Body of man stabbed in burglary at OAP's home released to his family

The body of a burglar stabbed to death during a bungled raid on a pensioner's home has been released back to his family by a coroner.

Henry Vincent, 37, entered the property of 78-year-old Richard Osborn-Brooks with an accomplice in the early hours of April 4.

Police believe he forced the elderly homeowner into his kitchen armed with a screwdriver, where a struggle ensued and the intruder suffered a stab wound.

He fled the property on South Park Crescent in Hither Green, south-east London, at around 12.45am, and collapsed on neighbouring Further Green Road.

An inquest opening at Southwark Coroner's Court heard that Vincent, from Lime Road in Swanley, Kent, was jobless and single at the time. He died at University Hospital Lewisham.

Coroner's officer Joanne Bull told assistant coroner Sarah Ormond-Walshe that the body had been identified by his sister.

Detective Chief Inspector Simon Harding of the Metropolitan Police told the court: "The facts are that on Wednesday April 4, two males including Henry Vincent entered a residential address at about 12.40am whilst committing a burglary.

"During this burglary the male resident stabbed Henry Vincent, that ultimately led to his death."

Police are still hunting Billy Jeeves (Metropolitan Police/PA)
Police are still hunting Billy Jeeves (Metropolitan Police/PA)

Asked by Ms Ormond-Walshe if anyone had been charged by police over the killing, he replied: "No, ma'am."

Several female relatives of Vincent were in court on Tuesday afternoon.

The coroner told them: "I know you are having a dreadful time, I am releasing the body to you."

Mr Osborn-Brooks was initially arrested on suspicion of murder, but was told by police he would face no further action.

Scotland Yard officers are still hunting 28-year-old Billy Jeeves, who is wanted on suspicion of aggravated burglary in connection with the incident.