‘You’re not coming in here, mate’: War veteran, 102, fights off burglar who forced his way into home

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
John Cox, 102, at his home in Lincoln, where he fought off a conman burglar (PA)

A 102-year-old war veteran has told how he fought back against an intruder who tried to force his way into his home.

Centenarian John Cox suffered cuts and bruising when the offender pushed past him into his house after claiming he was there to check the lights.

Cox said he thought it sounded "a bit dodgy", and told BBC News: "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’.

"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 pensioner shows the injuries he sustained in the tussle (PA)
A photo of John Cox taken almost 80 years ago while he served in the Royal Army Service Corps (PA)

He and his wife Joan, 97, said they were left shaken up by the incident – the second attack on their home in the last six months.

Police have now arrested a 47-year-old Lincoln man on suspicion of carrying out burglaries of elderly victims.

The suspect was held on Wednesday and released on bail following the incidents in the Ermine area of city the previous day.

Lincolnshire Police said he was arrested on suspicion of carrying out four burglaries and two thefts from shops.

John Cox, 102, with his wife Joan, 97, at their home in Lincoln (PA)
John Cox, left, during his time in the army (PA)

In the first incident, cash and bank cards were stolen after a man pushed his way past a disabled woman in her 90s.

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 OK."