A COFFEE house owner is hoping to make Worcester residents smile by replacing the empty plinth where the city’s beloved Gregory the giraffe stood with an inflatable dinosaur.

David Lane, aged 31, his partner Charlotte Goode, 25, and his sister Keeley Hughes, clubbed together to buy the £12.99 tyrannosaurus, which is affectionately named Dave, as a gesture to residents on Wednesday.

Mr Lane, who runs Coffee 45 on the Tything with Miss Goode, placed the dinosaur on the plinth on the Cross, near Pret.

He said: “It is just nice – even if we make just one person smile a day – that is the point of it.

“We saw that the giraffe had to be removed so it could be repaired because it had been damaged.

“It had been so nice to see people and their kids looking at the giraffes, taking photographs and enjoying them.

“So when I found out one had been damaged and had been removed and that there was just a bare plinth we wanted to put an inflatable giraffe there.

“However, we couldn’t find a giraffe - but a quick search on Argos found an inflatable dinosaur so we got that instead.”

It is not the first item to be put on the empty plinth as previously a small plastic toy giraffe was left there.

Previously, we reported how West Mercia Police said a man had admitted knocking over the Worcester Stands Tall giraffe sculpture on Tuesday, July 17.

Following the incident, the giraffe was removed and readers took to our Facebook to voice their anger.

Michelle Corns said: “Shame drunken idiots find it funny to spoil and damage them. I hope they’re made to pay for it - shame on you.”

Ashley Bishton added: “Lowlife utter scum. Can we bring back stocks and put the people who did this in the stocks and have the public throw old food at them.”

The giraffe is part of the Worcester Stands Tall art trail, a project to raise money for St Richard’s Hospice Build 2020 appeal to expand its premises.

Sara Matthews, project manager for Worcester Stands Tall, said: “Thank you to the people who put Dave the dinosaur on Gregory’s empty plinth – it certainly brought a smile to our faces.

“However – please don’t get too attached to him, as we are hoping Gregory will be back on the trail in all his glory early next week. We'd like to thank our friends at JMB Polishers in Pershore who have worked to repair him.

“We have been overwhelmed by kind messages of support from the public and would like to thank everyone for their patience."