Former prisoner of war, 96, attacked by burglars

Detectives are hunting two burglars who attacked a 96-year-old former prisoner of war in his own home.

The victim said the ordeal has left him feeling more frightened than his internment during the Second World War.

He was threatened as he watched television in his front room after the intruders broke into his home in the Yardley area of Birmingham at around 2am last Saturday morning.

They disconnected the phone lines and removed his emergency pendant.

One of the thieves then held a quilt over the veteran's mouth to stop him making any noise as the other ransacked his home, stealing watches, cash and jewellery.

Speaking to police after the ordeal, the pensioner said: "I was a prisoner of war in 1943 and believed I was going to be shot, but I was not as afraid then as I now feel in my own home."

A CCTV camera on a neighbouring home caught the two men as they crept through the garden before forcing their way in through a window.

Detectives have released the footage and are urging people to come forward with information to help catch the offenders.

Detective Constable Laura Halpin, from West Midlands Police, said: "This would be an absolutely terrifying ordeal for anyone to endure, let alone a defenceless 96-year-old man inside his own home.

"I have no doubt the local community will be shocked, but please be assured we are determined to catch those responsible.

"I'd ask people who may know who is responsible to think about how frightening this would have been for this man and do the right thing - get in touch with us.

"Any information you have, no matter how small or insignificant you think it is could be vital to our investigation."