A huge funeral procession for a burglar killed by an elderly man he was in the process of robbing has ended in violence, arrests, and “terrifying scenes”.
Mourners at the commemoration of career criminal Henry Vincent, who was known to target the elderly, threw eggs and attacked journalists, and one man was arrested for throwing rocks.
The traveller community of Mr. Vincent promised “the funeral of all funerals”, and on Thursday produced a procession of around ten limousines adorned with flamboyant floral tributes.
Meanwhile, victim Richard Osborn-Brooks, 78, has been forced into hiding, and is now selling his house since the break-in.
— Anna O'Neill (@Annareporting) May 3, 2018
Residents living around his home, in South Park Crescent in Lewisham, south London, used cars to block roads and stop the funeral procession provocatively passing by his former home.
A police helicopter circled above the event at one point and London’s Metropolitan Police issued a statement regarding the arrest. A spokesman told The Mirror:
“A male, believed to be in his teens, was arrested on suspicion of assault following an incident in High Street, Orpington, at the junction of Elizabeth Way at around 13.15hrs.
“He has been released under investigation to return to a police station at a later date.”
Stabbed burglar Henry Vincent’s funeral procession is under way pic.twitter.com/2S5K6C89zq
— Oliver Pritchard (@journo_oliver) May 3, 2018
An LBC reporter also said he had been assaulted by mourners attending the funeral, describing “absolutely terrifying scenes”.
LBC’s Mike Hughes was at the church where the funeral was headed, and told host Shelagh Fogarty live on air: “Chaos has descended here. In my 10 years as a journalist, I have never felt so under threat.
“I’ve had bottles thrown in my face. I am covered in egg, which was pelted at me.
“It all came from members of the funeral cortege. I was surrounded by people who were very angry, very upset and became very violent, very quickly.”
Following the death of Mr. Vincent, there were repeated disturbances outside the home of Mr. Osborn-Brooks, as people laid flower for the robber before residents removed them.
One resident, named only as Dave, who parked his car at the end of South Park Crescent, told Sky News: “I think it’s a disgrace that they want to bring the funeral past after all the flower debacle. It’s just not on.”
The resident said he had parked there despite police guidance that the funeral procession was not due to enter Lewisham.
He added: “There is the possibility that they might bring the body down in a hearse first and do a pass-by and then go back and have the actual funeral [elsewhere].”