Peter Gouldstone lived through the second World War and a fierce bombarding of his native London, but the 98-year-old war veteran was not able to survive an armed robbery that left him badly beaten last month.
The North London man had suffered multiple injuries after burglars broke into his home and attacked him, the Guardian reported. The attack left Gouldstone hospitalized with serious brain bleeding, the report noted. Prior to the attack, the 98-year-old man required regular medical care and had limited mobility, and doctors said he was not able to recover from the injuries he suffered at the hands of unidentified burglars.
The robbery took place on November 6, with police saying thieves stole a large television and other items from the elderly man’s home. Whoever robbed the house also left the vulnerable man badly beaten, and police from Scotland Yard said he may have been in the home for up to 20 hours before he was found.
Gouldstone was a widower who lived alone, and his son told the Guardian that he checked in on his father regularly. The man had worked on phone lines for the British military during World War II and later worked as a telephone engineer for the Post Office. He retired in 1980.
Police are now searching for information about who attacked the elderly war veteran.
“We are all shocked and saddened by the news of Peter’s death. It is the worst news for his family and for all those who cared for and knew him,” said Paul Ridley of the Metropolitan police. “I urge anyone who has information, no matter how small a detail, to search their conscience and contact police without delay.”
To draw attention to the search for the perpetrators, both police and Gouldstone’s family released pictures of him lying unconscious in a hospital bed, with extensive bruising around his face.
Reports of Gouldstone’s beating had generated attention across the U.K., leaving many sickened that someone could so brutally attack someone who was not physically able to defend himself. As the Times of London reported, police believe that Gouldstone was dragged around the house by the burglars as they searched for something to steal. The television stolen was only worth about $65, they noted.
Ridley said he was especially interested in anyone who may have been offered the Panasonic television that was stolen. There is a reward of close to $15,000 for information that leads to an arrest in Peter Gouldstone’s murder.