A 98-year-old World War II veteran has died in hospital after being beaten by a group of burglars while he was sleeping.
Peter Gouldstone was attacked just days before the Armistice Centenary while he was sleeping at his home in Arnos Grove, North London, where he has lived for more than 60 years.
As well as stealing his 26in black Panasonic TV set, which is worth around £10, the attackers dragged Peter from his bed and beat him, causing two bleeds in the brain and extensive bruising to the body.
The 98-year-old grandfather was found by his son Simon lying semi-conscious in his bedroom, surrounded by open cupboards and drawers which had been tipped out in a search for money.
Peter was taken to hospital but sadly passed away last night (November 30).
Speaking about the awful attack on his father, Simon said:
I am lost for words on what to say about it. As a family member I am shocked, but as a human being I am lost for words about the man’s inhumanity for man.
You read in the press about this kind of thing happening to other people, but you never think it will happen to your or a loved one.
The people who did it need to be found and locked up – and the sooner the better so they cannot do the same thing to anybody else.
Peter was a corporal in the Royal Signals Corps in the war. He was awarded three medals for service to his country, and in 1944 was mentioned in Despatches in The Gazette for ‘gallant and distinguished service in Italy.’
Detective Inspector Paul Ridley, from North Area CID, is asking for anyone who might know anything about the attack to come forward:
We are all shocked and saddened by the news of Peter’s death. It is the worst news for his family and for all those who cared for and knew him.
I urge anyone who has information, no matter how small a detail, to search their conscience and contact police without delay.
I particularly want to hear from people that may have been offered the Panasonic television that was stolen, or who saw either people or vehicles in the vicinity of Evesham Road, Enfield, N11 that may have appeared out of place.
A Crimestoppers reward of £10,000 remains on offer for anyone who can provide information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for this despicable offence.
Finally, I would ask that Peter’s family are left alone to grieve and come to terms with their loss at this very difficult time.
A JustGiving page was set up in Peter’s honour; donate here.
Our thoughts are with Peter’s family at this difficult time. Rest in peace.
Anyone with information concerning this incident should call contact Enfield CID by dialling 101 and quoting 2140/6NOV.
If you would prefer to remain anonymous, you can call Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111 or use their non-traceable anonymous online form here.
Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.