Page last updated at 11:13 GMT, Friday, 14 November 2008

Arrests over attacked war veteran

Bob Schofield
Bob Schofield was hit repeatedly by the burglars

Police have arrested 16 people over an attack on an 89-year-old war veteran at his Lancashire home.

Bob Schofield and his 87-year-old wife Mollie were asleep at home in Salterforth when burglars broke in.

Mr Schofield was beaten repeatedly using what police said was an "obscene" level of violence.

Officers arrested 16 males - aged between 17 and 55 - in Blackpool on suspicion of conspiracy to commit burglary. They are to be questioned.

Mr and Mrs Schofield were found "shocked and injured" on Monday by a relative after neighbours raised the alarm when their curtains had not been opened.

The burglars stole cash and jewellery from the couple.

Bob Schofield
Mr Schofield is a Royal Navy veteran who served in World War II

Acting Det Insp Dave Groombridge, who is leading the investigation, said: "We have arrested a number of people this morning and we will be interviewing them during the course of the day.

"Having said that I would still appeal for anyone who may have information about this dreadful offence to come forward and speak to us, including those in the criminal fraternity who may be able to help.

"We do have a number of lines of inquiry which we are actively pursuing."

The couple were both taken by ambulance to hospital where Mr Schofield remains. Mollie is being cared for at a nearby care home. Their condition is said to be improving slowly.

Mr Schofield is a Royal Navy veteran who served in World War II crewing escort ships completing the notorious Arctic convoy missions from Scapa Flow to Murmansk.

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