A drug addict who attacked a church-going pensioner with a hammer while burgling his house and left him for dead has been jailed for life.
Mohammed Naheem was on his way back from signing on at a police station as part of parole when he committed the "vicious" murder in Birmingham last year.
He will have to serve a minimum of 26 years before being considered for parole, Mr Justice Hodge ruled.
Naheem admitted murdering 74-year-old Daniel McGann, of Acocks Green, Birmingham, on September 28 after being confronted by the pensioner as he tried to break in. Mr McGann picked up a hammer when he spotted the 35-year-old, Birmingham Crown Court heard.
Naheem, a heroin addict, grabbed it and turned on the pensioner, beating a hole in his head.
Naheem pleaded guilty to murder and three counts of burglary.
Jim Burbidge QC, prosecuting, said: "His face and head were badly broken and his skull fractured. He had lacerations to his nose, face and head. His skull was extensively fractured, it was virtually shattered.
"A considerable amount of force would have been needed to cause these injuries."
The pensioner, described as security-conscious, was left dying in his garden while Naheem rifled his house. Naheem threw water over Mr McGann but took four watches, an electric shaver, clothes and euros.
He caught a bus to a friend's house in Sparkhill, Birmingham, and tried to sell the items telling friends he hit a man in head with a hammer so hard it made a hole.
Mr McGann's body was found the following day by a neighbour.
Police found the hammer in a bowl of water and the TV and fire still on. Naheem was arrested three days later.
The court heard Naheem had a history of burglary and violent offences.
In 1987 he was convicted of theft and seven years later burglary, Mr Burbidge said.
In July 1996 he was jailed for ten years for wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and aggravated burglary on an 87-year-old neighbour. He and an accomplice broke into the widow's house and went into the bedroom where she was asleep.
"They pulled bed clothes over her head and shouted demands. She was pulled from her bed and repeatedly beaten about the head with a ceramic jar," Mr Burbidge said.
Speaking outside court Detective Chief Inspector Keith Wilson, from West Midlands Police, said: "Today is not about Mohammed Naheem but for Daniel McGann, it is a celebration of his life.
"He should still be alive enjoying retirement."