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Widow Dies After Muggers Take Husband's Ashes

An elderly widow has died after muggers stole her handbag containing her husband's ashes - which she had carried for 17 years.

Nellie Geraghty, 79, suffered fatal head injuries as she desperately tried to cling onto the bag during the robbery in Oldham, Greater Manchester.

Police have launched a murder inquiry after she died in Royal Oldham Hospital at around midnight on Friday. Two youths, aged 14 and 17, have been arrested on suspicion of robbery.

Mrs Geraghty was found collapsed in an alleyway near her home in Shaw just before noon on Thursday.

Inside her handbag was a blue velvet bag she made herself containing the ashes of her husband, Frank, which she had carried with her since he died 17 years ago.

She was also carrying £200 in cash. The black handbag was missing at the scene but the strap was still in the pensioner's hand.

A statement issued by the victim's family said: "Nellie is much loved and will always be remembered by all her friends and family.

"We have lost the best mum in the world, the best sister, grandmother, auntie and friend a person could ever have.

"The world would be a better place if there were more people like you. Heaven will be blessed with your presence. Our sad loss is heaven's gain.

"We will miss you terribly, until we meet again, my mum, my sister my friend rest in peace." more

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