International News

Man hailed as “homeless hero” in wake of Manchester bombings admits to stealing from victims

Chris Parker confessed he stole a severely injured grandmother's purse while her granddaughter lay dying just metres away.
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The homeless man who was hailed a hero in the wake of the horrific Manchester bombings last year has pleaded guilty to stealing from victims of the attack.

Chris Parker, 33, admitted to stealing Pauline Healey’s purse while her granddaughter, Sorrell Leczkowski, was dying just metres away.

Within hours, he used her bankcard at a local McDonald’s, the court heard.

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The grandmother, her daughter and Sorrell, who had not attended the Ariana Grande concert, were waiting in the arena when a suicide bomber detonated his device last year.

Ms Healey underwent 15 hours of surgery to remove shrapnel from her body as well as suffering multiple compound fractures while her daughter was severely injured. Her 14-year-old granddaughter didn’t survive the attack.

Parker also confessed to taking a teenage girl’s mobile phone and attempting to steal a bag and coat belonging to unknown individuals.

He failed to attend court on Tuesday and was found hiding in the loft of a house where he was arrested.

14-year-old Sorrell Leczkowski.

The homeless man gained global acclaim in the wake of the attack after describing the attack to news agencies and tending to the injured.

“Everyone was piling out, all happy and everything else,” Parker recounts. “As people were coming out of the glass doors I heard a bang and within a split second I saw a white flash, then smoke and then I heard screaming.”

He told broadcasters he had run towards the victims and wrapped a bloodied child in merchandise.

“I saw a little girl. I wrapped her in one of the merchandise T-shirts and I said, ‘Where is your mum and daddy?’ She said, ‘My dad is at work, my mum is up there.'”

His mother, Jessica Parker, saw him on the news at the time and said she hadn’t realised he was sleeping rough.

“I’m extremely proud of him and I just feel like I need to get in contact,” she told Norwich Evening News at the time. “He was knocked down in the blast and he so easily could have died — I realised that if that had happened I might have never known about it, which has really upset me the most.”

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