Callous thief steals handbag from woman who drowned in canal

Woman slipped into the Leeds Liverpool while feeding ducks

Updated: 
Callous thief steals handbag from woman who drowned in canal

A heartless thief stole a drowning woman's handbag after she slipped into the Leeds Liverpool canal while feeding the ducks.

Alison Bate, 45, was rushed to hospital after stumbling into the canal. She died a short time later. Her death is not being treated as suspicious.

Police are searching for a man aged 24 or 25 riding a grey bicycle along the towpath towards Hawthorne Road, reports the Mirror.

Some items from her handbag were found further down the canal towpath.

Ms Bates' family are desperate the retrieve the handbag as it contained items of sentimental value to them.

Police say they cannot be sure the thief knew the woman was drowning.

Insp Karen Dowden said the woman's death was considered "non-suspicious".

"I want to make it clear that we want to speak to this man into the theft of a handbag," she added.

"We are treating the death of this woman as non-suspicious, as we do believe that she had stumbled and fallen into the canal," she told theBBC.

The police described the wanted man as having medium mousy brown hair and wearing a black coat and dark tracksuit bottoms.

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