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2 August 2012, 18:36
A 37 year old drug addict has been jailed for life for murdering a Shaw pensioner when he stole her bag.
79 year old Nellie Geraghty was trying to cling on to the bag because it had her husband's ashes in and never regained consciousness after the attack last November.
Mark Royle wrenched the bag from her and and left her in an alleyway with severe head injuries.
Drug addict Royle also pleaded guilty to another robbery, two weeks later, in Rochdale, where he targeted another woman for her purse.
He has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 28 years.
Nellie's family have released this statement:
It has been a very difficult 8 months for us all. Sadly, the death of Nellie has brought the village of Shaw to the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. However, we were overwhelmed by the response from the local community and general public.
Nellie was a very active, independent 79 year old lady who lived her life to the full. She had lots of friends and was very popular. Her life was so tragically cut short and she was taken from us before her time. We have been left completely devastated by what this man has done to Nellie. It has left a very big empty space in all of our lives.
The only comforting thought to us is that Nellie is now back together with her beloved Frank. Our suffering has been eased by the care and attention from the Greater Manchester Police especially DCI Joanne RAWLINSON and the staff of the Major incident Team. Our grateful thanks to Mr WRIGHT and Mr NUTTALL and all of the prosecution team. Also to the people of Shaw for their help during the investigation and the showing of great compassion from the start. Shaw does not deserve a monster such as ROYLE and we are so grateful that justice has been done. No amount of time served by him will ever bring our Nellie back.