Mother of Manchester terror attack victim to turn shrapnel into teddy

Mother of Manchester bombing victim Martyn Hett says she’s melting down shrapnel from her son’s body into the shape of a heart to show people ‘spreading hatred’ it’s ‘being turned into something loving’

  • Figen Murray, 59, lost her son Martyn Hett in the 2017 Manchester Arena attack
  • She now plans to turn the shrapnel from his body into a memorial metal teddy
  • The former therapist also revealed she has forgiven attacker Salman Abedi

A mother of one of the Manchester Arena terror attack victims has revealed how she is going to melt down the shrapnel retrieved from her son’s body into the shape of a heart to show people ‘spreading hatred’ it’s ‘being turned into something loving.’

Martyn Hett and 21 other victims were killed in 2017 after Salman Abedi detonated a rucksack bomb in a foyer area of the arena, known as the City Rooms, at the end of an Ariana Grande concert on May 22, 2017.

Now , as the inquiry into the attack breaks for Christmas, Figen Murray, 59, has told how she is melting down 700 screws to create a teddy – with 16 shrapnel pieces from her son’s body forming the bear’s heart.

Speaking to The Sun on Sunday, she said that the act of melting the metal and making it into a teddy bear is her way of rejecting terrorism.

Figen Murray, 59, (pictured) lost her son Martyn Hett in 2017 after he was killed in the Manchester Arena terror attack. Now, she has said she will turn the shrapnel recovered from his body into a metal teddy bear in his memory

Figen, a former therapist who is now studying for a master’s degree in counterterrorism, told the paper: ‘I want to show people, those spreading hatred, that it’s being turned into something loving and I’m not accepting it.’

She said that she believes young people are at risk of being radicalised and that she has forgiven the Manchester Arena bomber who killed her son. 

Alongside those who were killed outside the Manchester Arena, another 800 people, many of whom were children, were injured.

Martyn, who worked in PR, had been set to go on an American road trip two days after the Ariana Grande concert.

Figen said Martyn had been saving for two years for the trip and that she had dropped him in Manchester the day before the concert and was meant to pick him up three days later to take him to the airport.

Martyn Hett (pictured), who worked in PR, had planned to go on a road trip around America only days before being killed outside the Manchester Arena

Upon seeing the initial reports of the attack, Figen said that mother’s instinct told her something tragic had happened to her son.

Not long after Martyn was killed, Figen said she received a sign from her son when a metal screw fell onto her washing machine.

‘Now every time I see one I see it as Martyn’s way of saying hello,’ Figen said.

She has now collected 700 screws and hopes that the bear she makes from them will be a symbol for something profoundly loving. 

The metal shrapnel from Martyn’s body will be released to her once the public inquiry concludes and they will be turned into the heart of the metal bear. 

Salman Abedi (pictured before the attack) 22, detonated a rucksack bomb in a foyer area of the arena, known as the City Rooms, at the end of an Ariana Grande concert, killing 22 people and injuring hundreds more on May 22, 2017

Earlier this month, a senior Manchester arena boss issued a public apology to Figen for misleading her over security measures on the night of her son’s death.

John Sharkey met with Figen Murray, Martyn Hett’s mother, on December 8, 2017, seven months after the bombing.

At the meeting, arranged by the mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, Mrs Murray wanted answers to questions relating to security within the City Room at the time, the inquiry heard.

Suicide bomber Salman Abedi hid there on a mezzanine level for almost an hour in a CCTV black spot before he detonated a device he was carrying in a rucksack as crowds left an Ariana Grande concert.

The Arena inquiry heard on Tuesday that Mr Sharkey, who was executive vice-president (Europe) for SMG, the Arena’s operators, at the time, told Mrs Murray at the meeting the City Room ‘has nothing to do with SMG’ and was ‘sort of a no man’s land’.

Figen Murray (pictured with her husband Stuart) has said that while she continues to miss her son, she has forgiven Salman Abedi

She said he said the City Room was ‘not part of the Arena’ and ‘we don’t even own the Arena, we just lease it’.

SMG, the inquiry has been told, was responsible for security in the City Room.

CCTV there was monitored by SMG personnel and Showsec staff and stewards were carrying out security in the City Room on behalf of SMG, Mr Sharkey agreed.

He told the inquiry: ‘Mrs Murray came to that meeting seeking questions and answers to the security arrangements as it was in the City Room.

‘I didn’t provide a clear answer to those questions.

‘As a result she was left hurt and left that meeting clearly with the wrong impression that had been created that I had created for her.

‘I would like to apologise for not giving a clear answer and also for the hurt that that created.

‘I certainly regret that I caused her to leave that meeting with that impression.

‘It certainly was not my intention.’

Earlier this month, John Sharkey (pictured), who was executive vice-president (Europe) for SMG, the Arena’s operators, at the time of the attack, issued an apology to Figen for misleading her over security concerns on the night of her son’s death

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