'She was a beautiful soul': Saffie Rose Roussos remembered at Manchester Arena Inquiry

Saffie Roussos has been remembered by her family at the Manchester Arena Inquiry. Credit: Family Photo

Saffie Rose Roussos, the youngest victim of the Manchester Arena attack, has been remembered by her family at the inquiry into the bombing.

She had been to the Ariana Grande concert with her mum and sister, who were both injured in the attack.

Saffie, who was only 8-years-old when she died, was described as being an energetic little girl who loved gymnastics, dancing and being around people.

Her father, Andrew, said that she was a "free spirit" who had so much charisma and confidence, whilst her mother, Lisa, said that she had a "magnetic personality" that drew people towards her.

Saffie's dad and elder sister, Ashlee, both spoke in person at Manchester Magistrates Court, with Lisa's tribute and the tributes of many others being shown on a video montage.

  • Lisa Roussos remembers her daughter

Lisa Roussos paid tribute to her "clever, imaginative, bright and beautiful" little girl in an emotional video message.

She said: "To say our lives are truly devastated would be an understatement. Saffie completed our family and was a huge part of it - the lead role you might say, always taking centre stage with her huge smile.

"The day I woke up from the coma, Andrew held my hand and looked up at me, I instantly knew."

"I did die that day. Inside I’m dead. My heart is so heavy it weighs me down," she added.

  • Andrew Roussos remembers his daughter

Andrew Roussos spoke of how Saffie would practise gymnastics in the house, summersaulting and backfliping off their couch with no fear.

He said that she loved to explore and see new things and spoke of how amazed she was at Times Square when they visited New York.

He said: "Never will there be another Saffie. Never will there be another kiss, a cuddle or a smile.

"I try to picture what she would look like now, what she would be doing; what career she would choose to the wedding dress that she would pick, to the adult Saffie would be.

"I hope I can put across this precious little girl, a victim of innonce that all she wanted to be was happy, loving and free to be a child as every child should be."

  • Saffie's sister Ashlee pays tribute to her

Ashlee, Saffie's older sister, said that she was the most "beautiful and innocent little girl", who it was impossible to say no to.

She said that Saffie was a born entertainer who lived to put a smile on somebody's face.

"Our family will never be the same, each and every one of us feels a spare part, watching the world pass us by," she added.

"I have lost the ability to feel such emotions other than grief and anger, it's like falling down an neverending empty pit of sadness.

"We are here but not, our bodies move and our voices can be heard but our minds are absent."

"We will never stop keeping her alive and taking her with us wherever we go."

A tribute was also heard from one of Saffie's school friends, who said that she misses her "so so much" and that it isn't a normal day without Saffie in her life.

The little girl's mother said: "I don’t understand how she’s not here. I don’t understand how someone can just disappear.

"The day Saffie was gone was the day my daughter disappeared. It was like the sparkle had gone out of her eyes."

The inquiry also heard from Saffie's former headteacher, who said that Saffie would make sure that everyone was happy and that she used to stop her friends from arguing by making them laugh.

Saffie's school has honoured her memory with a heritage plaque and a stage, her mum said that the plaque bears the words "beautiful, capitvating and kind".

The chairman to the inquiry, Sir John Saunders, said that Saffie indeed was a star and that her death has been truly devastating.

He said: "Her star will continue to live in your hearts, for the rest of us, the star that was Saffie has stopped and we are all the losers for it."

You can read all of the pen portraits heard by the inquiry so far here.