A SOUTHAMPTON man has praised residents for offering to replace a 94-year-old's garden bench after it was stolen by thieves from her home in Romsey.

The bench was snatched from the pensioner’s patio in Hillier Court, Botley Road, sometime between Sunday, May 17, and Monday, May 18.

Now house manager at Hillier Court Retirement Living, Jeff Cox, has thanked people from Romsey and Southampton after the lady was offered "not one, but two" replacement benches.

Jeff said: "We are so grateful to the local community because we have had not one, but two offers to replace the bench.

"In these difficult times it is very much appreciated and it seems there is more good in the world than bad."

"The lady has had an awful lot of support come her way and she is extremely grateful to members of the community offering to replace her bench, but she just wants to move on now."

The 56-year-old added the lady's son-in-law replaced her bench "at the weekend" - between Saturday, May 23 and Sunday, May 24 .

In response to the crime, Louisa New from Freemantle offered to donate her new bench to the pensioner as she thought "it would take a while" for a new one to be found.

She said: "I was in the position to give them the bench, because the one I have is sitting in the garden looking pretty, but unfortunately I was a little bit late as her son-in-law had already replaced it."

A JustGiving page was also set up six days ago by Romsey resident, Amber Adamou, in a bid to raise £200 to replace the woman's bench.

This comes after Jeff revealed on Friday, May 22, the 94-year-old was “devastated someone had stooped that low” after discovering her bench was stolen.

The house manager also erected a sign in Hillier Court appealing to the thieves following the crime, which read: "To whoever stole the double seater garden bench, belonging to a 94-year-old, it’s not too late; have a heart and return it and no questions will be asked.”

A spokesperson from Hampshire police previously told the Advertiser: “We received a report that between 8pm on Sunday, May 17, and 7am on Monday, May 18, a garden bench had been stolen from a patio in Hillier Court, Botley Road, Romsey.

"Anyone with information can phone 101, quoting 44200180331."

Hampshire police has been contacted for comment.