‘Homeless hero’ admits theft after Manchester attack

A “homeless hero” who was praised for his response in the Manchester Arena attack has pleaded guilty to stealing from the victims.

Chris Parker was charged with theft of a purse and theft of a mobile phone from two people outside the MEN Arena, during the terror incident of May 22.

Bomber Salman Abedi killed 22 after he detonated a suicide bomb following an Ariana Grande gig last year.

Parker was widely praised for his response to the attack, as he spoke to news outlets about helping the injured.

The 33-year-old has admitted taking the purse of Pauline Healey, as her granddaughter, Sorrell Leczkowski, 14, lay dying yards away.

He also pleaded guilty to taking a mobile phone belonging to a teenage girl who cannot be named because of her age.

Parker also admitted one count of fraud at Manchester Crown Court today, after using Mrs Healey’s bank cards.

CCTV footage played in court showed Parker returning to Mrs Healey on multiple occasions before leaning over her and taking her purse.

Sorrell Leczkowski

Image: Sorrell Leczkowski died in the Manchester arena attack

He previously denied stealing a coat from an unknown person, as well as another person’s bag, discarded in the chaos, and using Mrs Healey’s bank cards a number of days after the attack.

Following his guilty pleas, prosecutors will not pursue these charges.

Parker’s lawyer told the court he was sorry for his “appalling behaviour”, according to the Manchester Evening News.

Louise Brandon, prosecuting, said: “By his pleas he’s admitted stealing items belonging to victims of the attack on the arena and using a bank card thereafter. I do not seek a trial on the remaining counts.”

He had been due to stand trial from 2 January, lasting three days, having previously denied the charges, but failed to turn up to court.

The case had to be adjourned, and he was later found hiding in a loft in Halifax, where he was arrested.

He will be sentenced on January 30. Judge David Hernandez said a custodial sentence is “likely”.

Parker has several previous convictions dating from 2000, including shoplifting and burglary offences.

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Mrs Healey was injured in the explosion and had 15 hours of surgery after the blast.

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