Richard Savill telegraph.co.uk
Frank Corti, 72, who served with the Royal Engineers in North Africa from 1956-58, dodged the knife and punched Gregory McCalium, 23, twice in the face, giving him a black eye and a swollen lip. He then restrained the attacker until police arrived.
McCalium, a barman, was given a four-and-a-half year prison sentence at Oxford Crown Court on Monday for aggravated burglary and was told by the judge he had "got what he deserved".
The court heard Mr Corti was at home in Botley, Oxford, with his wife Margaret, 72, when McCalium, a neighbour, forced his way in at 8am on Aug 19 last year. McCalium was drunk.
Speaking after the case, Mr Corti said: "I was scared when he first drew the knife, but my old training must have kicked in because I just punched him as hard as I could and he went down like a sack of spuds. If you can't defend what's yours, where are we at?"
McCalium had denied the charge and claimed he could not remember what happened.
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