'Homeless hero' on trial accused of thefts after Manchester Arena attack

A "homeless hero" hailed for his actions at the scene of the Manchester Arena bombing is going on trial accused of stealing a purse and mobile phone from victims of the attack.
Chris ParkerChris Parker
Chris Parker

Chris Parker, 33, allegedly took the purse of Pauline Healey as her granddaughter Sorrell Leczkowski, 14, lay dying yards away.

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

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Suicide bomber Salman Abedi, 22, detonated his device in the foyer of the arena, killing 22 people and injuring scores more at the end of an Ariana Grande concert on May 22 last year.

Rough sleeper Parker received global acclaim afterwards as he described witnessing the effects of the blast and tending to the injured.

He told how he had wrapped an injured girl in a T-shirt and cradled a dying woman in his arms.

Parker, now living in Halifax, West Yorkshire, denies two counts of theft and two counts of attempted theft.

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It is alleged Parker took Mrs Healey's purse, containing bank cards, from a handbag as she lay on the ground.

Mrs Healey, Sorrell and Sorrell's mother, Samantha Leczkowski, did not attend the concert but were there to meet somebody who had.

The grandmother underwent 15 hours of surgery to remove shrapnel from her body and also suffered multiple compound fractures to her arms and legs, while Sorrell's mother was also seriously injured.

Sorrell, who was a pupil at Allerton High School in Leeds, was hoping to be an architect and wanted to study at Columbia University in New York.

Parker is also alleged to have tried to steal a bag and a coat belonging to persons unknown.

His trial at Manchester Crown Court is scheduled to last three days.