Veteran, 102, fights off burglar who attacked him at front door

A 102-year-old veteran has been left shaken up after bravely fighting off a burglar who attempted to force his way into the pensioner’s home.

John Cox was at home with wife Joan, 97, when a man appeared at the door claiming he was an engineer who needed to check the lights. The veteran said he thought it sounded ‘a bit dodgy’ and told the stranger he couldn’t come into his house, in Lincoln.

But when he stood firm in his doorway, the intruder attacked the centenarian leaving him with cuts and severe bruising to his arm before fleeing the scene.

‘By that time he had pushed the door wide open and stepped in, and I said “you’re not going to come in here mate”,’ John said.

‘He gave me a few clouts – I was hoping to give him a few back, and he ran away. He must have been frightened.’

The incident has left the couple feeling vulnerable as it is the second time they have been targeted in six months, after a man appeared at their doorstep claiming he was a gas engineer.

They let him into their home not suspecting anything out of the ordinary but he later swiped Joan’s handbag and purse.

When another so-called engineer appeared at the door on Tuesday John stuck to his guns and refused entry.

The couple’s daughter, Jill, said her father has been ‘really shook up’ and it upset her mother.

She said: ‘The man damaged my dad’s arm really badly. There was blood all over… Give him his due, for his age, he did have a go back.’

The couple have decided to speak out about the latest incident to warn others not to answer the door to strangers, as police appeal for further information.

Chief Inspector Phil Baker said: ‘These two incidents are clearly concerning because they involve elderly and vulnerable victims.

‘In both incidents the offender has used force to push past the occupants and, in one case, stolen cash.

‘Any information relating to these incidents is important so I would please ask anyone who can help our investigations to contact us.

‘I’d also appeal for those who have elderly neighbours to regularly look out for them and check that they are okay.’