D-Day veteran attacked and robbed in his own house

John Lambert, who was attacked and robbed. Picture: Ian Georgeson
John Lambert, who was attacked and robbed. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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AN elderly war veteran has been attacked and robbed in his own home – after answering his door in the middle of the afternoon.

John Lambert, 91, was left lying helpless on the floor of his Leith flat for half an hour after a couple forced their way in and he was thrown to the ground.

And the Royal Scots veteran – who fought on the beaches of Normandy – could not phone the police because the thugs had torn his phone from the wall.

The retired grocery shop owner had answered his door to a woman asking to use his toilet at around 3.20pm but refused to let her in.

However, she and a male accomplice forced the door open and tore through his home looking for cash.

When Mr Lambert – who has owned his flat in Duke Street for 60 years – tried to stop the woman the man pushed him over, shouting “That’s a woman you know.”

After the pair left he managed to get up from his floor and was found by his son Derek and daughter Marjorie, who phoned the police.

Mr Lambert told the Evening News: “It’s just hard to believe they could do this to a 91-year-old man.”

He said he attempted to stop the woman getting in but they overpowered him.

He said: “The girl ran past me and went straight for my wallet in the bedroom. There was £200 in cash which I give to my daughter for messages and she pulled that out the wallet. She left the change in the drawer but then the boy said “I’ll have that” and grabbed the change.

“I tried to pull her out the bedroom and he said ‘that’s a woman you know’ and pushed me over. I said ‘well, I’m a 91-year-old’.

Mr Lambert said the pair made off after pulling his phone line out of the wall.

He said: “It took me quite a while to get up and I couldn’t phone the police because they’d torn it out.

“I had to have a sit down and calm down before I did anything. I’m just surprised more than anything.”

Mr Lambert served with the Royal Scots and fought in the D-Day landings in June 1944.

After leaving the regiment he ran a grocery shop in Trinity until he retired.

He said: “I’ve never had any trouble like this before myself, but the area has got a lot more dangerous. It used to be a nice street.

“That young Polish lad was killed not far from here and there’s knife-carrying and fights. But I wasn’t hurt, though, and I’ve got my son and daughter with me so it could be worse.”

Mr Lambert’s friend Jimmy Robertson, who lives in the flat above and visited him after the robbery, added: “It’s absolutely scandalous that this pair would rob a 91-year-old man.

“I hope the police track them down and so they can’t do this to anyone else.”

Officers working on the case released a description of the suspects.

The man is described as being around 40 years old, 5ft 10in tall, and of skinny build. He was clean shaven and wearing dark clothing.

The woman is also thought to be around 40 years old, 5ft 6in, of thin build, with an aged face and long dark hair. She was also wearing dark clothing.

Police have urged anyone who might have seen the pair in the Duke Street area around 3.20pm on Friday to get in touch.