A KNIFE-wielding burglar knocked an 85-year-old man off his feet in his own home before rifling through his pockets.

Fearing for his safety, the victim pretended to have a medical episode during the burglary in Middlesbrough - at which point the suspect panicked and dialled 999 before hanging up the phone.

A call operator called back and the burglar said everything was fine.

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The incident began when the assailant pushed past the elderly victim to enter his home.

The victim fell to the floor and the man helped him up, before demanding money from him and going through his pockets.

While the elderly man was on the floor he noticed the suspect was carrying a large kitchen knife.

The burglar continued to demand money, then started to search the property for cash. He eventually left empty-handed.

Police are releasing an audio clip which features the voice of a man that they would like to speak to in connection with the aggravated burglary on Woodcock Close in Bankfields, Middlesbrough.

The incident took place on Thursday, August 24 at 9.30pm, but police have only just released details.

Anyone who recognises the voice of the man in the audio clip or anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to contact DC Paul Matthews on the non-emergency number 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or www.crimestoppers-uk.org.