A 'HERO' pensioner fought off armed intruders despite being hit over the head with a plate.

The man in his eighties was at a semi-detached house in Hill View, Sandhills, with his wife when three men armed with hammers broke in through the front door.

A scuffle followed during which the man battled his attackers, who were all wearing balaclavas, and forced them to flee after defending himself.

The offenders ran off from the property, which is not believed to belong to the pensioner, empty handed and into a waiting getaway car.

They which drove off at speed, narrowly avoiding a man crossing the road with a pushchair.

At 4.20pm on December 5, residents were at home in Hill View, Sandhills.

No one sustained serious injuries in the attack.

As all had their faces covered and were wearing gloves, the only description given is two of the offenders were white, while the other was black.

A resident living in Hill View who wanted to remain anonymous said: “I heard about the commotion. I wasn’t aware of the circumstances.

“But I must admit we have started to lock the door every single day. We are more aware of these incidents. It’s scary.

“(The house that was broken into) is always full and they have people in there all the time. For them to be broken into is a concern.”

Oxford City councillor Mark Ladbrooke, whose Barton and Sandhills ward includes Hill View, said: “It sounds like a horrific crime.

“(The pensioner is) clearly a hero and good on him for standing up for himself. Three men with hammers – that’s appalling.”

Investigating officer Detective Constable Bryan Groves, of Force CID based in Oxford, said: "I would like to speak to anyone who has any information about this incident or anyone who saw anyone acting suspiciously. If you have any information which could assist the investigation please contact police."

Residents told the Oxford Mail another burglary had taken place at a house on Delbush Avenue, which adjoins Hill Rise, on November 21.

Police said they are ‘keeping an open mind’ about whether the two burglaries are linked.

On Delbush Avenue, offenders forced entry at the back of the home between 11.20am and 5.20pm. They then stole cash and a gold chain.

Anyone with information on the burglary on Hill Rise is asked to call 101 and quote reference number 43170361915 or call Crimestoppers anonymously. Anyone with information about the Delbush Avenue burglary should quote reference 43170347190.