Presented by Keeley Donovan. Colin Paterson examines claims of delays in the emergency services' response after the Manchester Arena bombing.
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Good evening. This week, is
Yorkshire couple tell us how it took
more than an hour for proper
treatment to reach some of the most
seriously wounded after the
Manchester Arena attack. I joined
forces with local trades meant to
help a disabled couple who live just
a stone's throw from here.
Hello, I'm Keeley Donovan. This week
we are the Humber bridge. Coming
up... Why were ambulance and fire
crew held back from helping some of
the most seriously injured in the
four way at the Manchester Arena
after the bomb attack in May.
kept shouting, we need paramedics
Also tonight... The kindness of
strangers, as I asked local trades
people to help the disabled couple
left in the lurch by the builder.
It's looking brilliant!
Later in the
programme... The Lincolnshire, and
who preyed on bereaved family.
seemed so convincing, you wonder how
on earth you were taken in.
a suicide bomber killed 22 people at
the Manchester Arena. Five of them
from Yorkshire and hundreds were
injured. Inside Out has learnt that
some of the most seriously wounded
had to wait for more than an hour
before they received expert medical
treatment. Colin Paterson also
investigates why fire crews were
held back for more than two hours.
On May the 22nd, Salman Abedi made
his way to the Manchester Arena. He
waited in the four way for the
Ariana Grande concert to finish. As
fans started streaming out, he
detonated a suicide device.
was rubble and dust in the air,
smoke everywhere. And then it...
Then there was a screaming, wasn't
There was just too much for
three paramedics to deal with. There
were homeless people helping,
members of the public helping. I'm a
paid public servant and I wanted to
help, I just wasn't allowed to help.
That night, the emergency services
treated hundreds of people, many
with life changing injuries. But
what we have learned is that some of
the most seriously wounded had to
wait for more than an hour before
receiving any kind of expert medical
treatment. Tonight on Inside Out, we
ask, why did that delay happened?
What effect did it have on the
injured and the dying? 12 months
before the bomb, a training exercise
was staged at the Trafford centre on
the outskirts of Manchester.
Authorities were pleased with how it
We are delighted. The aim
of the exercise was to stress test
all of the organisations that would
respond to a terror attack.
happened on May the 22nd, when a
real terror attack took place?
Salman Abedi triggered his bomb at
10:31pm. On the night, I was here,
right in the centre of Manchester.
And in the aftermath, I was
interviewing people on Radio five
Live, trying to piece together what
Everybody just out of
running as hard as we could.
whole building shock. There were
How long were you
lying there for?
Well, probably and
So, on the night, people were
telling me that some of the injured
were waiting an hour for treatment.
Shortly after 11pm, that's half an
hour after the bomb went off, those
who had been in the foyer, injured,
but were able to walk, were
evacuated to hear. This is Victoria
station. Ambulance crews from across
England treated the injured who had
been able to escape the scene. But
for those in the Fourier, expert
help was still very limited. Before
the police cordon was made secure,
only one North West Ambulance
Service paramedic made it into the
foyer. Over the next hour, she was
joined by two more paramedics. The
eyewitnesses we have spoken to say
that more medical help was
desperately needed. Kim and Phil
Dick from Bradford were in the
Fourier to collect their daughter
and granddaughter. Seconds after the
explosion, a victim with serious
injuries collapsed in front of him.
She could hardly walk. She was
stumbling, bleeding from her arm and
her mouth and her leg. And all of
her hair was burned. I does the
latter, because she was going to
fall. We heard all of this screaming
-- I just grabbed her. People were
screaming and running out. We got
the bandages out and we were keeping
them and talking to them.
Just over an hour. I just
kept saying, you are being really
brave. We could hear the ambulances
all the time. I must have sounded
like a parrot, I did went on and on
As time passed, concern grew
about the lack of paramedics in the
The normal police and the
armed police came in. I kept
chanting, we need paramedics, we
need paramedics now. They said, we
adjust making sure there are no more
An hour after the explosion,
the wounded in the foyer was still
receiving Basic first aid rather
than expert paramedic help.
longer it went on, the more silent
it became. It was really eerie.
