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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 March 2006, 09:24 GMT
Veteran's medal taken in mugging
Ernest Barry lying in his bed at home after the attack
War veteran Mr Barry branded his attacker "a coward"
An old soldier has been beaten and robbed of his Veterans Badge outside his home in Bristol.

Ernest Barry, 84, was left badly cut and bruised trying to defend himself from the mugger.

He managed to punch the offender's face before the man ran off with a handful of change and Mr Barry's jacket bearing the coveted badge.

Speaking from his bed at his home in Hardenhuish Road, Brislington, he branded his attacker "a coward".

"The sleeves of my shirt were covered in blood, I couldn't believe it when I saw it," he said.

"I defended myself with my arms, I didn't want my face busted up. It all happened in a matter of minutes, I couldn't see his face."

Mr Barry was one of the first soldiers to land in Normandy on D-Day 61 years ago. He won 10 medals before ending his career in Palestine.

'Cowardly crime'

Det Insp Graham Hogg said: "This is a cowardly and despicable crime. This offender has come up to an elderly man from behind, kicked him and punched him. He has demanded money and his wallet."

The mugger is about 6ft tall and well built. He was wearing dark clothing and had his lower face covered.

Anyone who saw a man matching this description in the area last Saturday night or who knows someone who returned home with cuts and bruises on their face is asked to contact the police.

The Veterans Badge is worn on the civilian clothing of servicemen and was designed to help the public recognise veterans and the contribution they made.

The Royal British Legion has said it will replace Mr Barry's badge.

Elderly couple robbed again
22 Oct 03 |  Northern Ireland
Blind veteran's medals stolen
14 Feb 03 |  England

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