Page last updated at 09:48 GMT, Saturday, 15 November 2008

Men bailed after veteran attack

Bob Schofield
Bob Schofield was hit repeatedly by the burglars

Sixteen people arrested over an attack on an 89-year-old war veteran and his wife have been released on bail.

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

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

Officers had arrested the 16 men, aged between 17 and 55, during a planned operation in the Blackpool area.

Detectives questioned them on suspicion of conspiracy to commit burglary.

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: "This is a planned police operation made in connection with one of a number of lines of inquiry.

"Information gleaned will be analysed and further action may result.

"Two of the detained men are wanted in connection with other matters and will be escorted to other parts of the UK."

The couple were both taken to Airedale Hospital in Keighley, West Yorkshire, where Mr Schofield remains. Mrs Schofield is being cared for at a nearby care home.

Mr Groombridge said the couple were continuing to improve after their ordeal and had received wishes of support from all over the UK.

"Family members have asked that their heartfelt thanks are made to all for the messages of support," he added.

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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