Kassam on Newsnight: Dead Burglar’s Kids Better Off Without Their Father

Speaking out on the controversy surrounding floral tributes to a slain burglar killed during a home invasion in London, Breitbart Editor Raheem Kassam said it was possible the children of the dead criminal may be better off without him, and that police enforcing the right for his family to create a shrine was “the enforcement of immorality”.

Going against writer and broadcaster Anne Atkins on the BBC’s flagship current affairs programme Thursday evening as the impromptu shrine to burglar Henry Vincent was destroyed for the third time by supporters of homeowner Richard Osborn-Brook, Kassam and Atkins discussed the rights and wrongs of the flower laying and responses to it.

Asked whether it was a legitimate desire for the children of the deceased criminal to want to make a public display at the site of their father’s final break-in, Kassam responded that while it is understandable, in a common society individuals can also take into account the needs of others — including the intended victim, pensioner Richard Osborn-Brook who killed Vincent in defence of his home and disabled wife.

Blasting police for protecting the shrine built by relatives of Vincent, who have even demanded an apology from the elderly Osborn-Brook, Kassam said: “I may be controversial in saying this, but the bereavement of a father who may have taught their children criminality is something we need to assess as well. Perhaps these children may be better off not having a criminal father around, teaching them the tools of the trade.”

Struggling to be heard over the cries of protest from fellow guest Atkins and before the segment was abruptly ended, Kassam continued: “for the police to be enforcing that these people can lay flowers out there, I think it is the policing of immorality here, the enforcement of immorality, the enforcement of depravity and the enforcement of criminality.”

Earlier in the programme, Kassam had said the burglar had infringed upon the rights of others by stealing, and remarked: “what this comes down to is a basic concept of morality.

“This is not a road traffic accident, this is not a terrorist attack, we are not remembering the life of someone who was an innocent bystander. If the family want to grieve the loss of their loved one, they should do it elsewhere, where it can’t be seen as a taunt or even an intimidation tactic against the would-have-been victims of this midnight home invasion.”


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