Homeless Man Hailed As Hero After Manchester Bombings Convicted Of Stealing From Victims

Homeless Man Hailed As Hero After Manchester Bombings Convicted Of Stealing From Victims
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Updated 6 months ago

After the Manchester Arena bombing in May 2017, people celebrated Chris Parker as a hero. Parker, a local homeless man, had reportedly risked his life running toward the blast "to help remove nails from the arms and faces of wounded children." Sources claimed he even elevated the legs of a wounded woman to stop her bleeding. Now, however, it seems Parker's heroism might not have been as clear cut as people believed.

On Wednesday, Parker pleaded guilty to stealing from some bombing victims as they lay incapacitated on the ground.

Parker pleaded guilty to two counts of theft and one of fraud after CCTV footage showed him wandering between victims, taking possessions. He stole a woman's handbag and took several pictures of various bodies that he would later sell to the media. 

The judge scheduled Parker's sentencing for January 30, and told him to expect prison time.

Parker stole the purse of Pauline Healey, whose 14-year-old granddaughter was killed in the blast. He would later use her bank card at a local McDonald's, and also admitted to stealing a girl's cell phone. Authorities charged him with five other offenses, including using Healey's card at a local grocery store and to buy a public transport ticket, which Parker denied.

The prosecution accepted Parker's three guilty pleas and dropped the other charges.

After the bombings, Parker gave an interview to ITV news, where he said:

Just because I am homeless doesn’t mean I haven’t got a heart, or I’m not human still. I’d like to think someone would come and help me if I needed the help.

Twitter is pretty divided over how to feel about the situation:

Parker reportedly comforted a young girl who lost her legs in the bombing and cradled a woman in his arms as she died. A GoFundMe campaign raised over £50,000 (almost $68,000) to help Parker find a place off the streets following his actions at the arena. The site now claims Parker will not receive the money and donations "will be refunded."

Parker has apologized for his actions through his attorney:

All he can do in the circumstances is first of all plead guilty and apologize for his appalling behavior that evening.