A homeless man who reportedly came to the aid of dozens of injured people in the aftermath of May’s terror attack at Ariana Grande‘s concert at Manchester Arena pleaded guilty in a Manchester crown court on Wednesday for stealing belongings from victims, multiple outlets report.
Chris Parker was initially hailed as a hero by the internet after he risked his own life to help remove nails from the arms and faces of wounded children in the wake of attack, which killed 22 people and injured more than 500.
Thousands of well-wishers even banned together and raised $71,292 to help the 33-year-old get off the streets.
But on Wednesday, Parker admitted two counts of theft and one count of fraud after CCTV video played in court showed him wandering between bleeding victims, stealing one woman’s handbag and snapping photographs of bodies he hoped to sell to the media, British newspaper The Times reported.
He was told by the judge to expect a prison sentence, The Times reported. A sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 30.
Parker pled guilty to stealing a purse belonging to Pauline Healey, who was seriously injured in the blast and whose 14-year-old granddaughter Sorrell Leczkowski died in the attack, The Guardian reported. He used Healey’s bank card at a McDonald’s in the area throughout the following days.
Parker also admitted to stealing the phone from an unnamed teenage girl who was caught up in the attack, The Guardian reported.
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Five other offenses — included attempting to steal coat and a bag and using Healy’s bank card at a grocery store chain and to buy a public transport ticket — were denied by Parker, The Guardian reported. The prosecution accepted Parker’s three guilty pleas and will not proceed to trial on the other five counts.
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In the days following the attack, Parker gave interviews to the press saying that he had been panhandling outside the arena when the bomb was detonated and that his gut instinct was to run back and help.
“Just because I am homeless doesn’t mean I haven’t got a heart, or I’m not human still,” he told ITV News. “I’d like to think someone would come and help me if I needed the help.”
As the New York Times reported at the time, Parker ran towards the blast as chaos reigned around him and kept his cool, helping to elevate the legs of a bleeding woman to stop her blood loss.
Parker even comforted a young Grande fan who lost her legs in the suicide bombing, and cradled a woman in his arms as she was dying, The Times reported.
Michael Johns, who set up the GoFundMe for Parker after news broke of his heroism, wrote that he hoped the money would “go some way to helping Chris off the streets and also show our gratitude for his actions.”
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A spokesman for the site told the BBC Wednesday that following Parker’s guilty pleas, the money would no longer be paid to him and that donations “will be refunded.”
Meanwhile, Parker — who has an extensive criminal record including shoplifting, theft and battery convictions dating from 2000 to February of last year — has expressed remorse for his actions through defense attorney John Broadley, the BBC reported.
“All he can do in the circumstances is first of all plead guilty and apologize for his appalling behavior that evening,” Broadley said, the BBC reported.