A D-Day veteran's mobile was stolen by a heartless stranger who befriended him as he was recovering in hospital.

Double amputee David Teacher MBE, 96, was admitted to Royal Oldham Hospital after he fell over in his Bury home, suffering cuts and bruises.

As he lay recovering in his neck brace, a seemingly kind-hearted stranger kept offering to charge his phone for him, which David gratefully accepted.

However, his mobile - an old Samsung - suddenly vanished on February 17, leaving nurses questioning how anyone could be so cruel as to steal the device, the Manchester Evening News reports.

David's friend, Richard Alexander said: "The nurse said someone kept offering to charge David's phone for him, and David said, 'thanks very much'.

He was targeted by a thief while in Royal Oldham Hospital

"You can't get a more vulnerable and more trusting person.

"At around 9.30am, they realised that David's phone was missing.

"It's the lowest of the low. It just doesn't get any lower. For what, £10 if that?"

Friends have described David, who lost his legs following the Battle of the Bulge in 1944, as 'fiercely independent'.

Richard said: "He's a very noble person.

"He lost his legs due to bad circulation, which people have pointed to freezing conditions, -22C, that he spent in leather shoes, ill-prepared during the Battle of the Bulge [in December 1944].

"He goes to as many remembrance events as he can to show respect to the people who died."

David, who was awarded an MBE for his charitable work, regularly travels abroad to talk to schoolchildren about the dangers of war.

Friends fear the Normandy veteran, who uses a prosthetic leg and a wheelchair, will struggle without his means of communication.

Richard continued: "Without a phone, they have taken the one shot he's got at being able to speak to people.

"The principle of it is just despicable."

Greater Manchester Police said in a statement: "At 11.35am on Tuesday 18 February 2020, police received a report of a theft from a patient at Royal Oldham Hospital.

"An investigation is under way."

A spokesperson for the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group, which manages The Royal Oldham Hospital said: “The safety and security of our patients is our priority and all patients should rightfully expect their belongings to be safe and secure whilst in our care.

"We are assisting the police with their investigations and will continue to support the patient and his family following this upsetting incident.”