Heartbreaking pic of OAP war veteran, 98, fighting for life in hospital after sick burglars broke into his home and battered him on Bonfire night

His son, Simon Gouldstone, said he found his dad, Peter, lying on the floor next to his bed having been "beaten badly".

He said: "His TV was gone and the place was a mess – he was semi-conscious and he couldn't speak or move, he was clearly agitated.

"It was clear he had been beaten badly, he had bruises everywhere and was bleeding from his head.

"I called the police and they were there in minutes – I am thankful for them and the ambulance service.

"My father has always been supportive, he was a peaceful and supportive person.

"I hope that he can make it out of hospital."

Simon said that his dad is a former postal worker who served in Italy during the Second World War.

He is one of two siblings and his mother Joan passed away in 2013 – making his father a widower.

The 98-year-old man lives in an area of Enfield, London, dubbed a "burglary blackspot", with one of his neighbours saying they have been targeted six times in ten years.

Khalid Mahmood, 42, added: "The police didn't catch anyone – they even took out clothes away for forensics.

"It's bad, I do feel unsafe – I'm here with three kids and my wife.

"My next door neighbour was 92-years-old – she was burgled twice leading up to her death four years ago.

"The poor woman would not stop shaking, she lived on her home and she was in fear of another break in.

"These things are something you've come to expect."

Police were called to the house by paramedics at 10am on Tuesday morning after the pensioner was found suffering from serious injuries.

A witness of the aftermath said: "I was just driving past the end of the road last night and I saw a forensics van.

"They seem to he taking this pretty seriously – there are quite a few elderly people on the road."

Former print maker Len Steiner, 85, who has lived on the street for 70 years, said: "I haven't seen Peter for the past four years – he never left the house.

"I've had break-ins before; it's a fairly common thing around here."

The elderly man had sustained multiple bruising to his body and a head injury and was taken to an east London hospital, where he remains in a life threatening condition.

Scotland Yard say officers at the scene on Evesham Road found evidence of a disturbance in the house.

A number of items were missing from the address, including a Toshiba television and other personal belongings, officers said.

Detective Inspector Paul Ridley said: “This was a brutal and senseless attack on a vulnerable pensioner in his own home.

"The level of violence used was completely excessive.

“From our inquiries we have established that the victim was spoken to by a family member on the telephone on Monday, 5 November at 2pm and had not raised any concerns.

"We are therefore confident, the attack has taken place in the 20-hour window between then, possible Bonfire Night, to when he was discovered.

“I would urge any members of the public that may have seen any persons acting suspiciously in the vicinity of Evesham Road, Enfield, N11 to come forward to my investigation team as a priority.”

“I can reassure residents that patrols have been stepped up in the area and extensive efforts are being made to identify and apprehend the persons responsible.”

Anyone with information that could assist the investigation is urged to contact Enfield CID via 101 quoting CAD 2140/6Nov, or by tweeting @MetCC under Operation Name ‘Burrow’.

Information can also be reported anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

No arrests have been made and enquiries are ongoing.

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