Manchester Arena Attack: Homeless ‘Hero’ Admits To Stealing From Victims

Chris Parker, a man who was all over the news after he was called a hero for helping victims of the Manchester Arena attack, has pleaded guilty to stealing items from some of the victims.

The man has been charged with the theft of a purse and phone from two of the people that were outside of the Manchester Arena after the attack. The attack, which happened on May 22, 2017, left 22 people dead and many injured. The explosion happened as people were leaving an Ariana Grande concert.

Parker was on the news shortly after the attack and told news agencies that he had helped the injured. The man was hailed as a hero for his actions but not all was true as he admitted to taking items from the victims. Parker admitted to stealing the purse of Pauline Healey, who had attended the concert with her granddaughter Sorrell Leczkowski. Sorrell, who lost her life in the attack, was reportedly just yards away from Parker when he stole the purse. Parker also pleaded guilty to stealing a girl’s phone and using the bank cards he found in Healey’s purse at McDonald’s.

Emotional Interviews and Donations

Parker told local media days after the attack that he had no choice but to help. The emotional interviews led to a crowdfunding campaign that raised thousands of dollars to get him out of the streets. In one video, Parker mentions that he is still struggling as he waits for the funds to get released. More than $67,000 were donated to help the homeless man. The Sun was told by GoFundMe that the donations would be refunded. More than 3,000 people donated money to help Parker.

The homeless man previously denied the charges and did not show up to court. He was later found by authorities and arrested. Frazer Maude, a Sky News correspondent, spoke after the hearing and said that the footage showed him picking up a jacket, touching it as if to see if there was anything of value inside.

The thefts were not all he did as the correspondent also revealed that Parker had taken pictures of the victims and sold them to one UK media outlet. Prosecutors explained that the homeless man provided some limited assistance but the court said he equally took the opportunity to steal from the victims.