A pensioner arrested on suspicion of murder was described as a “traditional English gentleman” as neighbours continued to throw their support behind him.
Richard Osborn-Brooks, 78, was released on bail this morning after he confronted a pair of suspected burglars at his home - one of whom ended up being stabbed to death.
Mr Osborn-Brooks allegedly stabbed one of the men with a screwdriver in a desperate bid to protect his home, where he lives with his disabled wife, in Hither Green, south east London, in the early hours of Tuesday.
The suspected crook fled the scene but collapsed in the street and later died of the stab wound to the upper body.
Police continued to search Mr Osborn-Brooks’s home for clues this morning as neighbours said they would meet to campaign for him.
Scotland Yard said he has been bailed until May pending further inquiries.
A 57-year-old woman, who lives within the police cordon but asked not to be named, said: “We used to say hello to each other.
“I support him 100 per cent. It’s out of order going into people’s houses, it serves them right really.
“He defended his house like anybody would.
“He’s a traditional Englishman. Him and his wife were an elderly couple.
“You would see them going shopping all the time together.
“I think it’s good everyone supports him because anyone would do the same thing to protect their property and their wife or husband.”
Melissa Darfoor, 22, who lives with her mother a few doors from Mr Osborn-Brooks home, said: “He was defending himself - and I think other people think the same thing.
“People should protest for him and to back him.”
Miss Dafoor, whose family is part of the local Neighbourhood Watch, added: “We had a burglary last year, a window was smashed and people came in.
“I think he had the right to defend his house.”
Another woman, who had a Neighbourhood Watch sticker on the front window of her home, said: “I feel so sorry for him and his wife.
“They were indoors minding their own business and their world has been turned upside down - that’s it in a nutshell.
“The burglars have made a criminal of him.”
The elderly woman, who did not give her name, said a Neighbourhood Watch meeting will go ahead at a local church tonight to discuss the incident.
Timothy Mgbeobuna, 63, who lives several doors away with his wife and four children, added: “We all support him defending himself, his property and his wife.
“There’s a good community here, it’s so quiet, this is quite unusual.”