A probe has been launched by detectives after a vulnerable man with a mental age of 12 was brutally attacked and robbed in his own home.
The terrified 43-year-old, who suffers from Asperger’s syndrome – a form of autism – was sleeping in his bed upstairs at his terraced home on Garden Street, Avenham, Preston, when he heard banging on the door.
Three or four men kicked his front door so hard it fell off its hinges during the incident at 11.10pm on Wednesday.
They burst in and shouted at him for money.
The victim, who was heard by shocked neighbours shouting for help and begging his attackers not to hit him, was bundled into his kitchen where he was repeatedly punched and kicked by one man.
Meanwhile his accomplices ransacked the victim’s drawers in his bedroom, eventually stealing his £15 savings from inside a tin.
A neighbour who heard the commotion called police before coming to his aid as the criminals ran off towards Eastcliff.
It is the second time in two years the man has been attacked at his home by robbers, police said.
Det Sgt John Crichton, investigating the case for Preston CID, said: “This was a despicable crime against a vulnerable man. He was taken to the Royal Preston Hospital with a suspected broken nose and bruised ribs.
“In interview he told us his mum and dad had told him if he was ever scared he should go to his next door neighbour’s but he couldn’t get away from them.
“He is so frightened he is staying with his parents in Walton-le-Dale.
“His front door has had to be boarded up.
“I would encourage anyone who knows who is responsible to come forward.”
The main attacker is described as black, 18, with his face hidden by a scarf.
Detectives are carrying put house to house inquiries.
Anyone with information should call Preston police on 101.
Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or via the charity’s website at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.