Taunton D-Day veteran 'left for dead' in claw hammer attack

image captionJim Booth had five life-threatening wounds to his head, jurors heard

A man who attacked a 96-year-old Royal Navy veteran with a claw hammer during a raid on his home "left him for dead", a court has heard.

Joseph Isaacs, 40, of no fixed address denies attempting to murder Jim Booth in the attack on 22 November.

Mr Booth spent nine days in Musgrove Park Hospital following the burglary at his home in Taunton, Somerset.

Mr Isaacs appeared at the trial at Taunton Crown Court via video link from HMP Long Lartin.

The defendant previously admitted aggravated burglary, causing grievous bodily harm and seven counts of fraud for using Mr Booth's bank card.

'Money, money, money'

Rachel Drake, prosecuting, said Mr Isaacs called at the house in Gipsy Lane offering to do repair work to the roof.

When Mr Booth declined the offer, Mr Isaacs rushed at him shouting "money, money, money" and hit him on the head and arms with a claw hammer.

Ms Drake said: "Mr Booth fell to the floor near a coffee table and he remembers thinking 'oh God, I am dead'.

"Once Mr Booth was incapacitated the defendant took his wallet and, the Crown say, left him for dead on his living room floor."

Following the struggle, the victim managed to make his way outside to the street and raised the alarm with neighbours.

At hospital it was found he had five life-threatening wounds to his head and had lost a lot of blood.

image copyrightPA
image captionJoseph Isaacs had offered to repair the roof of the house in Taunton, the court was told

"The force required to cause the depressed skull fractures would have been severe," Ms Drake told jurors.

Mr Booth, who joined the Navy at 18, was part of a top-secret team of submariners who slipped into the waters off Normandy to scout the beaches during World War Two.

On D-Day, he climbed into a fold-up canoe and shone a beacon out to sea to guide Allied craft safely to shore.

The trial continues.

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