THE mum of a 16-year-old boy who died after suffering from a long-term disease was left in tears after callous thieves stole a charity box which was placed in a shop in his memory.

Ben Sims, from Leigh, died in intensive care in hospital in Pendlebury in September 2008, just months after finishing his GCSEs at Lowton High School.

The teenager was due to be transferred to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital the following year.

Following Ben’s death around £3,000 was raised, which was donated to the critical and intensive care unit at the children’s hospital.

And in the last 10 years there have been four charity boxes stationed in shops in Leigh, including the One Stop store in Pennington, which feature a picture of Ben.

But last week, on Wednesday, January 22 at around 6.30pm, a man and a woman entered the Chestnut Drive South shop and stole the charity box.

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Ben’s mum Beverley, 54, said: “I was crying in the shop when I found out.

“They have overstepped the mark with this.

"The people who done it could be taking money from somewhere that helps their children one day.”

Beverley says Ben was a “loving and beautiful son” who “coped with everything that was thrown at him”.

She believes around £2,000 has been raised through the charity boxes.

The woman suspect has been described as white, aged from 20 to 25, around 5ft 6ins tall, of a medium build and was wearing a white coat.

The man was 25 to 30, around 6ft tall, of an average build, with dark short hair and was wearing a green coat with a black jacket underneath and black jogging pants.

If you have any information contact police on 101 quoting reference number CRI/06LL/0001807/20.