Teenage Boys Bailed After Death Of Oldham Widow

Two teenage boys held over the death of a widow from Oldham whose handbag containing her husband's ashes was stolen by muggers have been released on bail.

Nellie Geraghty, 79, suffered serious head injuries as she desperately tried to cling on to the bag during the attack in Oldham, Greater Manchester, on Thursday.

She died in Royal Oldham Hospital at around midnight on Friday. Two youths were originally arrested on suspicion of robbery but were later questioned on suspicion of murder.

A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said: ``Two teenage boys arrested in connection with the death of an elderly lady in Shaw have been bailed.

``The boys, aged 14 and 17, were arrested on suspicion of murder and have been bailed until January 9.''

Former school cleaner and cotton mill worker 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 containing the ashes of her husband Frank - who died 17 years ago - in a small box, and also £200 in cash.

The handbag was missing from the scene but the strap was still in the pensioner's hand. A post-mortem examination confirmed that Mrs Geraghty died from a head injury, police said.

In a tribute statement, her family said: ``We have lost the best mum in the world, the best sister, grandmother, auntie and friend a person could ever have.''

Shaw-born Mrs Geraghty and her husband, a fellow cotton mill worker who went on to work for the Oldham co-operative bus company, had four children.