Burglar Henry Vincent's father pockets £1.5m from pensioner's home

EXCLUSIVE: Hither Green burglar Henry Vincent’s fraudster father pockets £1.5million after selling farmhouse bought for cut price £325,000 from vulnerable pensioner two years ago

  • Rosemary Vincent bought Snagbrook Farm for £325,000 from retired farmer Dudley Wright in 2018 
  • She transferred the property to her husband Henry who sold the five bedroom property in Hollingbourne, Kent, at auction for £1.5 million 
  • Mr Wright, who continued to live at Snagbrook after it was sold, has not been seen since 
  • Locals said they feared the Vincents had taken advantage of Mr Wright, after befriending him in 2016
  • The Vincents’ 27-year-old son, also called Henry, died in botched burglary in Hither Green in 2018  
  • He was stabbed with a screwdriver after breaking in to Richard Osborn-Brooks’s house during the night
  • Mr Osborn-Brooks, 78, was arrested on suspicion of murder before being cleared of all wrong-doing
  • The former RAC office manager had to sell his home and move after threats were made to him and his wife 

The fraudster father of slain Hither Green burglar Henry Vincent has pocketed £1.5 million after selling a sprawling farm his wife bought for £325,000 from a vulnerable pensioner two years ago, MailOnline can reveal.

Rosemary Vincent, whose son was fatally stabbed by a homeowner in the botched 2018 raid, acquired the five-bedroom Grade II Snagbrook Farm and surrounding 61-acres of land in the picturesque Kent village of Hollingbourne that year. 

The ramshackle property was sold yesterday at an online auction to a mystery buyer for £1.5 million. 

Footage of the house and grounds showed empty rooms with holes in the floors and ceilings, while naked bulbs and Christmas tinsel were seen hanging from the walls. 

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The fraudster father of slain Hither Green burglar Henry Vincent has made £1.5 million after selling Snagbrook Farm (above) which his wife bought for £325,000 from a vulnerable pensioner two years ago, MailOnline can reveal 

Rosemary Vincent, whose son was fatally stabbed by a homeowner in the botched 2018 raid, acquired the five-bedroom Grade II Snagbrook Farm and surrounding 61-acres of land in the picturesque Kent village of Hollingbourne that year. The ramshackle property which is derelict in parts was sold yesterday at an online auction to a mystery buyer for £1.5 million


Rosemary Vincent (right) bought the farm in a cut price deal from landowner Dudley Wright whom first met the family in 2016 when her handyman husband Henry (left) offered to do odd jobs around his home


The Vincents’ son Henry, 37, (left) was living at Snagbrook Farm when he robbed the home of 78-year-old Richard Osborn-Brooks (right) in Hither Green two years ago. The burglar ended up being stabbed with his own screwdriver during a scuffle with the former RAC office manager, and died after staggering onto the pavement

Mrs Vincent bought the farm in a cut price deal from landowner Dudley Wright who first met the family in 2016 when her handyman husband Henry offered to do odd jobs around his home. 

It is understood the Vincents moved in while Mr Wright ended up living in a ramshackle caravan on a patch of land next to the house and he has not been seen since.  

Two years after meeting the couple, the 74-year-old farmer agreed to sell his property to Mrs Vincent in five separate plots, with each costing £65,000. 

The following year she then transferred the property to her husband’s name. 

Yesterday’s £1.5 million sale prompted anger among locals who know Mr Wright and accused the Vincents of taking advantage of a vulnerable old man.

It is understood the Vincents moved in while Mr Wright (above) ended up living in a ramshackle caravan on a patch of land next to the house and he has not been seen since

Chris, who ran the local village shop, said: ‘The whole thing is a disgrace and should be properly investigated.

‘A pensioner was taken advantage of and these people have made a hefty profit in a very short period of time. It all smells very rotten to me.’

The Vincents’ son Henry, 37, was living at Snagbrook Farm when he robbed the home of 78-year-old Richard Osborn-Brooks in Hither Green two years ago.

The burglar ended up being stabbed with his own screwdriver during a scuffle with the former RAC office manager, and died after staggering onto the pavement.  

Mr Osborn-Brooks was initially arrested on suspicion of murder before being cleared of any wrong-doing, but the death prompted an outpouring of protest from the traveller community, to which the Vincents belong.

Numerous threats were made against Mr Osborn-Brooks and his wife who were forced to sell their three-bedroom home and move elsewhere. 

At Snagbrook Farm today, the property appeared abandoned, with a padlock slung over the gate and the driveway overgrown and in a shabby state. 

Its sudden sale sparked fresh concerns about Mr Wright and what has happened to him. 

One local said: ‘We haven’t got a clue where Dudley is and it’s a mystery that’s got us all talking. He was always a bit of a recluse and didn’t really have any friends in the village so I just hope he’s OK.’

In 2018, MailOnline revealed that soon after the Vincents took ownership of the farm, Mr Wright wrote to his ex-wife saying their daughter Davinia was being written out of his will.

His cattle were then sold and a long-serving farm worker, Walter Bratton, who had lived in a house in the grounds, was duly removed and lost his job.

