5 April 2018

Richard

The man above is seventy eight years old. His name is Richard Osborn-Brooks and he lives in south-east London. On Tuesday night, just after midnight he heard noises below while settling down to sleep in his suburban bedroom. 

He went downstairs and discovered two much younger men - complete strangers who had broken into his home and were preparing to burgle Richard and his wife.

One of the burglars was armed with a screwdriver. There was a struggle in the kitchen during which Richard grabbed a knife and plunged it into the chest of one of the intruders.

This thirty eight year old man managed to stumble out of the house and into the street with the knife still embedded in his chest. A getaway driver sped away as neighbours came out into the street to see what was going on.

Paramedics were called but the stabbed burglar died later in hospital.

And now we come to the reason for this blogpost. Following the burglar's death, Richard Osborn-Brooks was arrested on suspicion of murder. Can you believe it?

A man approaching the age of eighty, bravely protects himself, his wife  and his home, killing a dishonest man who has no doubt been responsible for numerous other unsolved burglaries in the area - and he ends up being arrested!

Perhaps I have an illiberal way of looking at some things but in my way of thinking Richard Osborn-Brooks deserves a medal, and a message of gratitude from The Queen. He has done society a great service and it is astounding and quite unforgivable that he is being quizzed as a potential murderer. He is not a murderer, he is a hero! I would like to think that if I had been in Richard's awful situation, I would have done the same.
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STOP PRESS After a night in a police cell, Richard has 
now been bailed pending further enquiries.

34 comments:

  1. He should have kept him in his home. That would have confirmed his tale of he man having broken in with evil intentions.

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    1. He is seventy eight. The two intruders were in their thirties. Richard was probably defending himself.

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  2. I'm hoping the charges will be dropped when the investigation is completed?

    I wonder how Richard feels about having killed a man, I think it would be a hard thing to live with, regardless of how necessary it was

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    1. Hopefully you are right Kylie. After investigations are over the charges will be dropped.

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  3. I can believe it...but shouldn't have to! I think it is disgusting and disgraceful that Richard, and others who have done similar to what he did to protect himself, his wife and HIS property should be charged.

    When my ex lived in New York back in the late 60s-mid-70s the cops used to tell him if someone broke into his apartment, and he, my ex defended himself and caused harm to the offender to make sure he dragged said offender back into his apartment...then call the cops!

    Similar instructions as to what Catalyst has said above.

    To put it bluntly...and apologies ahead of time if I offend...I think it is total bullshit that this man is charged.

    I certainly think Richard deserves a medal...he certainly does not deserve to be charged!

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    1. Furthermore, what Richard is now having to go through happens here in this country, too...and I reiterate, silently, my comment above that might offend some.

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    2. "Total bullshit" is a useful and expressive term in my view and the right one to describe the system's response to Richard's traumatic and brave actions.

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  4. I can only hope that his initial arrest was following basic police guidelines until the case could be better investigated. Hopefully all charges would be dropped after an investigation. I agree with you completely on this situation being horribly wrong. No doubt Richard felt physically threatened not to mention the fact that his home was broken into and items being taken. In the U.S. if someone breaks into your home and you feel physically threatened you can legally fight back in whatever manner you are able in order to protect yourself and your family. It is possible, as others have suggested, that this case was complicated because the thief left the house but I would think there would be some evidence of the stabbing taking place in the house. Personally I think this gentleman was very brave and doing what was necessary to protect himself and his wife not to mention his property. Plus, as you said, this was certainly not the first time these people had broken into homes like this and Richard should be commended for his bravery. I'll be interested in hearing how this case turns out. I certainly hope in Richard's favor!

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    1. Thank you for this comment Bonnie. Interesting. When there are developments in the case I will let you know.

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  5. its probably cheaper to charge him and lock him up for a few days than to provide him with protection from the family and gang members involved with the saint he stabbed . Monetary logic features in so many police decisions and political ones

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    1. That's scary to think the family/gang might take some revenge.

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    2. I had not thought of that Kate but you may well be right. The "victim" may well have been a loving father and son with a mental disorder, driven to burglary because he had lost his job. In fact, he shouldn't have had to break in to Richard's house. Richard should have let him in and shown him where the valuables were.

