British pensioner dies after muggers steal husband's ashes

26th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

An elderly woman has died after being robbed of her handbag containing her husband's ashes, which she had carried around for 17 years, British police said on Saturday.

Nellie Geraghty, 79, was rushed to hospital on Thursday after being found unconscious in an alleyway in Oldham, near Manchester, in northwest England.

She was still clutching the strap of her handbag, which had contained a large quantity of cash and a velvet bag containing her late husband's ashes.

"She was taken to Royal Oldham Hospital with serious head injuries but she sadly died," Greater Manchester Police said in a statement.

They added that two boys aged 14 and 17 had been arrested on suspicion of robbery and were in custody.

Appealing for witnesses on Friday, Superintendent Catherine Hankinson said Geraghty might have been attacked because she refused to let go of her handbag, adding: "She has carried the ashes around with her for the last 17 years."

"I imagine even hardened criminals will be shocked by this so, please, if you have heard anything about this then tell us," she said.

© 2011 AFP

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