A homeless man who was hailed as a hero for helping those caught up in the Manchester Arena terror attack has admitted stealing from victims.

Chris Parker, 33, pleaded guilty to two counts of theft and one count of fraud at Manchester Crown Court on Wednesday (3 December).

He admitted stealing a purse belonging to Pauline Healey, who was seriously injured in the suicide bombing and whose 14-year-old granddaughter Sorrell Leczkowski died in the attack.

Parker then used her bank card at a McDonald's in Manchester, the Guardian reported.

He also admitted stealing a mobile phone from a teenage girl caught up in the attack, which took place at the end of an Ariana Grande concert.

Members of the public had donated more than £52,000 (€56,700) for Parker as part of a crowdfunding effort following last year's attack after he told journalists he had rushed to help victims.

Claiming he went towards danger to give assistance to those injured, he had said: "Instead of running away my gut instinct was to run back and try and help."

He had spoken of how a woman aged in her 60s had died in his arms and of helping an injured young girl who "had no legs".

But he didn't receive a penny of the donations after he was arrested in August when CCTV showed him rifling through Healey's bag as her granddaughter lay dying.

Parker, now living in Halifax, West Yorkshire, had been due to stand trial on Tuesday but failed to turn up at court.

He was later discovered hiding in the loft of a building in Yorkshire, the court was told.

Parker was told a prison sentence is likely when he next appears in court on 30 January.

Defending, John Broadley said his client was sorry for his "appalling behaviour".

Twenty-two people were killed when suicide bomber Salman Abedi targeted crowds leaving the Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena on 22 May last year.

Sorrell Leczkowski
Sorrell Leczkowski lay dying as Chris Parker rifled through her grandmother's purse Facebook