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  6. An all round tragedy. It is absolutely crucial, in my opinion that we can defend our selves and property without recompense,in our own homes especially.
    On a lighter note, BOSH! Has a write up in this months waitrose magazine.

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    1. I have seen it Christina. It's one of the worst bits of publicity they have had so I am now boycotting Waitrose.

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  7. Wow. As others have said maybe it will all come right in the end. I agree that the man did society a service by removing those thugs. They won't attack anyone else!

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    1. Well, the dead one won't - that's for sure!

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  8. Plus it turns out that his wife is disabled and the other burger ransacked the bedroom while she lay terrified! This wasn't some teen out for a lark - this was a grown up who knew exactly what he was doing and had no qualms about attacking and terrifying two law abiding elderly people in their own home - in fact they were probably targeted by this pair because they were "an easy target"! All charges should be dropped immediately.

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    1. I think that Sir Richard Osborn-Brooks has a nice ring to it Margie.

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  9. What a shame. I suppose the recommended action would have been to barricade themselves in the bedroom and call police, either then (if they had a phone available) or after the burglars were gone. Mr. Osborn-Brooks is lucky he is the one still alive. It could have gone a different way. No amount of belongings is worth one's life.

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    1. In that deathly moment he probably thought "It's him or me" and I feel sure that he made the right choice.

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    2. My point was that if he had stayed away from the burglars, neither of them might have been harmed.

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    3. Should we stand back and allow complete strangers to take our things? No way! This is fundamental to the human psyche.

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    4. Take your things, or possibly take your life? They are just things.

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    5. It's not so much the actual things - it is the intrusion and the audacity that need the response they deserve.

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    6. I'm really trying to understand your stance, YP, not just trying to have the last word! Why not let the police give that response, rather than resort to violence that can (and did) become lethal? Do the police not do their job in your area? I know the feeling of intrusion somewhat - we had a burglary at our summer cottage. Fortunately we were not there at the time. It felt like a violation even so. But why become a killer, or a statistic, over the principle of "what's mine is mine"?

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  10. Similar stories have been in the news before, and my gut reaction is always the same, echoing what you have said.
    What Kate said about possible acts of revenge from the dead burglar's family or "colleagues" didn't occur to me, but it is indeed a scary thought and not unrealistic.

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    1. By the way, I did leave a (late-ish) comment on your post about Kyrgysztan. I don't think you check comments on older posts, do you? It does happen every now and then that I check an older post of yours and find comments there you did not reply to.

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    2. I am a very naughty boy Miss Riley!

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  11. With you all the way YP.
    Briony
    x

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    1. I hope you and Tom have a baseball bat ready - just in case.

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  12. There is a provision in the law, even in America, that you cannot defend crimes against property with deadly force. Which is a pretty fine distinction to be made if you are the person in the house whose property is being ransacked. It means that the burden is on you to think: Is this burglar just after my chattel? And if so, I have to stand aside and let the burglar carry on.

    But if the burglar happens to threaten you physically, and the only proof of that is that you have let the intruder make a physical mark on your person, THEN you can defend yourself with deadly force. So you have to let him strike first. Riiiiiight.

    It is crazy. What this means is that if you are awakened by a stranger prowling through your house in the middle of the night, you have to give him the benefit of the doubt as to his intents to kill you.

    Holy shit. I dont' get into an elevator by myself if there is only one other occupant and that occupant is male. I don't give any stranger, in a threatening situation, the benefit of the doubt.

    What happened to the English notion that a man's house is his castle? And that the king or queen of the castle can unleash the hounds on any intruder?

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    1. I don't know what happened to that notion but I know that I would not hesitate to kill an aggressive intruder if I found him in my house and damn the consequences! Some moral truths transcend legal niceties.

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    2. I don't know how the law works in these cases -- but it seems pretty clear that if the burglar is armed, he intends to do harm. At least, Richard certainly had every reason to believe so.

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  13. I read this story in the paper and felt exactly the same way. My guess is the police felt that they HAD to arrest and charge him, and then let the justice system dispense with the case through trial -- even though the outcome should clearly be (based on what we know so far) that Richard acted in self-defense and must be exonerated.

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