Mother of Sorrell Leczkowski killed at Manchester Arena pays heartbreaking tribute in Inquiry to daughter she watched die in her arms

A teenager killed in the attack at Manchester Arena was made an honorary member of an American university where she dreamed of studying architecture, her family revealed.

Sorrell Leczkowski, killed in the attack at Manchester Arena on May 22, 2017. Picture issued by Manchester Arena Inquiry

Sorrell Leczkowski from Leeds died as a result of her injuries when Salman Abedi detonated the homemade bomb in the Arena lobby as the Ariana Grande concert came to a close on May 22, 2017.

21 other innocent people were killed in the blast and many others injured.

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Sorrell's devastated mother Samantha Leczkowksi told the inquiry into the attack how she watched her 14-year-old daughter die in her arms, describing the teenager as “very happy, positive and caring”.

Tributes left in Manchester city centre following attack at Ariana Grande concert

Her family added that the aspiring architect had been the "victim of pure hatred" she never invited.

“Losing one of my children has killed me," Ms Leczkowski told the hearing at Manchester Magistrate's Court in a statement on Monday afternoon.

"I may as well be dead. I think this is just a nightmare and I want to wake up but I never do.

“I’m beyond devastated, I’m broken.

Police at the scene following the blast at Manchester Arena

“As well as seeing me and my mum blown up I have to deal with seeing Sorrell blown up and die in my arms.”

Ms Leczkowski was also injured in the blast along with her own mother, Pauline Healey.

In a statement, Ms Leczkowski said her bedroom at the family home has still been left untouched and she finds comfort going in and talking to her daughter.

Her death left behind her older brother, Sebastian, and younger sister, Sophie.

The statement added: “Sorrell’s unnecessary, senseless and wrongful death has left an entire family broken. My life is over.”

Though the family did not have much money, they shared precious times together on holidays and celebrations, Sorrell loving making cakes and craft and design.

Sorrell, who attended Adel Primary School and then Allerton High School, was clever and determined, loved school and had already planned out her future, to study architecture at Colombia University in New York.

The institution’s architecture society later made her an honorary member.

Sorrell’s aunt, Stacey, said in a statement: “The hurt I felt has turned into anger knowing my mum, sister and niece were victims of pure hatred, a pure hatred they never invited, a hatred they were not responsible for.”

After the family statements were read by Paul Greaney QC, counsel to the inquiry, a video accompanied by music was played.

It showed photos of Sorrell growing up, from a newborn baby to hugging dolls and in her first school uniform, including pictures of Sorrell, always smiling, taken on family holidays and days out.

Tributes were made by families of three other victims of the attack on Monday.

The Inquiry heard from the families of Eilidh McCleod, also 14 and from the island of Barra in the outer Hebrides, Martyn Hett, 29, who was from Stockport and a social media manager at a PR firm, and 28-year-old John Atkinson.

A statement from Mr Atkinson's parents read out by legal representatives said: "Since John’s untimely death our lives have been torn apart.

“He was the centre of our world. We miss him so much, his laugh, his humour, his personality, his love for his family … we will miss everything about him. Now there’s a huge void in our family.”

Suicide bomber Salman Abedi murdered the 22 victims and injured hundreds more after detonating a home-made bomb at the arena following an Ariana Grande concert on May 22 2017.

The public inquiry is expected to last into next spring.

The inquiry was adjourned until Tuesday morning.