A PENSIONER was badly beaten with a metal bar in his own home during what has been described as an 'utterly deplorable' robbery.

The horrific assault happened at the 65-year-old’s house on Walter Street, Darwen, at around 10.30pm on Saturday (May 25).

Police said two men wearing balaclavas burst into the back of the house and started to assault the man while making demands for money.

He was badly beaten with weapons including a metal bar.

The victim was taken to Royal Preston Hospital where he remains in a stable condition.

He suffered broken ribs, a broken shoulder, injuries to his head and eyes, as well as lacerations to his hands and legs.

People in the community have spoken of their shock at the robbery.

A neighbour of the man, who lives in Walter Street and who has known him for 20 years, said:

“The street has been full of police all weekend.

“I saw a police car and two crime scene investigation vans.

“I’ve known him for about 20 years and we’ve been neighbours during that period.

“He’s a nice man who will always help out when you need him to.

“It’s appalling what’s happened and I’m shocked as it’s a quiet street and you don’t expect things like this too happen.

Danny Carr, 78, who lives in nearby Cemetery Road, said: “ It’s shocking what's happened and

I hope the police catch the perpetrators.”

Darwen East Lib Dem, Cllr Roy Davies, added: "This kind of attack is absolutely deplorable, especially on someone of that age.

"I hope they're caught and punished accordingly."

DS Amanda Bleazard, of Blackburn Police described the incident as a ‘truly shocking’ attack on a man who should have been safe in his own home.

She said: “The level of violence used was utterly deplorable and totally needless.

“We have a team of detectives working on finding who was responsible for this appalling robbery and I am asking anyone who may have seen a group of men acting suspiciously in the area in the time leading up to the attack to get in touch. I would also like to speak to anyone who saw them get away.

She added: “I would like to reassure the local community that we have stepped up patrols in the area and will continue to have a presence there for the coming days.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 01254 353870 or 101 quoting incident reference 1746 of May 25.

People can also call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.