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No action against homeowner after death of suspected Kent burglar Henry Vincent

A pensioner arrested following the death of a Kent man who was stabbed during a suspected burglary will not be prosecuted.

The 78-year-old has been told no action will be taken against him following discussions between the Metropolitan Police and Crown Prosecution Service.

Officers have also spoken with the family of Henry Vincent, who was wanted for distraction burglary in Farningham, to explain the reasons for the decision.

Richard Osborn-Brooks
Richard Osborn-Brooks

He died following the stabbing on Wednesday.

Detective Chief Inspector Simon Harding, of the Met Police’s homicide and major crime command, said: "This is a tragic case for all of those involved.

"As expected with any incident where someone has lost their life, my officers carried out a thorough investigation into the circumstances of the death.

“We have approached the CPS for early investigative advice, as required under the guidance.

"We have received and considered that advice, and, at present - on the evidence available - we will not seek a charging decision.

"Therefore, no further action will be taken against the man.

"Whilst there might be various forms of debate about which processes should be used in cases such as this, it was important that the resident was interviewed by officers under the appropriate legislation of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act; not only for the integrity of our investigation but also so that his personal and legal rights were protected.

Henry Vincent
Henry Vincent

“There will be an inquest in due course which will further review the circumstances into Mr Vincent’s death in a public forum.

"Our thoughts remain with the families whose lives have been devastated by these events."

Police were called to a house in Hither Green, south east London at 12.45am on Wednesday amid reports of a burglary in progress and a man injured at the address.

The homeowner had found two men inside the address and a struggle ensued between him and the men.

It is believed one of the suspects had a screwdriver and threatened the homeowner.

Mr Vincent, who was found collapsed in Further Green Road, suffered a stab wound to the upper body.

He was taken by the London Ambulance Service to a central London hospital where he was pronounced dead at 3.37am.

A second suspect in the burglary fled the scene prior to police arrival and remains on the run.

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