Have-a-go war veteran, 102, left bloodied after fighting off intruder

A 102-year-old war veteran was left bloodied after wrestling an intruder more than half his age out of his front door.

John Cox, who served in the Royal Armoured Corps during World War 2, was at home with his wife Joan, 97, on Woodhall Drive, Lincoln, at 1.45pm on February 18 when a man knocked on his door saying he was there to check the lights.

John refused to let him in but he tried to barge past into the house.

He grappled with intruder and managed to wrestle him out of the door, suffering a large gash in his arm.

Lincolnshire Police said a 47-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of carrying out four burglaries and two thefts from shops.

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The suspect, from Lincoln, was held on Wednesday and released on bail following the incidents in the Ermine area.

It is the second time in four months the couple have been targeted by thieves.

Their daughter Jill Andrews, 72, fears they have been placed on a "suckers' list" which criminals use to target vulnerable victims repeatedly, LincolnshireLive reports.

The war vet says he does not feel he can answer the door to anybody after the attempt.

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He said he believes a shout to his wife forced the man to run away.

The centenarian said: "I thought he was delivering something and unfortunately I opened the door.

"As soon as I opened the door, he pushed it a little and said, 'I want to examine your lighting'. Then he pushed me two yards inside.

"At the same time, I was stopping him saying, 'Oh no, so you're not coming in here, mate'.

"We had a sort of wrestle and we were pushing each other in and out. Then I shouted 'Joan', and I was going to say get the police and I think maybe he thought I was going to do that.

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"He backed off a bit, then I gave him another extra push and he was out the door and ran straight down the road.

"I'm quite proud really. Was he half my age? Or was he even less than that?

"But it didn't last very long, which was a good thing for me though, I think."

Jill told Lincolnshire Live her dad was left badly bruised and bloody in the incident.

She said: "I came round straight away and it looked like someone had been murdered there was blood everywhere.

"I think the adrenaline took the pain away from him but his arm is so badly bruised.

" Police were looking in the bins for a sharp.

"My dad was over the kitchen sink and it was full of blood.

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"We had six huge towels wrapped round his arm to stem the blood until the ambulance got here.

"It was coming through it."

In a previous incident John says a man claiming to be from the gas board made his way into their home and stole Joan's handbag.

He is now reluctant to open the door to anyone.

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Asked how he plans to prevent any future incidents, Mr Cox said: "I plan not to open the door to anybody and put the chain on the door. But then again, you can't be surprised because all this is happening with elderly people."

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

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"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 OK."

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