LONDON — A 78-year-old British retiree who stabbed a burglar to death in his home will not face criminal charges, London police said Friday.
Richard Osborn-Brooks was arrested on suspicion of murder after an altercation at his London home early Wednesday.
Police say the retiree said he had found two men inside the house, and struggled with one, who was stabbed in the upper body. The suspected burglar was found collapsed in a road nearby and died later in a hospital.
The Metropolitan Police force said Friday that police and prosecutors had decided that “no action will be taken” against the retiree. The force said it had spoken to the family of the dead man, 37-year-old Henry Vincent, to explain the decision.
Vincent had been on a police wanted list over an earlier burglary in which jewelry and valuables were stolen from a man in his 70s.
Detective Chief Inspector Simon Harding said it was “a tragic case for all of those involved.”
The case drew widespread public support for Osborn-Brooks, with tabloid newspapers among those saying he should not be charged.
British law permits the use of “reasonable” force in self-defense. In 2016, the High Court ruled that householders can use disproportionate force against intruders if they believe it is necessary.