GENEROUS Worcester residents have offered to replace the £300 stolen by a thief who swiped a collection tin containing cash for Oscar Saxelby-Lee.

Lewis Ilsley, 41, was jailed for 18 weeks for stealing the donations tin from Sophie’s Grill in Lowesmoor, Worcester, on September 22.

Ilsley, of Old Orchard, Upton-upon-Severn was also ordered to pay back the £300 as compensation to Sophie Wall, who owns the grill, but she said she and her staff will just donate the cash to the Oscar appeal because she does not believe that Ilsley will come up with the money any time soon.

READ MORE: Thief steals Oscar donations

Sophie told the Worcester News that a letter from the court regarding the £300 compensation said "we won’t receive it in a lump sum. It will be when and how much Isley decides to pay back at a time."

She said that she has also been contacted by a resident who said they wanted to donate £300 to replace the cash taken by Ilsley, while the Worcester News has also been approached by people saying they planned to do the same.

Ilsley was caught on CCTV as he stole the money from Sophie’s while staff were away from the till, at around 10.20pm on September 22.

Five-year-old Oscar, from St John’s in Worcester, has been bravely battling T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia since Christmas and his family have announced that they have managed to raise the £500,000 to take him to Singapore for CAR-T trial treatment.

Sophie said she had initially displayed the donations tin to collect money for dying mum Michelle Ives, who wants to make the most of the time she has left with her children.

Friend Gaynor Cook placed 10 tins around the city, including in Sophie’s, but after seeing Oscar’s appeal, Mrs Ives, 45, selflessly decided to give any money collected to him instead.

“We were still open,” Sophie said, referring to the night of the theft. “There were two members of staff, they were in the back washing up. Our front door is right by the till – he could just reach in and didn’t even need to close the door first.”

She said she came into work the following day, a Monday, and noticed the tin was missing and so studied the CCTV.

“The tin had a picture of Michelle and her family – so he knew it was for charity,” she added.

Ilsley was sentenced for the theft on September 25 at Kidderminster Magistrates Court.