Man Found Guilty Of Attempting To Murder War Veteran

25 May 2018, 14:51

Taunton attack victim

A man who attacked a Second World War veteran with a hammer while he burgled his home has been given a 20 year sentence.

40-year-old Joseph Isaacs, from Exeter, was found guilty of attempting to murder 96-year-old Jim Booth at his home in Gipsy Lane in November last year.

Isaacs had previously admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent, aggravated burglary and seven counts of fraud, after using Mr Booth's bank card at a fast-food restaurant just a few hours after the attack. 

Taunton attack offender

Mr Booth, who was involved in a secret operation during the D-Day landings in Normandy, was left with life-threatening injuries to his head and body. 

DCI James Riccio, who led the investigation, said: ''Joseph Isaacs called at Jim Booth's home posing as a workman. 

''When Mr Booth declined the work being offered, Isaacs forced his way in, demanded money and subjected Mr Booth to a prolonged and barbaric ordeal. 

''He used a claw hammer to strike Mr Booth repeatedly to the head and body, even hitting him multiple times while he lay on the floor. 

''It was a cowardly act and it's a miracle Mr Booth survived these horrific injuries'' 

Police found Mr Booth's bank card had been used at a number of shops in Bridgwater and Burnham-on-Sea in the 48-hour period following the assault. CCTV footage was obtained and the offender was linked to a Vauxhall Zafira caught on CCTV outside Asda in Bridgwater, one of the locations where Mr Booth's card was fraudulently used. 

DCI Riccio added: ''As a result of these enquiries, officers stopped a Vauxhall Zafira on the A370 at Congresbury on the morning of Friday 24 November and arrested the driver, Joseph Isaacs. 

''Isaacs' clothing was seized and we were able to find traces of Mr Booth's blood on his jeans. A cheque belonging to Mr Booth was also found in the footwell of the Zafira. 

''Although he declined to comment in interview, Joseph Isaacs was left with little alternative but to admit he carried out the attack on Mr Booth.

 ''This has been an emotive case which has affected everyone who's worked on it. ''Mr Booth has showed immense strength of character and spirit to survive the injuries he suffered and while he may never fully recover, he has a close network of family and friends to support him. 

''I'd like to thank everyone who's worked on this inquiry to achieve this successful prosecution and our thoughts and best wishes are very much with Mr Booth and his family. 

''Their support of our investigation has been unwavering and I hope this outcome will help them move on from this awful experience.''