Snagbrook Farm today appeared abandoned, with a padlock slung over the gate and the driveway overgrown and in a shabby state

 Two years after meeting the couple, the 74-year-old farmer agreed to sell his property to Mrs Vincent in five separate plots, with each costing £65,000. The following year she then transferred the property to her husband’s name

Snagbrook Farm was put up for sale this week by Clive Emson auctioneers with a £1.5 million guide price, sparking three days of intense online interest

Mr Wright’s ex-wife Winnifred, whom he married in 1972 and broke up with four years later, said their only daughter ‘accepted a long time ago’ that she had been disinherited by her father.

She said last night: ‘I haven’t seen Dudley for more than 40 years but it doesn’t surprise me that Snagbrook Farm has gone under the hammer for £1.5million when he only sold it for £325,000. He was like that – never really had any good business sense.

‘Our daughter has lost out on a quite a bit of money but to be honest she accepted years ago that that was probably going to be the case.

‘I’ve haven’t had anything to do with Dudley for a long time as we were only married for four years before splitting.

‘But last year I had an attack of conscience and rang Kent Social Services to enquire of his whereabouts in case he’d been killed and dumped in a ditch somewhere.

‘They told me nothing but they didn’t seem too concerned for his well-being.

‘I did hear something from a friend but it’s third-hand so I don’t know how reliable the information is. 

‘She said that a friend of hers had been part of a group from Hollingbourne, which included Dudley, who would go on excursions to France.  

‘One of the group had died last year and this lady phoned Snagbrook Farm to let Dudley know and to inform him of funeral details. 

‘Dudley is supposed to have answered the house phone suggesting that he was living there with the Vincents.  

‘Where he is now, now that the house has been sold goodness knows. But whatever has happened he’s probably brought it on himself.’ 

The main farmhouse is believed to date back to the 16th century with a 19th century facade boasting internal period features including panelled walls, fireplaces and leaded light windows 

The £1.5m sale prompted anger among locals who know Mr Wright and accused the Vincents of taking advantage of a vulnerable old man

Rumours are widely circulating within Hollingbourne that Mr Wright was taken to Ashford or Sittingbourne by Mr Vincent senior and that he may still be living there. 

Mr Wright was once a vocal member of their community but fears were raised at a local parish council meeting in October 2016 when members spoke about how the pensioner had had not been seen around the area. 

The farm’s sale has sparked fresh concerns about Mr Wright (above on his wedding day) and what has happened to him

Mike Bedwell, the then leader of the Parish Council, said: ‘He used to be seen regularly out and about doing his shopping in the local convenience store and the owner was his friend.

‘He is an elderly gentleman who used to write a lot of complaining letters to the parish council, but they stopped suddenly.

‘We have heard he is still living on the property but there have also been rumours that he was in a mobile home, in care or living above a shop in Ashford. We have checked and there is no sign of him.’ 

However, at the following month’s meeting, it was recorded that ‘PCSO Dave Rowley has visited a local pensioner who had not been seen for some time by neighbours and he was found to be living with a carer and in good spirits’ and that the police do not have any concerns about his welfare but will monitor the situation. 

Snagbrook Farm was put up for sale this week by Clive Emson auctioneers with a £1.5 million guide price, sparking three days of intense online interest.

Kevin Gilbert of Clive Emson told MailOnline: ‘The property was sold for £1.5millon to an undisclosed buyer from Kent.

‘We were aware of the previous media reports around this particular property and we had a lot of interest when putting it up for auction on Monday.

‘The deeds were in the name of Mr Vincent and the property was sold on his behalf.

‘Snagbrook is a fabulous place in a stunning setting but the owner is going to have to spend a few quid doing it up.

‘The main house is Grade II listed so the new owner will have to comply with conservation orders but it’s a blank canvass and could become a really fantastic property.’

The main farmhouse is believed to date back to the 16th century with a 19th century facade boasting internal period features including panelled walls, fireplaces and leaded light windows. 

The site also includes a smaller bungalow, three barns, a mobile unit and a spring water-fed lake.

It is not known where the Vincents have moved to, but the family has been known to fleece the elderly in a variety of mainly building scams.

The Vincents’ son Henry, 37, was living at Snagbrook Farm when he robbed the home of 78-year-old Richard Osborn-Brooks in Hither Green two years ago. The burglar ended up being stabbed with his own screwdriver during a scuffle with the former RAC office manager, and died after staggering onto the pavement. Pictured: Mourners leave tributes where he died 

Mr Osborn-Brooks was initially arrested on suspicion of murder before being cleared of any wrong-doing, but the burglar’s death prompted an outpouring of protest from the traveller community, to which the Vincents belong. Pictured: Mourners paying tribute to Vincent Jr

One of their victims was charged £72,000 to repair a single roof tile.

In 2003, Vincent Snr, now 61, was described as the leader of a seven-strong family gang of cowboy builders who had fleeced elderly householders of more than £1 million.

The gang would frogmarch their vulnerable victims to the bank after telling them their houses were about to fall down. 

Their vile tricks of the trade include showing rotten pieces of wood they have brought with them to convince octogenarians they need repairs done.

They also like to squirt water onto the interior walls of pensioners’ homes to pretend there is a damp problem.

The seven were jailed for a total of nearly 30 years. Vincent senior, now 59, was sentenced to five-and-a-half years.

Just five years later, in 2008, he swindled an 81-year-old man out of £72,000 for roof repairs and after going on on the run was caught in September 2010 and jailed for six years the following August.   

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