Oldham Widow Died After Violent Robbery

23 July 2012, 16:38 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

A jury has been told that a drug user who was trying to feed his habit dragged a bag with ashes in from Nellie Geraghty last year.

The 79 year old was found face down in the mud just 100 yards from her home in Shaw and died later in hospital.

Manchester Crown court has heard she suffered serious head injuries with the “overwhelming likelihood” that she was knocked to the ground and while lying on the floor was kicked or stamped on.

Peter Wright QC, prosecuting, said: “this was a most violent attack on a vulnerable, elderly lady in which she sustained serious injuries which ultimately led to her death.”

He said the accused, Mark Royle, 37, was living rough in Shaw at the time of the incident last November.

“Mark Royle was a user of hard drugs at the time of these matters” the prosecutor said. “He was funding his drug use, we say, in part by committing crime. We say that on the occasion we are concerned with he resorted to a crime of violence in order to fund his drug habit.”

Mrs Geraghty was an “extremely active and independent lady” who lived alone on an estate of sheltered housing for the elderly.

Royle, of no fixed address, denies the murder or manslaughter of Mrs Geraghty and also robbing her.