard and Maureen are in a safe house. We do not know where.

"All his phones have been changed. He won't answer. His phone has been cut off. He is in a safe house, he is under police protection and faces reprisals. As far as we know he is OK.

"As far as I'm concerned for what he did he is a hero."

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