A gay victim’s family, of the UK suicide bombing that hit Ariana Grande’s Manchester gig, has been describing press intrusion in their lives after the attack.
The stepdad of the gay activist Martyn Hett killed at the Manchester bombing attack last year has been speaking out about press intrusion.
Speaking on Radio 4, he says reporters told Martyn Hett’s teenage sisters about his death at their home while he was out. Stuart Murray went to the arena where the attack by a suicide bomber hit Ariana Grande’s concert. He wanted to find out if his stepson was safe.
Hett’s family were not the only ones to face press intrusion into the wake of the attack.
A review is being conducted into how the UK’s second biggest city responded to the terror attack. It killed 22 and injured over 100 people. The review has been hearing disturbing evidence of press intrusion to victims families in the wake of the attack.
‘If you imagine you are at home watching the TV, and you realize your loved one is missing. Then the only way to get news is to head to the stadium – so you go. We left not knowing if Martyn would turn up at his home. We left our teenage daughters at our home, which you’d think would be a safe haven,’ Murray tells Radio 4.
Murray says the kids were told Hett had died by reporters. This happened even though the police did not confirm his death until 10pm later that day.
‘While we were away trying to find news about Martyn, reporters were at our house knocking on our door and offering condolences to our kids.’
29-year-old Martyn Hett from Stockport was one of 22 people killed in the bomb blast on 22 May.
Hett was a prolific figure on Twitter and LGBTI rights advocate.
‘Martyn was the icon of our lives,’ his family said in a statement at his funeral. ‘Whilst they have taken the life out of Martyn no one can, and ever will, take Martyn out of our lives.’
Today a progress report into the bombing is now suggesting public bodies should adopt a charter proposed by a review into the Hillsborough soccer stadium disaster.
The charter would aim to protect families facing loss in a public tragedy.
Martyn Hett was a Mariah Carey ‘superfan’
When Mariah Carey heard the news about Martyn she shared a heartfelt Instagram tribute. The Loverboy singer shared the message to fans along with a picture of Martyn proudly wearing a Rainbow-era T-shirt.
She wrote: ‘Devastated to learn that one of the victims in Manchester was part of the #Lambily. RIP Martyn Hett.’
She furthermore added: ‘We will cherish your memory forever. His family and all the families affected are in my thoughts and prayers. MC.’
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