Pensioner held as suspected burglar stabbed to death
A pensioner has been arrested after a suspected burglar was killed during a violent tussle at his home.
The 78-year-old was held on suspicion of murder after the 38-year-old died of his wounds in hospital early yesterday.
Police said the struggle broke out after the pensioner found two men inside his home in Hither Green, south London, shortly after midnight.
One of the burglars, armed with a screwdriver, forced the homeowner into his kitchen while his accomplice went upstairs. Detectives believe a struggle took place between "one of the males and the homeowner" and the intruder was stabbed in the upper body.
He was later found collapsed in nearby Further Green Road by paramedics from London Ambulance Service, who took him to a central London hospital, where he died at 3.37am. Police were unable to confirm whether the suspect had been stabbed with the screwdriver.
The second suspect fled the scene before police arrived and is now being hunted by the Met's Homicide and Major Crime Command.
Gordon Williams, a local resident, said: "I could hear people moaning in the street and just thought it was someone drunk. I saw the body laid in the street and another guy jump in a van and leave. I leaned over him and tried to reassure him. There was a lot of blood."
In a statement, Scotland Yard said: "Police were called by a homeowner to reports of a burglary in progress at an address in South Park Crescent, Hither Green, and a man injured. The 78-year-old resident found two males inside the address. A struggle ensued between one of the males and the homeowner. The man sustained a stab wound to the upper body."
The homeowner suffered bruising to his arms. Police arrested him on suspicion of grievous bodily harm before then arresting him on suspicion of murder.
In February alone there were 115 incidents of crime reported for the postcode area covering South Park Crescent, including a number of burglaries close to the pensioner's home and a number of cases of criminal damage, vehicle theft and sexual violence.
Clem Williams (58), a martial arts instructor who has lived on the road for 20 years, said: "It's a very quiet road, normally we do not get police incidents down this road. My personal opinion is why were the men at his house? The man has a right to defend his home. They should let him go."
Sylbourne Sydail, chairman of the local neighbourhood watch group, said: "A man should have the right and be able to defend their home." (© Daily Telegraph, London)