Manchester Arena Inquiry: Relatives present ‘pen portraits’ for third day

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  • Manchester Arena attack inquiry

Marcin Klis, 42, and Angelika, 39,

image copyrightFamily handout

image captionMarcin, 42, and Angelika Klis, 39, pictured on the evening of the 22 May 2017 before the bombing

A couple killed in the Manchester Arena attack “were so in love as if they were teenagers without a care in the world”, an inquiry into the bombing has heard.

The children of Marcin and Angelika Klis presented a “pen portrait” of their parents during the second week of the inquiry into the terror attack.

The portraits give each family the chance to present an insight into the lives of those who died.

Twenty-two people were killed in the bombing at the arena in May 2017.

In a statement read out by their legal representative, the couple’s daughters Aleksandra and Patrycja told the inquiry how they had not “just lost our parents but we have lost our best friends and protectors”.

“They did everything in their power to ensure we had everything we wanted and more. They would always put our needs before their own.”

image copyrightFamily handouts
image captionThe bomb was detonated at the end of an Ariana Grande concert, killing 22 people

The couple, from York, “were soulmates and they didn’t want to be without each other”, their daughters said.

“Mum and Dad’s love was incredibly strong. Something we should all aspire for in life.”

  • What is the Manchester Arena inquiry?

  • Relatives to give ‘pen portraits’ to arena inquiry
  • Second day of ‘pen portraits’ in arena inquiry

The husband of Lisa Lees, 43, from Oldham, told the inquiry how his wife started her own business using massage to help terminally ill children.

“Lisa was a true angel, caring and beautiful, both inside and out,” he said.

The mother-of-two was “the heart and soul of our family” who “had so much more to give in life”, the inquiry heard.

Her daughter India paid tribute to her mum, who had also trained and qualified as a teacher, saying she “was the most beautiful, selfless and positive person I knew.”

While her mother Elaine Hunter said: “She used to laugh all the time and all her friends would say what an infectious laugh she had, she really did light up a room when she walked in.”

image copyrightFamily handout
image captionLisa Lees, 43, was described as “beautiful, both inside and out”

The mother of 18-year-old Georgina Callander recorded a powerful video paying tribute to her “one in many millions” which was played to the court.

Lesley Callander said she would have liked to go to the hearing in person but she “could not bear” to be in Manchester since the attack.

“Georgina was my whole world,” she said.

“She was like a beautiful melody who lit up the room with her famous smile.”

image copyrightManchester Arena Inquiry
image captionGeorgina Callander was “one in many millions”, said her mother

She talked of the “unbearable pain” at losing her, saying it had been a “nightmare rollercoaster”.

“I find it excruciatingly hard to live without Georgina. I wish it would have been me and not her.”

The inquiry comes more than three years after the bombing at the end of an Ariana Grande concert, which left hundreds more injured.

It was due to start in June, but was delayed by the trial of Salman Abedi’s brother Hashem, who was jailed for at least 55 years for 22 murders on 20 August.

The commemorative hearings are expected to conclude on 23 September.

The inquiry was set up to examine the background to the attack and the response of the emergency services.

Its chairman Sir John Saunders will make a report and recommendations once all the evidence has been heard, which is expected to take up to six months.

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