A DEFENCELESS pensioner had his nose broken and jaw smashed in two places after a shocking attack on his own doorstep.
Diabetic George Brown, 73, was left in a pool of blood after he was punched in the face when he opened his door to the stranger.
The granddad is now in hospital awaiting surgery today to insert a metal plate into his shattered jaw.
Mr Brown’s son Kevin Brown, 35, said he almost did not recognise his dad when he saw him and is devastated.
Mr Brown, who is a widower, was assaulted by the man when he answered a knock on his front door in the Owton Manor area of Hartlepool at around 7.20pm on Tuesday.
Kevin said: “The person at the door said ‘is my son Michael there?’. Dad said he was sorry but he must have got the wrong house and the next thing he turned round and punched my dad in the face.
“He has got a broken jaw in two places, broken nose and cut to his forehead.
“His face is a mess, I almost didn’t recognise him.
“I’m devastated. I want to let people know what type of people there are out there.
“He is scared to come home.”
Mr Brown is being cared for at James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, and is unsure when he will be discharged once the surgery is completed.
He has been told by medics he will not be able to eat solid food for several weeks.
Police are now hunting his attacker, and are appealing for anyone with information to contact them.
Mr Brown, who has four sons and two daughters, answered his door as he thought it might be a workman who had been installing a new kitchen in his home.
It is thought his attacker, who is aged in his 20s or 30s, made off in the direction of Falkirk Road after the vicious assault.
Mr Brown summoned help by pulling his lifeline cord which is installed in his home, and despite being dazed he managed to walk across the road to Kevin.
Police and an ambulance were called and he was first rushed to the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, where doctors treated him before transferring him to James Cook hospital to see a facial specialist.
Mr Brown lives alone after the death of his wife Anne around 15 years ago.
Kevin added: “He looked after us when we were young, and looked after mam when she was ill.
“He is now at the age where he thought he could relax a little, but then this happens to him.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact PC Adam Godfrey at Cleveland Police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.