A NEWPORT community has rallied round to support a 92-year-old D-Day hero who was the victim of a terrifying burglary.

Alf "Patsy" Reakes lives on his own, has impaired sight and only partial hearing.

He awoke in the early hours to find an intruder in his bedroom rifling through a cupboard.

He told the Argus he was still shaken-up by the experience. "I can still see him now, when I look at the same spot at night," he said. "When I woke up that night, I saw this fellow and I said 'what do you want', he said: 'money'.

"I said I didn't have any and he threw a pillow over my face - when I got it off he'd gone."

Around £30 in cash was taken from pockets in Mr Reakes' clothes, and he was left feeling upset and vulnerable.

But the sorry business does have a happy ending.

Word got round Somerton estate, where Mr Reakes has lived for more than 40 years, and in days a collection of grocery hampers and flowers arrived at his home.

"I had the biggest surprise of my life, I never knew I had so many friends," said Mr Reakes, who served in the South Wales Borderers throughout World War Two, and took part in the second wave of D-Day landings. "I am very grateful to everybody, they've been marvellous," he said.

Stepdaughter Elaine Taylor said people in Somerton had been outraged by the burglary.

"A collection had gone round the whole estate - they've thought of everything, it's fantastic," she said. "We just want to thank everybody from the bottom of our hearts."

Mr Reakes was born in Maindee, and has lived in Somerton for 41 years. He has lived alone for the last 18 years, since losing his wife Clara, but is supported by his remaining family, who make regular visits.

"The police and social services have been excellent - really supportive," added Mrs Taylor.

Security has been improved at Mr Reakes' home since the incident. Police investigations are continuing.