HE WITNESSED hell on the beaches of Normandy to secure freedom for future generations. But Clifford Cuthbertson’s heroics didn’t stop a con artist from stealing his car. The former Second World War tank driver, 85, who was left partially deaf by noise from German bomb blasts, was targeted by the thief after advertising his VW Passat in a newspaper. Winning his victim’s trust with friendly banter and cups of tea at a cafe, the crook sped off in the car after promising to return with £1,500. The lout never came back and Mr Cuthbertson, who fought in some of the fiercest battles against Hitler’s Germany, was forced to find his own way home after being left without his mobility scooter. The great-grandfather, of Wardley, Gateshead, said: “He was very plausible and polite. He came and asked if he could take the car for a test drive so I agreed and went with him. “He said: ‘Come on, let’s go for a cup of tea’ and we ended up in the cafe at Asda in Washington. “He said he’d only be a few minutes but that was the last I saw of him. I didn’t have my scooter but luckily I had my bus pass.” Mr Cuthbert’s wife Barbara, 80, said: “He managed to get home but he has angina and I’ve never seen him shaking so much.” Police are now hunting the thief, who is described as in his 50s, of large build, with short, cropped hair and claiming to be from Chester-le-Street. The swindle, which was on Monday, has left Mr Cuthbertson, a former trooper in the First Northamptonshire Yeomanry regiment, traumatised and insulted. In June 1944, he was driving a Sherman tank when his convoy drove into a German ambush, six days after the D-Day landings in Normandy. Although Mr Clifford escaped serious injury, he saw friends killed and his hearing was damaged. He recalled: “We had advanced across a field and the Germans were camouflaged. When we got close they jumped out and opened fire on us.” Mr Cuthbertson fought all over France, Belgium and Holland, arriving in liberated Germany, where he stayed for several years. He said he would love to catch the conman himself. He added: “Even the Germans treated me with more respect than that.’’ Mr Cuthbert’s VW Passat is a deep dark blue and the registration is S644 PDD. Anyone with information about the theft is asked to contact Northumbria Police on 03456 043 043. ChronicleLive - News - Today's Chronicle - War veteran's car stolen by callous conman Is this seriously what society has come to, robbing a car from a War Veterans aged 85! How low can some people get.