People who I had seen a little
earlier who were severely injured
when our bed. They made a decision
at some point, about an hour and ten
minutes after the explosion, I
think, that the medical staff
weren't coming up to the foyer. But
we were going to evacuate all of the
Security fears may
explain why only three paramedics
could enter the so-called hot zone,
where the bomb had gone off. But
it's harder to understand the delay
in the arrival of Fire and Rescue
staff. Commanders on the night held
Fire and Rescue staff back at the
stations until 12:18am. Fully one
hour and 47 minutes after the blast.
The Fire Service made a decision to
go to a rendezvous point, which is
normal practice as the Ambulance
Service. The Ambulance Service were
called forward. At this stage, I'm
unsure as to why the Fire Service
were delayed so long.
Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
has a technical response unit. These
are people trained specifically to
deal with terrorist situations. That
unit took part in the Trafford
centre exercise last year. But those
in charge on May the 22nd decided
not to deploy the unit. Save the UK
Fire Service is the major online
platform for firefighters in the UK.
And on the night of the Manchester
bomb, those who were on duty used
this page as the events were
unfolding to vent their frustrations
that they weren't being sent to the
I've been a firefighter in
Manchester for nearly ten years, and
I've never, ever felt so much guilt
in all my life. We were only half a
mile away from helping. Half a mile
away from potentially saving lives.
And that will always stick with me
A paramedic lady came to
us, pleading with us to help,
because they needed it.
firefighter who was on duty that
night has come forward to the ask
how it felt.
We heard the main
ambulance command and control guy
saying to his staff, basically this
is what's gone on. I can't guarantee
your safety. If you don't want to
go, you don't have too. At this
stage, I'm asking for volunteers.
Add to a man and woman they put
their hands up and did they have so
much paid to do. The paramedics, I
won't say they were having a go at
us, they were asking why we were not
there. We were helpless. As
uniformed service, you do what you
are told to do. I don't want the
public to think that we didn't want
to go all we were scared to go. We
were held back by the senior
management. The firemen wanted to go
and do what the paramedics were
doing. We can fetch, Carey,
administer basic first aid. There
were homeless people helping,
members of the public helping. I'm a
paid public servant and I wanted to
help, I just wasn't allowed to help.
After a terror attack in Mumbai in
2008, the UK Government said it
wanted Fire and Rescue staff to be
able to assist the Ambulance Service
with casualties if a similar attack
should happen here. But since then,
no agreement has been reached with
the Fire Brigades Union.
truly terrible situation. It's an
impasse that we are torn, do we stop
our people doing it? Do we tell them
not to volunteer? The standard
firefighter, if you like, has had no
training whatsoever, no awareness
training, let alone procedural
training. It's quite scandalous.
Fire Brigades Union wants its
members who attend terror attacks to
know the compensation for their
families will be automatic. At the
moment, they would have to prove
that there are employers were
I'm absolutely confident
that the public would expect that
whether it is a firefighter or a
police officer or an ambulance
worker who got killed under those
circumstances that there would be an
automatic, reasonable pay element
for those family members that are
We wrote to every Fire
Service in the whole of the UK
towards them if the firefighters
wearing short to attend terrorist
incidents -- to ask them if the
firefighters were in short. Of the
49 Fire And Rescue Services across
the UK, 27 reply to us. 19 refused
to answer the question on the
grounds of national security. One
Fire Service, Nottinghamshire, told
us the ordinary firefighters are not
covered to go into a terrorist
incident. Greater Manchester did not
reply, but have now told the BBC
that its firefighters are covered
for terrorist related deployment.
