The daughter of an 80-year-old former South Yorkshire miner who suffered terrible injuries and was left for dead by raiders in his home has branded his attackers ‘animals’.
Jackie Perry, 52, appealed for help to find those who left former soldier Tommy Ward with devastating injuries during a raid on his house in Maltby, near Rotherham, 50 days ago.
Mr Ward was left for dead after his attackers took his life saving, thought to be around £30,000, in a safety deposit box.
Making an appeal outside her father’s house, Mrs Perry said: “They are animals. They’ve walked away and shut that door knowing how seriously ill my dad was and they left him for dead, for the sake of money. OK, it was a lot of money but, at the end of the day, that’s his home.”
Flanked by her daughter, Jay, she said: “Whoever’s done this, they’re heartless, aren’t they?”
Mrs Perry said that if people in the local community were shielding the attackers, they were as bad as them.
But she said her family has had ‘fantastic’ support from the people of the former pit village of Maltby and others from across the UK.
Jay Perry said the family - which includes Mr Ward’s four children, 12 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren - visits Mr Ward in hospital.
She said there were some days when he appeared to be getting better but on others it seemed like he was ‘back to square one’.
She said visiting him was an ‘emotional roller-coaster’.
Her mother said: “They’ve got no conscience, have they? He is 80 years old. He only weighs nine stone.”
Detectives say they believe the key to finding those who took part in the ‘vicious and cowardly assault’ on October 1 lies in the local community.
South Yorkshire Police said the pensioner remains in hospital in a serious condition with a “significant neurological injury”.
Two 19-year-old men are on police bail after being arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and burglary.
Detective Inspector Richard Partridge, who is leading the investigation, said: “I’m very grateful to the local community and the wider public in Rotherham for their continued support as we carry out our inquiries into this vicious and cowardly assault.”
The detective added: “I firmly believe the answer to what happened to Mr Ward lies in the local community and I know there will be people in Maltby with suspicions around who is responsible.
“What happened to Mr Ward was a brutal attack on a vulnerable man in his own home and those responsible do not deserve to be shielded by anyone.”
He added: “It’s shocked the community, it’s shocked the family and it’s shocked the police.”
Mr Partridge confirmed Mr Ward was too ill to tell them anything that might help with his investigation.
A box similar to the one reported stolen from Mr Ward was recovered in the Kilnhurst area of Rotherham two weeks after the attack but Mr Partridge said he cannot be sure it is the same one.