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Dublin: 12 °C Monday 6 April, 2020

Manchester attack 'hero' jailed for stealing from victims

Chris Parker has been sentenced to over four years in prison.

Chris Parker
Chris Parker
Image: Greater Manchester Police

A HOMELESS MAN hailed as a hero for apparently coming to the aid of victims of the Manchester Arena terror attack was jailed for more than four years today, after admitting to robbing them.

Chris Parker, 33, had claimed to have helped some of those injured in last year’s attack.

However, CCTV footage shown at Manchester Crown Court captured him rifling through the purse of victim Pauline Healey, whose 14-year-old granddaughter was dying nearby. He later used her bank card at a local McDonald’s, the court heard.

When sentencing him to four years and three months in prison, Judge David Hernandez told Parker: “You were not the hero you pretended to be, you were just a common thief.

“It is hard to contemplate a more reprehensible set of circumstances.”

Online appeal 

An online appeal launched in the immediate aftermath of the bombing at the concert by US singer Ariana Grande raised more than £50,000 (about €56,800) for the rough sleeper. The money will be returned to the donors.

Parker was interviewed by British media in the aftermath of the attack carried out by Salman Abedi, saying he had been begging outside the concert arena when the bomb went off.

A tearful Parker told the Press Association news agency at the time: “I heard a bang and within a split second I saw a white flash, then smoke and then I heard screaming.”

“It knocked me to the floor and then I got up and instead of running away my gut instinct was to run back and try and help,” he said.

Parker also stole a mobile phone from a teenage girl in the wake of the attack, which killed 23 people (including the bomber) on 22 May last year.

Parker has a string of previous convictions, including shoplifting and burglary.

© AFP 2018 

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