A 91-year-old war veteran was left with broken ribs and a bloodied face after tripping over as he confronted two schoolgirls for throwing apples at his house.
George Roscoe went out to remonstrate with the teenagers but fell and smashed his face on the pavement in front of his terraced house in Little Lever, Greater Manchester.
The former Royal Artillery man, who served in India from 1945 to 1947, suffered two broken ribs, a gashed head, a bleeding leg and severe bruising to his arm and body.
Although Mr Roscoe normally enjoyed walking to a nearby supermarket several times a day, he has not ventured out since the fall because he does not want to scare children looking at his face.
George Roscoe (left) went to remonstrate with schoolgirl yobs throwing apples at his house, but tripped and smashed his face and cut his leg (right) on the pavement in front of his terraced house in Little Lever, Greater Manchester
His wife of 68 years Dorothy Roscoe, also 91, said: ‘I thought he’d had it. I couldn’t stop shaking.’
Mr Roscoe was found by two passersby who called an ambulance. He was taken to Bolton Infirmary and was allowed home a few hours later.
Mr Roscoe said: ‘That’s how kids act these days. [They] find someone to torment. But when they’re 14 and 15, you’d think they had something better to do.
‘It was two girls. I had seen a lad with them before. They had been doing it all week. They were throwing big apples and stones at the window.’
The courageous couple, who have two children, three grandchildren and six great grandchildren, stood up to the louts after suffering a barrage of anti-social abuse.
Mrs Roscoe went out first after hearing several loud bangs. She said: ‘I said to them ‘have you not got anything better to do than throw apples and torment people.
‘The bigger girl just smirked at me. I came back in and told George not to bother going out.’
But Mr Roscoe was fed up with the constant attacks and got up from watching TV to face their tormentors.
He said: ‘I just went to the front door and told them to clear off. I didn’t want to be sat in the house all day waiting for the window to break. I don’t remember falling, it’s all still a bit hazy. But I remember the ambulance coming.’
The two girls fled but a couple walking past found Mr Roscoe with blood pouring from his head and called for an ambulance.
The former Royal Artillery man, who served in India from 1945 to 1947 (pictured left during the war), suffered two broken ribs and a gashed head (right). His wife of 68 years, Dorothy Roscoe, also 91, said: ‘I thought he’d had it. I couldn’t stop shaking’
Mrs Roscoe, who used to work in a cotton mill, added: ‘I didn’t know he had gone outside. I presumed he had gone upstairs and wasn’t bothered.
‘A young couple were passing and they knocked on the door and said ‘your husband is on the floor’. I thought he’s had it. I was shaking, thinking all sorts.
‘I came in and I was trying to phone my daughter and my son. I was in shock.. They were only teenagers. There were apples everywhere on the floor. Where are the police that used to walk around here? What are you meant to do when things happen? You’re just lost, you’re stuck. You can’t do a thing these days.’
Lisa Gerrard, 39, was so appalled at her grandfather’s injuries that she posted a Facebook photo of his huge black eye – and it went viral with more than 23,000 shares and 7,000 comments condemning the yobs.
She said: ‘I can’t believe it. I’ve had messages from people in California to Australia. I had a message from a woman in Texas asking if there was anything she could do to help. I thought, “have you not got your own problems?”.
‘It is shocking that they were girls, they showed no empathy. We all used to play knock-a-door-run when we were kids, but they’ve taken it step further by throwing stones and goading old people.
‘I put it on Facebook so the kids could see it and pack it in. If they didn’t know what they had done, they would have carried on. It wasn’t a one off.
‘My grandad is a trooper. He walks to Tesco three times a day but hasn’t been out since the attack as he doesn’t want to scare the local kids. He’ll be back out again soon, he’ll never let them win.’