£50,000 worth of donations to 'homeless hero' thief Chris Parker to be returned

Nick Reilly
Chris Parker has admitted stealing from the Manchester victims (PA)

More than £50,000 of donations will be refunded to people who donated their cash to the ‘homeless hero’ who later admitted stealing from the victims of the Manchester Arena attack.

The money was raised by a GoFundMe page for Chris Parker, who claimed that he helped victims of the attack in May last year as they lay dying.

His story prompted donations from across the globe, with some 3,700 people raising a total of £52,539.

It has now been confirmed that those who pledged money will receive a full refund after Parker pleaded guilty to pickpocketing the victims of the atrocity, which targeted the young audience of an Ariana Grande concert.

A GoFundMe set up for Chris Parker is now offering refunds (GoFundMe)

Appearing at Manchester Crown Court yesterday, Parker admitted stealing the purse of injured survivor Pauline Healey as she rushed to help her 14-year-old granddaughter Sorrell Leczkowski, who later died.

In a statement on the GoFundMe page, founder Michael Johns said: ‘I would like to extend my sympathies to his victims that night and also apologise to them for any distress this campaign may have caused them whilst they continue to recover and grieve.’

Police on guard at Manchester Arena after the May 22 attack (REX)

33-year-old Parker also snatched the mobile phone of a teenager and within hours was using Mrs Healey’s bank cards at a local McDonald’s.

He has a string of previous convictions, dating from 2000 to February of last year and has been told to expect a custodial sentence when he returns for sentencing on January 30.