AN IRISH pensioner who suffered horrific injuries in a home attack has died in hospital almost five months on from the vicious assault.
Tommy Ward, 80, was left hospitalised and needing round-the-clock care after an assault at his South Yorkshire home on October 1 left him with brain injuries, a broken jaw and a snapped index finger that was later amputated.
South Yorkshire Police confirmed his death to The Irish Post.
A post-mortem will now take place to determine the cause of death.
“Tommy Ward was receiving on-going care following the incident but sadly died at Rotherham Hospital last night (Tuesday 23 February),” they said in a statement.
“A post-mortem examination will be carried out over the coming days to determine what caused his death.”
Family friend Glyn Somers-Lynam issued a statement on Facebook on behalf of the Ward family on Facebook.
“He passed away last night with his family at his bedside, the soldier in him, gave him the strength to fight to the end,” he said.
“The family would like to thank everyone for all the support and lovely messages along the way, it meant a lot and was really touching.”
As well as the horrific injuries he suffered in the assault, Mr Ward’s safe, said to have contained his life savings of £30,000, was also reported missing from his house in the town of Maltby after the attack.
His daughter Jackie Perry told The Irish Post in the days after the attack that Mr Ward would need 24-hour care for the rest of his life.
A proud second-generation Irishman, Mr Ward’s family played Irish music and read a copy of The Irish Post to him as he lay in hospital in Rotherham, South Yorkshire.
Having spent his life working firstly in the British Army and later in the nearby Maltby mines, Mr Ward was enjoying his retirement by making regular trips to Ireland.
So far, no one has been charged in the South Yorkshire Police investigation into the assault.
Two 19-year-old men arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and burglary were released on bail in October.
South Yorkshire Police confirmed they were continuing their investigation.
Detective Chief Inspector Vicky Short said: “The police investigation surrounding what happened is very much ongoing and officers would still like to speak to witnesses, or anyone who has information about what happened.
“I urge anyone who has even the slightest piece of information to come forward and tell us what you know.”