Mothers of Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry speak of heartbreak at Manchester Arena bombing sentencing hearing
The mothers of Manchester Arena attack victims Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry have spoken of their heartbreak as the man convicted of their murders faces sentence.
The South Shields couple, who were 17 and 19 respectively, were killed in the Manchester Arena bombing attack in May 2017.
The pair were crossing the foyer of the arena at the time of detonation, which took place on the night of an Ariana Grande concert.
Hashem Abedi, 23, was found guilty by a jury in March of 22 counts of murder, attempted murder and plotting to cause an explosion likely to endanger life.
His brother – suicide bomber Salman Abedi – died in the blast.
Chloe’s mother, Lisa Rutherford, was supporting herself on crutches as she read out her statement in court.
She said: “As a family we need answers – we are destroyed. We are lost, we are devastated and we feel an overwhelming loss.”
She said Chloe, a keen singer-songwriter and “ray of sunshine”, had loved life and enjoyed “happy adventures” with her boyfriend.
The Ariana Grande concert trip was a Christmas gift and Chloe was “so excited to see her idol with her boyfriend Liam by her side”, Lisa said.
“Now we will never get to see our daughter celebrate special birthdays. Somehow we are expected to get through life without her, without our baby girl and it just feels impossible.
“There is always that empty chair where she should be. All I always wanted to do was make sure she was safe.”
Liam’s mum Caroline Curry held up a photo of her son when she appeared to address some of her comments to the absent Abedi, who refused to attend the sentencing hearing.
She said: “You took from me something more precious than gold, a beautiful boy, inside and out. I want you to look at Liam and remember the beautiful boy that was snatched away.
“Your actions have caused this heartbreak. I just feel cheated. You took his future, my future, my family’s future. All we have now is heartbreak and dreams of what if.”