New appeal to find “vicious” gang who robbed 80-year-old Rotherham ex-miner

Tommy Ward, who was left with horrific injuries last month
Tommy Ward, who was left with horrific injuries last month
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Detectives hunting the “vicious and cowardly” robbers who attacked an 80-year-old miner in his home and stole his life savings will today appeal for information 50 days on from the raid.

Former miner Tommy Ward was left horrifically injured when raiders broke into his home in Maltby, South Yorkshire, on October 1, taking a safety deposit box containing thousands of pounds.

Tommy Ward

Tommy Ward

Mr Ward suffered a broken jaw in two places, a fractured skull and his index finger was snapped during the “aggravated burglary”. He remains in hospital in a serious condition with what police say is a ‘significant neurological injury’.

South Yorkshire Police are now distributing appeal posters throughout Rotherham borough in the hope that it will jog peoples’ memories and encourage them to come forward to help with the investigation.

And Mr Ward’s daughter will today join Detective Inspector Richard Partridge, who is leading the investigation, in a press conference where they will appeal for information.

Mr Partridge, who is overseeing the investigation, said: “I’m very grateful to the local community and the wider public in Rotherham for their continued support as we carry out our enquiries into this vicious and cowardly assault.

“This assault has shocked what is a tight-knit local community and has left Mr Ward’s family devastated.”

Detective Inspector Richard Partridge, South Yorkshire Police

“Mr Ward’s injuries are significant and the attack happened in his own home, therefore we must be sure we have gathered every bit of information available to us so we can piece together what happened to him.

“As I’m sure many of you can appreciate, this assault has shocked what is a tight-knit local community and has left Mr Ward’s family devastated, so I’d ask again that anyone with any information gets in touch.

“I firmly believe the answer to what happened to Mr Ward lies in the local community and I know there will be people in Maltby with suspicions around who is responsible.

“Ask yourself if a family member or friend has behaved strangely since the attack? Did you see anyone with blood stained clothes?

“What happened to Mr Ward was a brutal attack on a vulnerable man in his own home and those responsible do not deserve to be shielded by anyone.

“Even if you feel your information is not that significant, I would urge you to contact us as the smallest detail could be crucial to our investigation.”

A substantial amount of money is believed to have been taken from Mr Ward’s home, along with a safety deposit box.

A box similar to the one that was reported stolen was recovered in the Kilnhurst area of Rotherham around two weeks later by a man walking his dog, but no money was found inside.

Two 19-year-old men remain on police bail after being arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and burglary.

Mr Partridge said: “We cannot be sure that the box recovered is the one from Mr Ward’s home and I would also like to stress that while we may have made arrests, this remains an incredibly active investigation.”

In the days after the brutal attack on Mr Ward, his family appealed for information to “help nail the monsters who did this to our dad.”

A crowd-funding campaign to get back the £30,000 stolen from his home, organised by a national newspaper, raised the required money within a few days of being launched.

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111, quoting incident number 408 of 1 October 2015.