Police are offering a £50,000 ($64,000) reward for information after an 87-year-old woman died following a violent robbery in which her wedding ring was snatched from her finger.

Eileen Blane was in her home in Greater Manchester on the afternoon of 3 February when a man forced his way into the house.

He punched her in the face, threw her to the floor and beat her with an unknown object while demanding cash and jewellery.

The suspect then forcibly stole her wedding ring from her finger.

While he ransacked upstairs the pensioner managed to escape and alert her neighbours.

She later told police: "He just wouldn't stop hitting me. I just asked him to stop but he wouldn't. He said he wanted gold ... it was just a nightmare."

Detective Chief Inspector Richard Eales, of Greater Manchester Police, said: "This was a disgusting attack on an elderly woman in her own home which left her with serious injuries that we believe ultimately lead to her death and as a result we have now launched a murder investigation."

Eileen was treated by paramedics for bruises over her face and head but was taken to hospital the following week when her health deteriorated.

Doctors found she had sustained a number of broken ribs and internal injuries from the incident.

She was discharged from hospital after eight weeks to continue her recovery at her home in Castleton Avenue, Stretford but died the next day, on 1 April.

Nobody has been arrested in connection with the robbery and death.

Police are now offering a £50,000 reward for anyone with information that leads to the successful conviction of the offender.

The suspect is described as white, about 5ft 8ins tall and of slim build. He was wearing a dark-coloured jacket with the hood covering his face.

Det Chf Insp Eales said: "Eileen's family have been left devastated by her death and are desperate to see the person responsible brought to justice. It is heart wrenching to see the impact such a senseless act has had on them and we have been providing them with support from specially trained officers.

"We are keen to speak to anyone who can help us in our efforts to find the man responsible and bring some closure to Eileen's family. There is currently a £50,000 reward on offer to anyone with information that leads to the successful conviction of this man.

"It's possible that the offender may have told somebody about the robbery or even approached local businesses in an attempt to sell Eileen's stolen items.

"If you run a local business and are aware of a suspicious man attempting to pawn off a wedding ring or women's jewellery around the date of the robbery, it is possible that you may hold key information which could assist our enquiries.

"If you have any information, no matter how big or small you think it may be, I would urge you to please contact police immediately."


Anybody with information should contact police on 0161 856 9283 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.