"She would light up the room": Sorrell Leczkowski remembered at Manchester Arena Inquiry

Sorrell Leczkowski has been remembered at the Manchester Arena inquiry. Credit: Family Photo

Sorrell Leczkowski has been the latest victim of the Manchester Arena attack to be remembered at the inquiry into the bombing.

Sorrell, who was from Leeds, was 14 when she was killed in May 2017 after going to an Ariana Grande concert with her sister Sophie.

Her mother, Samantha, and Nana, Pauline, were both seriously injured in the attack when they came to pick up the two girls.

Sorrell was described to the inquiry as being a creative girl who loved school and was hungry for knowledge.

Her mother's statement said that Sorrell had wanted to study in New York to become an architect and that since the attack Colombia University had written to her to give Sorrell "honourary membership" of their community.

The Counsel to the inquiry, Paul Greaney QC, was asked by Samantha Leczkowski to read the "pen portrait" before a video montage of Sorrell was shown.

  • Samantha Leczkowski's statement is read by Paul Greaney QC

Samantha wrote that she has not been able to change Sorrell's bedroom since her death and that she finds comfort sitting in there.

She said: "Sorrell was a very happy, positive and caring girl. She would light up the room as she entered, singing and dancing. She was incredibly healthy and had a long, fun-filled life ahead of her."

She also told the court that losing one of her children has "killed" her, saying that the pain she has in her heart is the worst pain and it won't go away.

She added: "I find it incredibly difficult taking about Sorrell in the past tense. I want nothing more than to have her back."

"I feel that I let her down as I didn’t save her.. I had to deal with seeing Sorrell being blown up and dying in my arms."

She said that she is no longer the same person she was when Sorrell was alive.

  • A statement from Sorrell's grandmother read by Paul Greaney QC

Sorrel's Nana, Pauline, said that she is "helpless" after what happened and that she can make no sense of it.

Her auntie, Stacey, says her family "were the victims of pure hatred that they didn’t invite".

The statement also said that Sorrell's brother, Sebastian, cannot comprehend what happened to his sister.

In one part of the statement, Samantha spoke of how Sorrell said they celebrate her mum's 60th birthday in New York. In his concluding remarks Sir John Saunders, Chairman of the inquiry, said he hoped that she would still be able to do that.

He also thanked the family for being so honest about how the loss of Sorrell had affected them all.

The inquiry was adjourned until tomorrow and will continue to hear pen portraits until next week.

Read all the pen portraits here.