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6 June 2012, 14:36
A man has denied killing an Oldham pensioner, who died fighting to keep hold of her handbag that held her husbands ashes.
37 year old Mark Royle, pleaded not guilty to the murder or manslaughter of 79 year old Nellie Geraghty, who was found in an alleyway close to her home in Shaw, near Oldham.
The defendant also denied a third count of robbing Mrs Geraghty.
The grandmother suffered head injuries from a mugging on November 24 last year and died at Royal Oldham Hospital two days later.
Her handbag, which contained the ashes of her husband Frank, was missing, but the strap of the bag was still in her hand. The ashes have not been recovered.
Members of Mrs Geraghty's family were at Manchester Crown Court for the brief plea and case management hearing.
Appearing via videolink from prison, Royle, of no fixed address but formerly from Shaw, was remanded in custody ahead of his trial on July 27.
The hearing is estimated to last up to two weeks.