Those trapped in the foyer that
might remain very grateful that so
many people were willing to put
their own lives at risk to help save
the lives of others. But six months
on, they remain concerned that
emergency medical help was so slow
They want to minimise the
risk to as many people as possible,
I perfectly understand that. But
they deployed tens if not hundreds
of police officers into that foyer
and into the arena. And if some of
those had been medically trained,
you can't say for certain, but some
people's injuries could have been
dealt with quicker, and perhaps,
just perhaps, some lives could have
But one eyewitness
believes that, under the
circumstances, the authorities did
the absolute best they could.
like everybody to get help
straightaway, every single medic,
every doctor that was in Manchester
should have been there and they
would have liked to have been there
and everybody would have been in the
helping everybody and nobody would
have died and that would be it, but
it couldn't happen.
The hairs are
standing up on the back of my
because it's embarrassing that we
weren't allowed to go. There were
ambulances from East Midlands and
police from North Wales at the
incident, and we were stood by.
was it that the Ambulance Service
were able to commit crews and felt
confident enough to commit crews but
the Fire Service wasn't?
of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham,
has now set up an independent review
and Lord Coe is late learn lessons
from the events in May. It's due
report next year.
There was a
feeling at the time that the wrong
call was made in those moments. Now,
it seems to me that there is some
substance to that. And it was one of
the reasons why the independent
review was set up. But it's not
about feelings, is it? That's the
point. It's about, what is the
Those in charge of the
emergency services that might have a
truly terrible decision to make.
Should they deployed as quickly as
possible, trying to save lives? But
while there was still a threat of a
second explosion. Or should they
wait until the area had been
declared safe, therefore delaying
treatment to victims of the bomb as
a result's North West Ambulance
Service told us they were proud of
their response to the Manchester
Arena attack. They said that within
an hour, all critical patients had
been moved and were being treated by
50 paramedics. Greater Manchester
Fire and Rescue say that they have
conducted their own internal debrief
into the organisation's response to
the Manchester Arena attack and are
fully cooperating with the review.
Greater Manchester Police told us
that they contacted the North West
Ambulance Service within three
minutes of the incident being
declared they followed the incident
plan. None of these organisations
wanted to appear in this film whilst
the review is ongoing. We can tell
you that the girl that the couple
helped did survive.
The crying was
really loud. As the hour went on, it
went down and down and there was no
crying. It was just... I was
shouting, we need, I need a
paramedic. I was just getting very
desperate, you know, wanting,
And if you've got a story you would
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Coming up on the programme...
Investigating the conman who
pretended to help families who have
lost loved ones.
Now, you might remember a few weeks
ago I told you about a disabled
couple who live here on the south
bank of the Humber. They had been
scandalously let down by the
builder, who had left them with a
half finished extension. Well, we
didn't just want to walk away. We
decided to help them to get the work
finished. Here is what happened.
This is the home of the Harrisons in
Northland venture. As wheelchair
users, they found the space cramped
and there was no downstairs toilet,
they decided to have an extension
When you take up the third of
the room with a lift, two fairly
large wheelchairs, and you have to
park them up, then it becomes very,
very tight indeed.
Scunthorpe builder Michael there to
do the work. What happened was a
disaster. Five months into a
six-week job, with lots of the work
still unfinished, Dare walked out on
them, having been paid in full. The
roof was badly constructive, there
were no internal walls and no
electricity. It had cost them their
life savings. Then they discovered
that he hadn't put the foundations
in properly, so they had to borrow a
further £9,000 to put it right. The
experience has left them devastated.
A mess. You're in a wheelchair
you can't explain all the problems.
And a lot of them are very personal.
And he's done that. And he's
humiliated us. And I will never
forgive him for that.
kind neighbour, Wayne, help out with
a lot of the work that Michael Dare
handgun. But Dawn and Cheryl had no
money left to finish of the house
and make it comfortable. So we
decided to hit the phones. Hello,
it's Keeley Donovan... I was
wondering if you could do me a
favour? I've got a lovely couple who
need help with a house. And the good
people of Lincolnshire didn't
hesitate to offer their help. Thank
you, bye-bye. Julie Smith owns a
curtain business include Forbes. She
has offered to make curtains for the
Harrisons entire extension.
think it hurts anybody to offer a
helping hand. If I was in that
situation, I hope somebody would
help me out.
