A man has been convicted of conspiracy to burgle a 98-year-old Second World War veteran who died after he was injured in an unrelated break-in, a court has heard.

Nicolae Ion, 31, admitted to plotting to burgle Peter Gouldstone's home in Evesham Road, Enfield, on or before November 6, 2018, Snaresbrook Crown Court in east London heard on Monday.

Mr Gouldstone was found at his home in north London on November 6, 2018, with a head injury, and was taken to hospital where he remained until he died later that month.

However, there is no suggestion Ion is responsible for Mr Gouldstone's death, Judge Gerard Pounder stressed on Monday.

Prosecutor Simon Sandford said Ion "appeared to be saying: 'I was going to burgle these premises but another team or person got there before me and was in the process of burgling it'", so he aborted the plot.

Ion was initially charged with burglary, but on Monday the Crown agreed to proceed with the lesser charge of conspiracy to burgle, with the former lying on file.

Mr Sandford added: "The concern has always been that there was an elderly man on the premises who died shortly afterwards and the Crown would open that as a fact but make it clear that there is no evidence that the defendant was a party to the fact that man died."

The judge said: "There is no suggestion Mr Ion was responsible for (Mr Gouldstone's death) and he has not been charged as a consequence."

Mr Gouldstone had suffered injuries including two bleeds to the brain and extensive bruising to his body, and a post-mortem examination gave cause of death as complication of a traumatic head injury.

There had been a £10,000 reward on offer for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the men who broke into the home of the retired telephone engineer, who had served in Italy during the Second World War.

The appeal had also featured on Crimewatch.

The court heard that Ion has previously pleaded guilty to two linked offences.

He is due to be sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on October 6.