The homeless “hero” of the Manchester terror attack has been sentenced to more than four years in prison for stealing from victims.
Chris Parker was told he was “not the hero” he pretended to be but “just a common thief”, as he was sentenced at Manchester Crown Court on Tuesday.
The 33-year-old had previously admitted stealing a purse and a mobile phone from two victims of the Manchester Arena bombing on 22 May last year.
At the time of the atrocity, which killed 22 and left more than 500 injured, Parker initially claimed he had been tending to those injured.
Parker even spoke of how one woman died in his arms, after attacker Salman Abedi exploded a shrapnel-laden homemade bomb in the foyer of the concert venue, as fans left an Ariana Grande gig.
His purported actions prompted members of the public to raise more than £50,000 for the rough sleeper; but he will no longer receive the money, from an online GoFundMe appeal, now the truth has emerged.
Instead, Parker will serve four years and three months in jail for two counts of theft and one count of fraud
Sentencing Parker, Judge David Hernandez told him: “You were not the hero you pretended to be, you were just a common thief.
“It is hard to contemplate a more reprehensible set of circumstances.”
Speaking after the sentencing, Supt. Chris Hill, from Greater Manchester Police, said: “No matter what personal circumstances you might find yourself in, to steal from injured and terrified innocent people is deplorable.
“Parker exploited these people when they were at their most vulnerable and needed the help of those around them.
“I cannot begin to imagine what they have been through and I want to thank them for their courage.”
At a hearing earlier this month, Parker admitted taking the purse of Pauline Healey as her granddaughter, Sorrell Leczkowski, 14, lay dying yards away.
He also admitted another count of theft, for taking the mobile phone of a teenager, and one count of fraud, after using Mrs Healey’s bank cards in McDonald’s on the night of the attack.
Prosecutors said Parker had provided “some comfort and assistance” to victims, but also took the opportunity to steal from those hurt.
Ben Southam, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “His actions added to the immense distress the victims and their families have suffered and our thoughts remain with them.”
Mrs Healey had travelled to Manchester Arena with her daughter and granddaughter to meet someone, but they had not attended the concert themselves.