A community stalwart is recovering after two ‘disgusting’ thugs attacked him when he walked in on them burgling his home.
Pensioner Jeff Wademan (right), was left lying injured on his lawn after he confronted the duo at his home in Mexborough.
Friends have lined up to wish the popular figure well in his recovery and told how this was the third time his home had been raided in the last few years.
His close pal David Walker, of Manvers Road, said Mr Wademan, 80, had returned home from a shopping trip to find the burglars, aged around 20, in the process of stealing valuables.
He said the men assaulted Mr Wademan, a former governor at Mexborough School and currently chairman of Mexborough Community Partnership.
They punched him in the chest and smashed his elbow through a window, before leaving the shocked pensioner on his lawn as they fled with cash and valuables. Mr Wademan was treated by paramedics at the scene.
The pensioner is being supported by family and friends after the attack which left him too shocked and distressed to speak to the South Yorkshire Times.
Two of his friends, Tommy Joyce MBE and Frank Knapton MBE, said he was burgled twice before three or four-years-ago.
Mr Knapton, 77, of Morton Road, who is honorary president of Mexborough Community Partnership, said: “I am shocked to hear that this has happened.
“Jeff is very independent and it doesn’t surprise me that he tried to fight them off.
“I hope he recovers well. I don’t think he was attacked when it happened before but they stole some of his belongings I believe.”
Mr Joyce, 65, of Maple Road, added: “It’s a terrible thing to happen. I don’t know why they target him and I just hope he gets back to full health.”
Emma Rodgers, business manager at Mexborough School, said: “Jeff is extremely well known at the school and we are shocked to hear what has happened. It sounds like a horrendous incident.
“We send our best wishes to Jeff and hope he recovers quickly. We also hope the police catch whoever did this.”
Mexborough councillor Sue Phillips added; “Jeff has been left completely shaken up. It was a disgusting thing to do.
“I know he is getting a lot of support from his family and friends and I hope he gets some rest and makes a full recovery. “He has made a great contribution to the community of Mexborough over the years and still plays a major role at Mexborough Resource Centre.”
The attack, which happened at around 10.50am on Tuesday, June 18, follows a similar incident in January when Trevor Dudhill, 71, was stabbed in the ear by a raider who broke into his Conisbrough home.
The lay preacher made a full recovery and the burglar fled empty handed.
Police are continuing with inquiries in relation to the attack on Mr Wademan.
Anyone with information should call police on 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, quoting incident number 337 of June 18.