D-Day veteran badly hurt in ‘claw hammer’ attack

A man has been arrested after a 96-year-old D-Day veteran suffered life-threatening injuries in a suspected claw hammer attack in his home.

Jim Booth, who served as a sub-lieutenant during the Second World War, is in a serious condition in hospital following the assault in Taunton, Somerset, on Wednesday afternoon.

A 39-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and aggravated burglary.

Mr Booth, who was photographed dancing with the Duchess of Cornwall at an event to mark the 70th anniversary of VJ Day, was left with serious injuries to his head and body.

A caller knocked on his door and asked if he wanted some work done on his house but when Mr Booth refused, he was attacked with what police believe was a claw hammer.

Detective Chief Inspector James Riccio described the incident as “a vicious and sickening attack on an elderly man in his own home”.

He said Mr Booth managed to raise the alarm with a neighbour before he was taken to hospital, where his condition was initially described as “potentially life-threatening”.

“Offences of this magnitude are rare but I’d like to reassure residents that we’re using all necessary resources to investigate this crime,” DCI Riccio said.

Mr Booth was part of a team of submariners who slipped into the waters off Normandy to scout the beaches during the 1944 D-Day invasion.

He was later awarded the Croix de Guerre French military medal for outstanding gallantry.

Police say his condition in hospital is serious but stable.