Parents of Manchester bomb victim Martyn Hett criticise media intrusion
The media acted intrusively in the wake of the Manchester Arena bombing, the parents of Martyn Hett have said.
A report by Lord Kerslake into how the attack was responded to found a series of issues, including how victims’ loved ones were treated by the media.
Stuart Murray, step father to Hett, said media intrusion was “not the way to make an impression”.
Mr Murray told the BBC: “The media found the addresses of our children who don’t live at home and also some of Martyn’s friends.
“His flatmate had people knocking and this was before we even had news and confirmation of what had happened.
“It makes you angry and cautious how you would deal with the media thereafter. That’s not the way to make an impression if you want to work with the family or be involved with them.
“Overall I think we’ve been looked after fantastically by everybody involved, but there’s always going to be lessons to be learned.”
Hett’s mother, Figen Murray, said: “We had people knocking at the door saying ‘sorry for your loss… would you like to comment?’
“And he wasn’t even officially dead yet at that point. And the same with his flatmate.”
She added: “How can anyone be so cruel and go and say ‘sorry for your loss’? We didn’t find out officially until that evening that he was dead.”
Her son was buried in a funeral service themed around the hashtag #bemoremartyn, which social media users to share the 29-year-old’s life.
Mariah Carey, Martyn’s favourite singer shared a video message which was played at the ceremony.
Hett was buried in a Coronation Street coffin emblazoned with the word ‘Iconic’ to note his favourite television programme.
A number of stars from the show attended the event.
Friends shared videos from the funeral including an emotional tribute video played at the ceremony.
— Kate West (@Katewest0) June 30, 2017
Thousands were said to have attended the ceremony after Hett’s mother said the funeral would be conducted according to his wishes.
Wellwishers shared messages of support for the family of Hett on the day of his funeral.
His mother got a tattoo as a lasting tribute to her son.
She is still very “angry” with the man who killed her son, she said at the time.
“The man who did this was a young man who was brainwashed and radicalised from an early age,” she said.
“He did what he thought was the right thing in his crazy mind and he did it and that was the end of it.”
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Martyn’s step-father said that Martyn was “a bundle of fun”.
“I genuinely think he made people feel very special. Some people have this ability to make other people special and I think Martin had that.”
He believes his stepson will “live on as an inspiration to people.”