'Homeless hero' pleads guilty to stealing from victims of Manchester Arena attack

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

A homeless man who was hailed as a hero in the aftermath of the Manchester Arena bombing has admitted stealing a purse from the grandmother of a victim as she lay dying.

CCTV footage played in court showed Chris Parker wandering between dying victims left bleeding on the floor after the attack in May last year.

He was seen repeatedly returning to Pauline Healey, whose granddaughter lay dying nearby, before leaning over her body and taking her handbag to steal her purse.

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

After taking the purse from Mrs Healey, Parker used her bank card at local McDonald’s

Parker 33, has pleaded guilty to two counts of theft and one count of fraud at Manchester Crown Court.

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He failed to turn up in court on Tuesday and was found hiding in the loft of a home in Halifax, West Yorkshire, where he was arrested.

He also pleaded not guilty to five counts that related to attempted theft of a coat and bag discarded in the aftermath of the blast.

Tributes are paid to the victims of the Manchester attack last year (REX)

Prosecutor Louise Brandon said: ‘By his pleas he’s admitted stealing items belonging to victims of the attack on the arena and using a bank card thereafter. I do not seek a trial on the remaining count.’

Parker, who has a string of previous convictions for theft, has been told to expect a custodial sentence.

He was initially hailed as a hero in the aftermath of the blast after claiming that he helped to comfort dying and injured victims only moments after suicide bomber detonated his home-made device in the foyer of Manchester Arena.