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Altrincham man admits theft of dead woman's bag in Manchester
12:56pm Friday 18th May 2012 in News
A SHAMED dad has admitted stealing the handbag and shoes of a woman killed in an horrific road accident – as her body lay yards away.
Marc Kirvin jumped out of a passing car to grab the bag after spotting it in the road in Upper Brook Street, Longsight.
It belonged toSarwari Ashraf, 62, who died after being hit by a lorry just minutes earlier.
The bag contained £1,600, and Kirvin, of West Avenue, Altrincham, kept the money and threw away the dead woman’s personal effects.
As a result police had no idea who she was, and her family only learned of her fate the next day when they called at her Longsight home expecting to find her. They faced an agonising 12-hour wait until her identity was confirmed, and her traditional Muslim burial was delayed as a result.
Kirvin has now admitted theft at Manchester magistrates court and been warned that he could be locked up when he appears for sentence.
Mrs Ashraf’s family said that if her handbag had been recovered from the scene it would have prevented the ‘prolonged suffering and anguish’ they endured. They added: “Our family can’t express in words the distress, anxiety and sadness that this offence has caused.”
Police investigating Mrs Ashraf’s death on March 29 released CCTV stills to the M.E.N. and tracked down Kirvin after a tip-off. He told officers: “It’s about the bag isn’t it? You have been looking for me.”
Kirvin claimed he was unaware Mrs Ashraf’s body was lying 130 metres up the road.
He said he thought the handbag had been put on a car roof, ‘absent-mindedly’, before slipping off, putting out of his mind the suspicion that it was linked to the accident. He said he couldn’t explain why he took the shoes, or why he thought they were there. He handed over £700 of Mrs Ashraf’s money which he had stashed on top of a bookcase.
He told officers: “I couldn’t bring myself to spend it”, saying he had split the money with another man.
Sending the case to Manchester Crown Court for sentence, district judge Wendy Lloyd said the distress caused by the theft was ‘magnified many times over’ because of the tragic circumstances.
A 40-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by careless driving following Mrs Ashraf's death.