Page last updated at 16:29 GMT, Saturday, 18 October 2008 17:29 UK

Attacked doctor lay undiscovered

Police van at attack scene
Dr Benson lived alone at an isolated property

A 92-year-old former family doctor lay injured for nine hours at his County Durham home after he was attacked by three intruders, police have revealed.

Dr William Benson had been punched repeatedly in the face.

The housebound pensioner was found at his house on the outskirts of Stanley by carers following the attack early on Friday. The house had been ransacked.

Police have described it as a cowardly attack and are appealing for public help in catching the offenders.

Dr Benson, who had limited mobility having lost part of a leg in the 1980s, suffered facial injuries and was treated in hospital.

He is now being cared for in a nursing home.

Det Ch Insp Paul Goundry, leading the investigation, said: "This was a cowardly attack by thieves who used unnecessary and excessive violence in their search for money.

"At the moment it is not clear what was taken, and we hope to carry out a detailed interview with the victim in due course.

"Dr Benson and his father before him served the town of Stanley for something like 100 years between them, and we hope local people will heed our appeal for help."


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