Man accused of attempted murder of D-Day veteran who trained on Hayling Island appears in court

A 96-YEAR-OLD was '˜left for dead' by a cold caller who attacked him with a claw hammer, a court has heard.

Monday, 21st May 2018, 4:18 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 8:39 am
COPP survivor Jim Booth lays a wreath on The COPP Memorial on Hayling Island in 2015. Picture: Malcolm Wells

Jim Booth, a D-Day veteran who did his elite training on Hayling Island, was at home on November 22 last year when he answered the door to Joseph Isaacs, who offered a good rate on roof repairs, the jury was told.

Taunton Crown Court heard that when Mr Booth refused, Isaacs, 40, launched his attack, hitting the veteran with a claw hammer on his head and arms while shouting ‘money, money, money’.

Mr Booth was one of the driving forces who set up the memorial to the Combined Operation Pilotage Parties forces, who trained on Hayling and were aprt of the reconnaissance teams for D-Day and other operations.

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Rachel Drake, prosecuting, told the jury Mr Booth, of Gypsy Lane, Taunton, tried to evade his attacker by retreating into his home but collapsed in his living room.

She said: ‘Mr Booth fell to the floor near a coffee table and he remembers thinking, “Oh God, I am dead” ... Once Mr Booth was incapacitated the defendant took his wallet and, the Crown say, left him for dead on his living room floor.’

Isaacs, who is appearing at the trial via video link from HMP Long Lartin, denies attempted murder.

Jurors were told Mr Booth had spent time with his daughter on the day of the attack before returning home and carrying out chores around his home before going to answer the doorbell.

Ms Drake said: ‘The defendant told Mr Booth that there was a problem with some of the roof tiles.

‘Mr Booth said he had a friend who had already offered to do the work for him.

‘Mr Booth found the defendant was moving closer and he instinctively and naturally moved backwards into his house.’

Ms Drake said Isaacs was yelling ‘money, money money’ as he followed Mr Booth and began to attack him.

She added Mr Booth initially did not believe he had lost consciousness during the attack but concluded that he may have done after realising he had no recollection of Isaacs searching his things.

The court heard once he regained consciousness Mr Booth tried to find his mobile phone but could not and his landline phone appeared to be out of battery.

Eventually he managed to raise the alarm with neighbours after making his way out into the street.

The court heard one neighbour spotted Mr Booth and saw that his head and hands were covered in blood.

Mr Booth was taken to Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton where Ms Drake said he was found to be suffering from ‘life-threatening injuries’.

The jury heard that shortly after the attack Isaacs used Mr Booth’s NatWest bank card, which had been in his wallet, in Burger King at the Bridgwater Services on the M5.

The following day, November 23, he spent £6.48 in McDonald’s, £13 in Asda and £7.75 on cigarettes, the court heard.

Ms Drake said officers were able to trace the transactions and link them to a vehicle which was found to be registered in the name of Isaacs’s father.

They spoke to his mother Cathleen Isaacs who told them she had reported her son missing on November 14.

Isaacs was arrested on November 24.

Jurors were told he answered ‘no comment’ to all questions asked of him in interview.

The trial continues.