Sheffield family thank police for heroic efforts to save Manchester Arena bombing victim Kelly Brewster

The family of a Sheffield woman murdered in the Manchester Arena bombing thanked police officers who desperately tried to save her life, a public inquiry heard.

Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 11:50 am
Updated Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 11:51 am

Kelly Brewster, aged 32, from Sheffield, was injured along with her sister, Claire Booth, and her niece Hollie Booth, in the terror attack at the end of an Ariana Grande concert in May 2017

Ms Brewster was the happiest she had ever been in life, her family said, having travelled the world and being ready to settle down and start a family. She had just that day had an offer accepted on a house with her fiance.

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Kelly Brewster's family have heard how police battled to try to save her before she died at theManchester Arena bombing. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday June 6, 2017. See PA story POLICE Explosion Brewster. Photo credit should read: South Yorkshire Police/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

Miss Brewster entered the foyer of the Arena just seven seconds before suicide bomber Salman Abedi detonated a home-made bomb.

Packed with thousands of nuts and bolts, Ms Brewster was standing just nine metres away and suffered un-survivable injuries to her abdomen and head, one of 22 fatalities not including the bomber himself.

Sister in ‘Impossible position’ after terrorist attack

Her sister, who herself was hurt in the blast, was left in the “impossible position” of trying to tend to both her injured daughter and her dying sister, the inquiry heard.

Kelly Brewster was killed in a bomb attack at the Manchester Arena in 2017

Off-duty officer PC Michael Buckley, who was there to collect his daughter from the show, ran to the scene and, with British Transport Police officer Danielle Ayers, began tending to Miss Brewster.

Police begged Kelly to breathe after attack following Ariana Grande concert

PC Buckley told the hearing: “We had been doing chest compressions, asking her, begging her, pleading with her to take a breath.

“Then she would stop again and her pulse would disappear so we would start chest compressions again.”

PC Buckley told the hearing “we got her back three times”, but CPR was abandoned after paramedic Patrick Ennis intervened to say efforts were futile.

Mr Ennis placed his hand on PC Ayers’ shoulder and said: “I have seen you have done everything you could. You need to let her go and help someone else.”

A tearful PC Ayers told the inquiry: “I left the room for a minute, got a bit upset, because I just wanted to help her and get her out.”

Mr Ennis told the inquiry there were no signs of life and Miss Brewster had died.

John Cooper QC, representing the Brewster family, thanked PC Buckley for his “heroic efforts” and told BTP officer Ayers: “The family think you are a star. You did everything you could.”

Sir John Saunders, chairman of the inquiry, added: “You did everything you could have done in the circumstances.”

A post mortem examination gave the cause of Miss Brewster's death as severe head and abdomen wounds and concluded she would have been rendered rapidly unconscious from loss of blood.

Mr Cooper read out a statement from Miss Brewster's family on their behalf. It said: “Our family would like to thank everyone who tried so hard to save Kelly that night and to those who provided her with dignity at the end.

“We would also like to thank everyone who came to Claire and Hollie's aid. You will be forever in our thoughts.”

The hearing, sitting in Manchester, continues.

Local journalism holds the powerful to account and gives people a voice. Please take out a digital subscription or buy a paper. Thank you. Nancy Fielder, editor