A memorial to two children killed by an IRA bomb in Warrington in 1993 has been stolen.

A plaque that formed part of the River of Life, a memorial for victims of the Warrington blast, was taken from a wall in Bridge Street in a suspected metal theft.

Three-year-old Johnathan Ball and 12-year-old Tim Parry were both killed by two small bombs placed in litter bins on the street, while 54 others were injured in the Cheshire town.

The Bishop of Warrington, the Rt Rev Richard Blackburn, said his prayers were with both families.

He said: "This is senseless vandalism, grieving not only the families but the whole community. I appeal to all who have any information to assist the police and help take this investigation forward.

Tim Parry's father, Colin, said there had been a spate of war memorial thefts around the UK.

"Anyone with a conscience or any sense of decency would know that there might be other things that might be less emotionally damaging to take."

His son was killed when two bombs exploded within a minute of each other on March 20 1993, one outside a Boots and another outside a McDonalds in an area crowded with shoppers.

Johnathan died at the scene, while Tim was gravely wounded. He died on 25 March 1993 when doctors switched off his life support machine.

The memorial was stolen some time between 20 April and 5 May.