The homeless man who was lauded as a hero in the aftermath of the Manchester attack is facing jail time after he admitted to stealing from the victims.
33-year-old Chris Parker plead guilty in a Manchester, England court Wednesday on two count of theft and one of fraud. According to surveillance tape played in court, Parker was seen on CCTV stealing an iPhone from one teenage victim and the purse from Pauline Healey. Healey was severely injured while her 14-year-old granddaughter Sorrell Leczkowski died in the May 22, 2017 attacks. The surveillance footage reportedly shows Parker going through the purse while Leczkowski lay dying nearby, reports “The Independent.”
Parker admitted in court that he had used Healey’s bank card at a nearby McDonald’s after leaving the scene. He was facing an additional eight counts of theft and fraud, however prosecutors dropped the extra charges after he confessed to the initial crimes. He is set to be sentenced on Jan. 30, which Judge David Hernandez informing him that jail time is “most likely.” Since his arrest, Parker reportedly received several death threats.
Parker was in the Manchester Arena lobby begging for money when a suicide bomber detonated, killing 22 people — mostly children — and injuring 59 others. He told reporters after the incident that he had immediately jumped into the melee to assist victims.
“It knocked me to the floor and then I got up and instead of running away, my gut instinct was to run back and try and help,” Parker said at the time to several media outlets. ”
“I saw a little girl… she had no legs. I wrapped her in one of the merchandise T-shirts and I said ‘Where is your mum and daddy?’ She said, ‘My dad is at work, my mum is up there’,” he continued, describing a 60-year-old woman dying in his arms.
Public crowdfunding campaigns were created for Parker and another homeless man Stephen Jones who similarly assisted in the aftermath of the attacks, with £52,539, or $71,199.80, being raised for Parker.
The originator of the GoFundMe account for Parker agreed that it would be “only appropriate” for the account to be taken down. A spokesperson for the company confirmed to “The Independent” that it remained “in full control of the funds” and that they had never been passed to Parker, and they would be “working with our payment partners on refunds now, which will be in full to every donor with no fees taken.”