An 87-year-old widower died after a beating in his home by a burglar looking for money to buy drugs, a court heard today.
Frank Worsley died from a stroke less than three weeks after being battered by jobless cocaine user Daniel Crompton, Manchester Crown Court heard.
Today jurors looked visibly shocked as Mr Worsley's 999 call was played to the court as he begged the operator: "Help me please. He's hit me and beaten me and attacked me and taken my wallet."
He had been awoken by Crompton, 24, standing over him in bed before being punching in the face with demands to say where he kept his money, the jury heard.
Mr Worsley had lived at the mid-terrace house on Longfield Road in Daubhill, Bolton, with his wife Mary, since 1949, and had put extra locks on doors after they were burgled in 2010.
His wife died in late 2012 after suffering multiple sclerosis, and he was living alone when he was burgled again by Crompton on August 3 last year.
Crompton, from Bolton, a father-of-one, admits the burglary, plus a second burglary hours before but denies the murder and an alternate count of the manslaughter of Mr Worsley.
The court heard Mr Worsley was still active and regularly "out and about" despite his age but he also suffered from a heart condition.
He took the blood thinning medication, Warfarin, which prevented his blood from clotting to stave off a heart attack.
But after being admitted to the Royal Bolton Hospital for treatment after the burglary, doctors had to stop this medication so his blood would clot to prevent bleeding on his brain from the beating by Crompton.
But Mr Worsley then suffered a stroke on August 7 last year and died on August 20 after his condition deteriorated rapidly.
"The crown say that this is murder," Rob Hall, prosecuting, told the jury.
Mr Hall said that last July, Crompton and his girlfriend Beverley Hardman, the mother of his son Mason, had money problems relating to payday loans and both were jobless but the defendant was a "regular user of cocaine".
"It is a combination of money worries and, the Crown say, Mr Crompton's desire to purchase more cocaine that caused him to burgle Mr Worsley's house in the early hours of August 3 last year."
On the balmy summer's night, Mr Worsley had left a bathroom window open at the back of his house which Crompton climbed through.
"Mr Worsley awoke to find the defendant standing over him," Mr Hall said.
"The defendant began to shout 'Where's your money?'.
"Mr Worsley told Mr Crompton he did not have any money.
"Mr Crompton then removed his vest and wrapped it around his right hand.
"What Mr Crompton then did took this incident to a whole new level.
"This was not just burglary.
"What he chose to do was to beat the defenceless Mr Worsley repeatedly in the face."
Mr Worsley still refused to comply with the demands so Crompton snatched a wallet and chequebook instead - but left his palmprint on a window frame as he escaped.
Jurors were played the 999 call from the distressed pensioner, breathing heavily and struggling to hear the operator.
"Help me, please!" he said. "I've been attacked by somebody who's broken in.
"I was asleep and he just woke me up."
Asked how he was, Mr Worsley replied: "Shocked."
The victim was left with a cut lip and bruising but "under the surface" there were more significant injuries - a subdural bleed on the right side of his brain.
Crompton returned to a friend's house, sweating, with grazes and scratches on his face, but with cash and a gram of cocaine.
Just hours before, Crompton, fuelled by alcohol and possibly cocaine, also burgled the house of a friend, stealing a TV and computer.
He was arrested for burglary and robbery and on remand for those when police charged him with murder following Mr Worsley's death in hospital.
Crompton admits the burglaries but denies being responsible for the pensioner's death.