Reward boost to catch thugs

96-year-old Charles Hilton
96-year-old Charles Hilton
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A REWARD to help catch thugs who tortured a war hero in his own home has been doubled by a kind-hearted Blackpool resident.

The total reward pot now stands at £2,000 after an anonymous donor stumped up another £1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for threatening to kill 96-year-old Charles Hilton.

Mr Hilton, who served as a Royal Engineer in the Second World War, was asleep in his chair in his Blackpool home when the three raiders burst into his house.

One man held him down in his chair while another man and a girl ransacked his house.

Despite the pensioner’s pleas for them to leave, the thugs held the hook of his walking stick around Mr Hilton’s neck and also prodded him with it in the chest while demanding money.

One Blackpool resident was so outraged by the incident, which happened around 2pm on Wednesday, they have decided to offer another £1,000 to a reward which was put forward by shopkeeper Alpaslan Derme.

As reported in yesterday’s Gazette, Mr Derme - who runs Whistlestops Number One, on Sherbourne Road, North Shore - has offered £1,000 for information which would help the police convict the offenders.

Det Sgt Chris Williams, of Blackpool Police’s burglary and robbery squad, said: “A Blackpool resident has anonymously offered £1,000 which would increase the reward to £2,000.

“I think what has happened to Mr Hilton has captured the imagination of the community about the way elderly people are treated generally.

“It was an awful thing to happen to Mr Hilton and we are grateful for any information that can assist us with our inquiries.”

Mr Hilton, who lives on a street off Whitegate Drive just before Devonshire Square, called his neighbours for help following the horrific incident.

The three raiders had made off with two bags, containing coins with a value of around £300.

One of the burglars was described as being in his teens or early 20s. He was wearing a hoodie and had blonde hair. The girl was described as young while it is thought the other man was slightly older.

Police are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

Call (01253) 607348 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.