James Clunes, 75, of Aberdeen, is said to have returned home from a night out at the bingo on Saturday, June 25, when two men allegedly forced their way into his flat. The veteran, who served in the Scots Guards for three decades, was left with a fractured cheekbone, a broken nose and a stab wound to the leg before being rushed to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary for treatment.
One man has now appeared in court in connection with the attack, while police continue to hunt for a second man.
The former colour sergeant who served in the Scots Guards for 30 years, has spent over a decade battling tongue, mouth and throat cancer and had just returned from a five-day stint in hospital the night before the incident took place.
His brother, Stephen Clunes, told the Daily Record that James is now terrified to return to his home and that what happened has had a major physical and mental impact on him.
Stephen, 61, said: “James is very sore and extremely bruised. Emotionally, he’s in a difficult place. He is putting a brave face on and playing it down, but I know my brother and he’ll take a big hit from this.
“It’ will have a big effect on him and it’s still very raw in his mind. He normally would’ve been at the Forces Parade on Saturday morning but he chose not to go.
“But when he felt a bit better in the evening, he jumped on the bus to the local social club to play some bingo then took the bus home at night. When he got home, he was attacked.”
WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGE BELOW
James, who has allowed the Record to publish pictures of his horrific injuries, said the men appeared outside his block of flats on Saturday night. They then entered the building before following him into the lift.
When he tried to go into his flat, they burst through his door and severely beat him before he was stabbed. They made off with some of his possessions and a sum of money.
Stephen said his brother is still too traumatised to fully discuss the incident and feels unable to return to his home.
He added: “We’ve not fully discussed what’s happened yet. It’s difficult for him to speak about things at the best of times.
“But he is too scared to go home and won’t go back for the foreseeable future. We’re just focusing on trying to get him out of discomfort and pain at the moment.
“The first thing on my mind is trying to get him into a bit of normality and getting his strength up again.”
James’ voice box is severely damaged due to years of intense chemotherapy and radiotherapy and he has been left struggling to talk, is unable to swallow and suffers from breathing difficulties. He is only able to eat and drink through a tube in his stomach, known as a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy.
Stephen added: “He’s been through three different cancers over the last 15 odd years which has taken a toll on his body. He’s a very frail person.”
In a bid to help James, the local community has launched a fundraiser for the Aberdeen FC supporter, which has so far raised over £3,000.
Stephen added: “He’s very touched by the response. He doesn’t like a fuss being made but he really is very overwhelmed by the support.”
A 28-year-old man charged in connection with the alleged assault appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court on Monday.
He made no plea, was committed for further examination and released on bail to reappear in court on a date to be confirmed.
Police Scotland said: “A 28-year-old man has been arrested and charged in connection with an assault and robbery on a 75-year-old man in Bayview Court, Aberdeen, on Saturday, June 25, 2022.
“The elderly man was taken to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and later released. Inquiries are ongoing.”