A bedbound man has spoken of his upset after up to £30,000 worth of fish were stolen from the pond in his back garden.

David Hobson, 74, discovered a collection of 35 koi carp, worth between £25,000 and £30,000, were stolen from outside his home in Five Oaks, off West Lane, Baildon.

He had built up his cherished collection of fish over the last 30 years.

The thieves took all of the koi carp, only leaving a couple of goldfish and two mirror carp, which were also in the pond at the time. Mr Hobson said his house was not broken into in the incident.

Mr Hobson spotted his carp were missing, and the incident is reported to have happened between noon on January 2, and noon on January 4, a West Yorkshire Police spokesman said.

Mr Hobson said: “I have been collecting the carp for the last 30 years. It is very, very upsetting.

“My partner was in tears. The children have grown up with the fish.

“It is just very upsetting for my whole family.

“People have been so kind on social media and sent their sympathies. Some people have even offered their own koi carp from their collection.

“The fish were something for me to look after as I suffer badly from arthritis. I have not been as mobile as I was before as I suffered a stroke a couple of years ago.

“We try to keep on top of looking after the fish and it is well maintained.”

His collection of koi carp are a mixture of orange, silver, red and black coloured fish.

Koi are coloured varieties of Amur carp that are kept for decorative purposes in outdoor koi ponds or water gardens.

The word koi comes from Japanese, simply meaning carp and the fish are symbols of love and friendship in Japan.

Mr Hobson’s partner, Rosie Gray, 63, said the fish were covered over by a see-through net attached over the pond to deter any birds from attacking the fish.

She said the net was unfastened, pulled back and then put back over once the koi carp were stolen.

Miss Gray said: “The highlight of his day was looking out of his bedroom window and seeing his fish.

“We have spent a lot of hours building the pond.

“It is his hobby. David has built up the pond from scratch.

“It’s really sad that it has happened. He is going to miss them.

“I could not believe it had happened when I saw they had gone. I could not believe that somebody had taken them.

“I feel sad for the fish being moved.

“The stress of moving them could kill them, especially at this time of year.”

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman confirmed its enquiries are continuing and appealed to the public to help find them.

Anyone with any further information is urged to call Shipley Area Neighbourhood Team on 101 quoting crime reference number 13180007573, or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.