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.
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.
33-year-old Chris Parker has pleaded guilty to two counts of theft and one count of fraud at Manchester Crown Court after using a credit card stolen from victims of the Manchester arena attack— Sky News Newsdesk (@SkyNewsBreak) January 3, 2018
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.
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.
Those chastising homeless Chris Parker for card & phone theft from Manchester Arena victims would do well to remember he bought himself a McDonald's meal & called his family. A despicable man? Perhaps just a desperate man.— Jennifer Mills (@jennffer) January 3, 2018
I'm really quite surprised to see people defending disgraced 'hero' Chris Parker.— James (@JamesFl) January 3, 2018
"You'd do the same if you were homeless and hungry". No actually, I wouldn't.
this might be problematic but if you think what chris parker did is acceptable then block me. homeless or not, stealing from victims of a bomb attack is not ok.— em #CBBCourtney 🐘 (@violetsadore) January 3, 2018
What's your thoughts mate on this guy the media dubbed the 'homeless hero' Chris Parker. I'm wanting to still see the best in this guy kind of like I can't imagine what bein homeless is like and the depths you have to go to survive but it's difficult to swallow @rustyrockets— Michael (@writetoduffy) January 3, 2018
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."
All he can do in the circumstances is first of all plead guilty and apologize for his appalling behavior that evening.