Heartbroken parents of some of the victims of the Manchester Arena terrorist attack have broken down in court as they recalled the moment they discovered their loved ones had died.

Lisa Rutherford, the mother of Chloe Rutherford, 17, said her "heart snapped" when she received a phone call with the news about her daughter.

Along with other relatives of the 22 people killed in May 2017, Mrs Rutherford has taken part in an emotional day of testimony at a sentencing hearing for Hashem Abedi – the brother of bomber Salman Abedi.

Image: Liam Curry and Chloe Rutherford were among the 22 victims

Wiping away tears, and supported by crutches, she said: "We are lost, we are devastated and we feel an overwhelming loss.

"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.


"Losing Chloe is a physical pain, like nothing I've never felt before, and it never leaves us."

Hashem Abedi, 23, was found guilty earlier this year of 22 murders, several more attempted murders and a plot to cause an explosion that would endanger life.

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He was in Libya at the time of the atrocity, but a court heard how he had planned it, including buying bomb-making materials, with his brother, who killed himself when he detonated a bomb at an Ariana Grande concert three years ago.

Hashem Abedi was not present at his two-day sentencing hearing at the Old Bailey, after refusing to enter the courtroom.

The judge, Mr Justice Jeremy Baker, said Abedi had been brought to the court building from prison, but said he was powerless to drag him into the courtroom. He also turned down legal representation.

In his absence, families of the victims recounted how the attack had "changed [their] lives forever".

Simon Callander's daughter Georgina, 18, was among those killed.

In a statement read to the court, Mr Callander said: "I long for the day when I can join my Read More – Source