Homeless man who was hailed as a ‘hero’ after Ariana Grande concert attack admits he stole from wounded victims
Chris Parker claimed he was begging outside the concert when the bomb went off, and he rushed to aid victims - but he stole from a dying 14-year-old girl
A homeless man who was hailed as a hero for apparently rushing to help victims of an Islamic State bombing at an Ariana Grande concert last year has admitted to stealing from a woman while her granddaughter was dying.
CCTV footage played in court showed Chris Parker wandering between victims bleeding on the floor after 22 people were killed in the bombing outside a pop concert in the northern English city of Manchester.
Parker, 33, was seen in the footage taking a purse from the handbag of Pauline Healey, whose 14-year-old granddaughter lay dying nearby.
He later used her bank card at a local McDonald’s, the court heard.
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.
It was then, he boasted, that he ran into danger to help the injured.
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.
“There was people lying on the floor everywhere,” he recounted, adding that a woman had died in his arms and he had come to the rescue of a little girl whose mother had been killed.
Parker was also accused of stealing a mobile phone from a teenage girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, at the scene of the explosion.
Parker has a string of previous convictions, including shoplifting and burglary.
He had failed to appear in court on Tuesday and was found hiding in the loft of a house in Halifax in the county of West Yorkshire, near Manchester, where he was arrested.
He will be sentenced on January 30.