A “cowardly and evil” killer is facing a life sentence after he bludgeoned to death an 89-year-old war veteran for just £200.
Stuart Young, who has lived in the Chorley area, struck Albert Fielding with six heavy blows to his head with a hammer while he was sleeping and then emptied his wallet.
The assault in Blackburn was so severe it smashed the victim’s skull and parts of it were found embedded in his brain.
Detectives said what was more “sickening” about the attack was that generous Mr Fielding would probably have given the defendant the cash if he had asked.
The widower had an open house policy at his ground-floor flat and would welcome strangers in to swap stories and financially help people.
However, police said that word had spread around the town that he was seen as a “soft touch” and he was preyed on for his kindness.
Young, 23, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty at Preston Crown Court to his murder in October last year.
Sentencing was adjourned for psychiatric reports, but Judge Anthony Russell told Young it would be a life sentence with only the minimum term to be fixed before he can be considered for parole.
Young was remanded in custody ahead of his sentencing date on March 11.
Detective Superintendent Neil Hunter said: “This was a vicious and unprovoked attack on a kind and caring elderly gentleman.
“Albert was a man of mature years who was a people person and enjoyed the company of others.
“Stuart Young took advantage of Albert’s caring nature and subjected him to a brutal attack.
“His behaviour was reprehensible and disgraceful, and he should be thoroughly ashamed of himself.
“To take a life in this manner is quite barbaric.
“Dedicated family liaison officers are continuing to support Mr Fielding’s family as they have done throughout the investigation and our thoughts remain with his family as they come to terms with such a tragic loss.”