‘Homeless hero’ Chris Parker on trial accused of thefts after Manchester Arena attack
PUBLISHED: 10:31 02 January 2018 | UPDATED: 14:02 02 January 2018
ARCHANT EASTERN DAILY PRESS (01603) 772434
A homeless man who was reunited with his Norfolk mother after being hailed a hero during the Manchester bombing is due to appear in court today.
Chris Parker, 33, gained worldwide attention after the attack as it was reported he helped the injured.
He told how he had wrapped an injured girl in a T-shirt and cradled a dying woman in his arms.
More than £50,000 was raised for him on a GoFundMe page and Mr Parker was reunited with his mother, Jessica Parker, who lives in Norwich.
But in August he appeared at Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court accused of stealing a purse and contents belonging to Pauline Healey, and a mobile phone from teenager who cannot be named.
Ms Healey’s 14-year-old granddaughter, Sorrell Leczkowski, was killed in the attack on May 22. Her daughter, Samantha, Sorrell’s mother, was also seriously injured.
Mrs Healey, Mrs Leczkowski, and Sorrell 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 Mrs Leczkowski 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.
Mr Parker is also alleged to have tried to steal a bag and a coat belonging to persons unknown.
Mr Parker, now living in Halifax, West Yorkshire, denies two counts of theft and two counts of attempted theft.
At the previous hearing Mr Parker said: “I’ve done nothing. I’ve done absolutely nothing. All I was doing was helping people.”
He is due to appear at Manchester Crown Court this morning (Tuesday), and the trial is due to last three days.
Previously a spokesman for GoFundMe said: “We’re monitoring the situation closely. We are in full control of the funds and all donors are completely protected by the GoFundMe guarantee. Anyone concerned about their donation should contact us at gofundme.com/guarantee.”