A thief who stole cash from a charity box collecting money for brave Bradley Lowery has been handed a 12-week prison sentence.
Stephen Whitworth, 35, of no fixed abode, appeared before Newton Aycliffe magistrates charged with theft.
The court heard how the collection box containing a quantity of cash was taken from the counter of cafe ‘The Lunch Box’, in Yoden Road, Peterlee, on Sunday, March 19.
Durham Police say they were alerted after the box was found nearby at 11am that same day.
The force yesterday tweeted a picture of the money inside a transparent evidence bag with the words: “We have got your money back mate!!”
Officers said the arrest came as a result of information from members of the public.
Whitworth, 35, pleaded guilty to the one count of theft and was sentenced by magistrates to 12 weeks in custody.
Blackhall youngster Bradley is battling terminal neuroblastoma.
The five-year-old has been undergoing antibody therapy after doctors found his cancer had spread, despite gruelling cancer treatment.
It has been funded thanks to the £700,000-plus raised through donations by supporters.
This week the little Sunderland fan is set to head back to hospital for further checks and blood tests, with his family expecting doctors to decide he needs a feeding tube once again to help keep his strength.
This Sunday, Bradley is due to appear as a mascot at England’s World Cup 2018 qualifying match against Lithuania at Wembley.
The football fan has already appeared as both a Sunderland AFC and Everton FC mascot several times after capturing the heart of supporters from across the world.
On Bradley Lowery’s Fight Against Neuroblastoma page, mum Gemma said: “Bradley wasn’t too well at the beginning of the weekend so he had some chilled out time watching his favourite films on the couch in a cabin we were kindly offered to stay at.
“The week ahead he will be up the hospital to get his bloods checked and unfortunately I think he is going to need his feeding tube put back in because he is not eating enough and is losing weight.
“Bradley will not like this as it is traumatic getting it in, however he needs to be nutritionally well to keep his energy levels up to fight the nasties.”
For more information and to donate to his fund, visit: https://bradleylowerysfight.org.uk