Criminology student at a Leeds university wouldn't have understood "cruel criminal act" which killed her says inquiry into Manchester Arena bombing

A teenager who dreamed of becoming a criminal psychologist would probably never have understood the "cruel criminal act" which took her life, the chairman of the Manchester Arena bombing inquiry has said.

Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 4:45 am

Courtney Boyle, 19, from Gateshead, was a student at Leeds Beckett University and was waiting in the City Room foyer to pick up her younger sister Nicole at the end of the fateful Ariana Grande concert in May 2017 when she sustained unsurvivable injuries from the blast.

On Tuesday the inquiry, sitting in Manchester, began to look at how and in what circumstances each of the 22 victims died and to probe whether any inadequacies in the emergency response contributed to individual deaths and/or if they could have been prevented.

Evidence was heard about the movements on the night of Ms Boyle, as well as York couple Marcin, 42, and Angelika Klis, 39, who were killed as they waited to collect their daughters Alex, then aged 20, and Patrycja, then 14.

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Courtney Boyle was a student at Leeds Beckett University.

Ms Boyle's mother, Deborah Hutchinson, comforted her daughter Nicole in the courtroom as they listened to the evidence, along with Ms Boyle's aunt Andrea Hope.

Ms Boyle had just gained first class honours in her first-year exams in criminology with psychology at Leeds Beckett University and was "loving life" as a student, the inquiry heard.

She went to the arena with her sister, her mother, her mother's partner Philip Tron, 32, who was also among the blast victims, and Mr Tron's mother June. Ms Boyle and Mr Tron went inside to collect Nicole, entering the City Room at 10.22pm where they stood near a merchandise stand.

She was approximately four metres away from bomber Salman Abedi when he detonated his device at 10.31pm.

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A post-mortem examination recorded a medical cause of death as multiple injuries. Forensic pathologists and blast wave experts agreed her injuries were unsurvivable with current advanced medical treatment.

Addressing the family, inquiry chairman Sir John Saunders said: "Thank you for attending. Courtney was talented, hard-working and would have had a successful and fulfilling life. As we have heard, after her death the news came through that she had gained first class honours in her first-year exams at university.

"Ironically she wanted to be a criminal psychologist, a dream she would never realise. However good she became as a criminal psychologist, I doubt she would have been able to understand the cruel criminal act that so tragically took her life."

The inquiry heard the injuries sustained by taxi driver Mr Klis and Tesco customer service assistant Mrs Klis - described by their daughters as "amazing parents, great friends and kind people" - were also unsurvivable. The couple, originally from Poland, were captured on CCTV in the City Room with their arms around each other before the blast.

In the coming weeks the inquiry will examine the circumstances of how the other 19 victims died.

Additional medical evidence will be called in relation to the youngest victim, eight-year-old Saffie-Rose Roussos, from Leyland, Lancashire, and John Atkinson, 28, from Bury, where in both cases there is said to be an issue over how survivable their injuries were.

The inquiry continues today (Wednesday).