Manchester Arena Inquiry: Martyn Hett was 'laughing and joking' moments before blast

Manchester Arena bombing victim Martyn Hett was "laughing and joking" with security staff in the moments prior to the attack, the public inquiry has heard.

The 29-year-old from Stockport also danced and sang "without a care in the world" in a video captured that night. Mr Hett shouts "I'm a mess!" during the clip, recorded on a mobile phone while Ariana Grande performed. He also filmed himself shortly before the explosion.

Close friend Stuart Aspinall took photos of the pair, which he now treasures, before they travelled to the Arena.

Mr Hett had gone to the Arena with several friends to celebrate one of their birthdays and to mark his imminent eight week "holiday of a lifetime" to America.

Stuart Aspinall and Paul Swaine spoke of the fun they had during the concert, becoming separated from their friend and the moment they heard the bomb.

The inquiry was told Mr Hett went to get drinks towards the end of Grande's performance and waited in the Arena's City Room for his friends.

Security staff laughed and joked with him and then watched as he filmed himself singing and dancing. He was four metres from the bomber at the time of the blast.

A TravelSafe officer approached Mr Hett, lying on the floor, minutes later. He gently shook his shoulder and said "Buddy?" There was no response. Pathologists and a panel of "blast wave" experts concluded that "severe" multiple injuries to his head, neck and torso were unsurvivable.

The social media manager had a "passion for life" and was "a joy to be around."

> ‘His memory will shine bright forever': Martyn Hett remembered at Manchester Arena Inquiry

The inquiry heard evidence from family and friends that Mr Hett "lived life at 100 mph" and "lit up everyone around him." He had a huge social media presence and was "making other people smile, sharing stories and sometimes helping them through hard times."

His mother and stepfather, Figen and Stuart Murray, and his father and stepmother, Paul and Kath Hett, wrote pen portraits. Their words were read to the court.

Chair of the inquiry, Sir John Saunders, paid tribute to Mr Hett's "indestructible spirit" and his "zest for life."

This video report of the day's proceedings is by ITV Granada Reports correspondent Ann O’Connor.