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D-Day veteran, 96, leaves hospital after claw hammer attack

Jim Booth suffered serious injuries to his head and body after being attacked at his home in Taunton.

A D-Day veteran seriously injured in a claw hammer attack has left hospital to continue his rehabilitation at home, his family said.

Jim Booth, 96, described as an “exceptional person”, was left in a life-threatening condition following the incident on November 22.

He suffered serious injuries to his head and body after being attacked at his home on Gipsy Lane in Taunton, Somerset.

Gipsy Lane in Taunton where Jim Booth was attacked (Johanna Carr/PA)

In a statement released through Avon and Somerset Police, Mr Booth’s family thanked hospital staff, police and well-wishers.

“We are pleased to report that our father has left hospital to continue his rehabilitation at home, supported by his family,” they said.

“We should like to thank the staff at Musgrove Park Hospital who have cared for him over the last ten days as well as the A&E team who addressed his immediate needs when he was admitted with life-threatening injuries.

“Our father is enormously uplifted by the many cards and good wishes that he’s received from people of all ages and nationalities.

Court artists sketch of Joesph Isaacs at Taunton Magistrates' Court (Elizabeth Cook/PA)

“These include a little boy who anonymously sent his £5 Christmas money and the school children from Normandy who drew pictures of his submarine on D-Day.

“He is very touched by the kindness of friends, neighbours and strangers who have offered help and wished him a speedy recovery.

“The family would also like to thank Avon and Somerset Police for their support throughout the ordeal.”

Mr Booth was awarded a Croix de Guerre military medal by the French for his gallantry during the Second World War.

Jim Booth, 96, (holding wreath) standing with the Prince of Wales (PA)

He joined the Royal Navy as a seaman at the age of 18, serving throughout the war, and becoming part of the Combined Operations Pilotage Parties (COPP), based on a wartime military base set up on Hayling Island.

On D-Day, he climbed into a fold-up canoe and shone a beacon out to sea to guide Allied craft safely to shore.

In July 2015, Mr Booth laid a wreath beside one placed by the Prince of Wales at a service on Hayling Island to pay tribute to those who served in the COPP.

The following month, he joined Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall at a reception in the grounds of Westminster Abbey.

During the party, which was hosted by the Royal British Legion, Mr Booth took to the floor for a dance with Camilla.

Joesph Isaacs, 39, appeared at Taunton Magistrates’ Court charged with attempted murder and aggravated burglary.

He was remanded in custody to appear before Taunton Crown Court for a plea and trial preparation hearing on December 22.

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