Charity giraffe sculpture used as burglary battering ram

A man has been arrested after a giraffe sculpture which was part of a hospice fundraising bid was used as a battering ram in a burglary.

The charity piece, called Dotty, was one of 69 put up around Worcester as part of a walking trail to raise money for St Richard's Hospice.

West Mercia police tweeted a photograph of the statue detached from its base and leaning against the smashed window of a clothing store.

It later said a 20-year-old man had been arrested following the incident, and is now in custody.

On their Facebook page, the organisers of St Richard's Hospice Stand Tall campaign said Dotty had been badly damaged and would be removed from the trail.

"Unfortunately, she will not be returning to the trail, but we are doing everything we can to make sure she is ready to go back on display at our Farewell Event at Worcester Cathedral between 4-7 October," they said.

Police said several items of clothing were missing and that investigations were ongoing.

"The St Richards – Worcester Stands Tall project has been a great addition to Worcester during the summer, attracting lots of tourists and people to follow the trail," safer neighbourhood inspector Tanya Beckett said.

"We would encourage people to enjoy the giraffe sculptors throughout the city, whilst remembering they are planned to be auctioned off to raise funds for the Worcester based hospice charity later this month."

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The burglary is not the first time the sculpture trail fell victim to less benevolent influences.

Last week organisers were forced to move one sculpture, Arthur the Giraffa in Banana Pyjamas, due to an EDL demonstration.

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