Tom Spence was in the back garden of his home in Nechells, Birmingham, when a man walked up to him and repeatedly struck him with a pick axe handle before leaving him lying in a pool of blood.
Last night police said they were trying to contact Lambert Small, 67, Mr Spence's neighbour, in connection with Thursday's incident. Mr Small is 5ft5in tall and black with greying hair going bald on top.
Detective Chief Inspector Ollie Duggan, of West Midlands Police, said: 'We have strong indications that he may be mentally unstable. We want him to come forward to speak with us.
'We will deal with him sympathetically and afford him any medical attention he may need.'
Mr Spence, a welder, had been scattering the ashes at his home the day after his father's funeral when the attack happened.Reuse content