Mother of Liam Curry addresses absent Abedi in court for his role in Manchester Arena attack

Liam Curry and his girlfriend Chloe Rutherford were killed in the blast Credit: Family photo

"There is not enough words in the world to describe the pain I feel. There is no relief. Life now is not a life, it is an existence."

The mother of Liam Curry, a victim of the Manchester Arena attack, stood up at the Old Bailey to address her son's killer, despite mass murderer Hashem Abedi refusing to enter the court to be sentenced for his role in the bombing.

The 23-year-old, the younger brother of homegrown suicide bomber Salman Abedi, was absent from the Old Bailey's courtroom, having effectively withdrawn from the trial part-way through, although he was said to be in the building.

Family members of some of the 22 people killed in the atrocity were present as Mr Justice Jeremy Baker was informed of Manchester-born Hashem's refusal to attend.

Of the 22 people who lost their lives in the attack, six people were from the North East and North Yorkshire.Caroline Curry held up a photo of her son Liam Curry, 19, who died with his girlfriend Chloe Rutherford. As she spoke through her tears, Mrs Curry said, "You took from me something more precious than gold, a beautiful boy, inside and out."

She described her son as an "easy boy that everyone got on with".

She said: "He worked hard and enjoyed his down time. Always a shoulder for anyone that needed it." Mrs Curry said Liam lost his father, her husband, who died after an illness only a few weeks before the Arena bombing.

Liam, a university student, "became a man overnight" looking after the rest of his family but now his ashes are alongside his father's.

A year after the tragedy, Chloe and Liam's parents spoke to ITV Tyne Tees' Correspondent Rachel Bullock. They said that life without them will never be the same again.

Hashem Abedi Credit: Greater Manchester Police

The court heard Hashem Abedi would have been eligible for a whole-life sentence had he been over the age of 21 at the time of the Manchester Arena bombing.

Speaking in front of families of the victims, Mr Justice Jeremy Baker told the Old Bailey: "The reality is if the accused had been over the age of 21, as was his brother who died in the incident, it would have been the prosecution submissions this was a case where a whole-life order was (appropriate)."

He said it was not a matter for the courts but a "matter for Parliament who pass legislation which prevents the court of making a whole-life order in the circumstances of this case".

22 lives were lost in the Manchester Arena attack on 22 May 2017 Credit: ITV News

A public inquiry into the bombing is scheduled to start next month.