Following a theft of Christmas presents intended for children being treated at London's Great Ormond Street hospital, the GOSH charity announces that the missing presents have been replaced.

The missing items were taken from a non-public area of the hospital (Getty)

Up to 20 wrapped gifts were taken from the world-famous children's hospital between Friday and yesterday, the Metropolitan police has said.

The missing items, which included portable DVD players, DVDs, Nintendo DS games consoles, games and toys, were taken from a non-public area of the hospital.

To steal presents that were supposed to be for children too sick to be at home with their families at Christmas is beyond belief. Inspector Neal Anderson

The presents, which had been bought using the hospital's charity fund, were to be given to children in the intensive care unit.

The hospital, known as GOSH, has more than 200,000 patient visits each year. It was set up in 1852 and celebrated its 160th anniversary this year.

Its work was highlighted during the opening ceremony of the London Olympics, when many of its young patients and staff took part in a sequence paying tribute to the NHS.

Replacement offers

Inspector Neal Anderson said: "To steal presents that were supposed to be for children too sick to be at home with their families at Christmas is beyond belief.

"I would urge anyone who has information about the individual, or persons, responsible to contact officers so that we can try and get the items back before Christmas Day.

"I would also urge the thief to try and think about their actions and do the decent thing and return them."

Officers from Camden borough are investigating the theft.

There have been several offers to fund replacements of the missing items from Celtic FC, PC World and Lord Sugar, among others.

The hospital later tweeted to say that the gifts had been replaced by a long-term supporter.

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