tommy ward attack maltby yorkshire
Mr Ward died 4 months after being attacked at home in Maltby, South Yorkshire Ward family / Go Fund Me

South Yorkshire Police have arrested three men on suspicion of the murder of 80-year-old former soldier and miner Tommy Ward at his home in Maltby. Ward, 80, was attacked on 1 October 2015 by thieves who smashed his skull, broke his jaw and fractured several ribs before fleeing with his life savings in a safety deposit box which was found two weeks later in Kilnhurst, Rotherham.

Ward, who weighed just nine stones, was rushed to Rotherham hospital in a critical condition and had to have a finger which had been snapped in the robbery amputated. He died as a result of his injuries on 23 February (2016). Following an online appeal, members of the public raised more than £30,000 to replace his stolen savings.

A great-grandfather of 15, Mr Ward's family were devastated by his brutal killing and pleaded with the public to give police any information that might help them in their investigation. Ward's son, Sean, told BBC Crimewatch: "They stole what he worked for and what was rightfully his. They have stolen his life and they have stolen my kid's grandfather and they have stolen my dad. We're just in a long dark tunnel and there just doesn't seem to be any light at the end of it at the moment."

South Yorkshire detained two men in connection with Ward's death and later arrested another man. In a statement the police said: "A third man is currently in police custody being questioned by detectives following a number of warrants executed today as part of the ongoing investigation into Tommy Ward's murder. The 23-year-old man from Sheffield was arrested on suspicion of murder, in addition to the two arrests this morning; a 30-year-old man from Sheffield and a 35-year-old man from Rotherham, who were also arrested on suspicion of murder and remain in police custody."