MANCHESTER, England, Aug. 3 (UPI) -- An English drug addict was sentenced to at least 28 years in prison Thursday for killing a woman who resisted giving up a handbag holding her husband's ashes.
Mark Royle, 37, was found guilty of the murder and robbery of Nellie Geraghty, 79, in the village of Shaw in the Manchester area, the Daily Mirror reported. Geraghty died two days after the attack.
Judge Andrew Gilbert sentenced Royle to life with a minimum of 28 years in prison. Gilbert told Royle he "snuffed out her life just to get the price of your next fix."
Family members said Geraghty, who had been a widow for 17 years, had begun carrying her husband's ashes with her in her handbag. When she was found, she was gripping the handle of the bag and asked police officers about the ashes.
The bag was found in a river, but the ashes were missing. Jurors heard during the trial that Royle told another addict he had carried out "a snatch on a woman that had gone a bit naughty."
"No amount of time served by him will ever bring our Nellie back," her family said in a statement. "The only comforting thought to us is Nellie is now back together with her beloved Frank."
Geraghty was described as an independent woman who was on her way to her lunch club when she was attacked.
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