I feel honoured to be
doing it, it's a privilege. It's
nice to feel that you are helping
somebody out, especially when
somebody else has to down so badly.
What they needed most was flooring
to cover the length of the extended
room and make it easier for them to
get around. Chris Trott from
Birmingham came up trumps.
shouldn't have to do it really.
People should be doing their own job
and doing it right. All we have had
to do is real of all the flooring,
make it parallel to this one. Then
we are going to put some good
quality liner down so that it
doesn't affect the wheels on the
chairs, as such.
The guys worked
their socks off. Within a couple of
hours, the floor is down on the work
Mate, it's looking
absolutely... It looks huge!
Julie Smith is back to
put up the curtains she has made for
Oh, they are lovely!
It's something you would choose
Is the last
finishing touch, then the room will
be complete. I've not seen them for
a few weeks. I have come back to the
house to see what will -- is
happening. You have lived in this
mess for nearly two years now,
It feels like ten!
has happened since then was
have been people here, people we
didn't know, just volunteering their
help. And it's been absolutely
Are you going to show me
it?! You lead the way!
Oh! It looks like a different
house! I'm speechless! It is like a
show home in here! Oh, isn't it?! It
looks amazing. The floor is
fantastic. Absolutely brilliant. And
the curtains are just beautiful. So
beautiful. Vogel it looks like a
Yes, it does, it really does.
It must have felt like you were
never going to get this stage.
took us years to save up and sort
out the flooring, never mind
It has changed your
It has changed your
Thank you isn't enough.
goodness that there is out there...
These people just came forward and
said, can I help?
It will make such
a difference to us. We live in a
home now, not a building site.
When people lose a member of the
family abroad, they often speak of
feeling helpless. Families struggle
to get the answers they need. For
some, Simon Doull of seemed like the
saviour, a man with apparent
military credentials who could
investigate the price. But it turned
out to be a pack of as Simon
investigates. -- a pack of lies. The
Foreign Office in London, a protest
by families asking for help over the
death of the relatives abroad.
we want? Justice!
Among them, Simon
Durlow, who for months masqueraded
as an expert investigator, calling
himself by a different name. He is
now imprisoned for a £100,000 con
committed against some of the most
honourable people you could imagine.
He was appearing at the most
committee looked as if he was
fighting for us.
He seemed to be
very convincing. I mean, she was.
Coming away from it, you wonder how
on earth you were taken in.
of the personal impact on the
family, it's just the worst kind of
fraud ever. He was only there for
one person, and that's himself.
I've come to Sutton in Ashfield in
Nottinghamshire. Ray Martin and his
wife, Pat, were devastated when
their daughter, Claire, died in
Italy five years ago from stab wound
to the throat.
We've never believed,
from day one, that our daughter took
her own life.
The Martins believe
that Claire was murdered. But the
Italian authorities ruled it was
suicide. Within months of Claire's
death, Simon Durlow had contacted
the Martins to say that he could
He said, with his team getting
into it and asking questions, he
could get to the truth. Mentioning
that he had got contacts within
Interpol, different contacts abroad.
He seemed to know somebody
everywhere. That's my father's
medals. My father was an Amman.
Reyes from a proud military family
-- my father was an air man. Durlow
also claimed to be ex-armed
I believed he fought for
our country and was injured.
invited the Martins down to see him,
he was friendly and not pushy. He
began to say what he could give them
and dangled the carrot of what he
could find out and what his teams
could do, and started to introduce,
but for me to do that, it will cost
£16,000, £65,000, whatever figure it
was that he said that his services
In the end, the Martins
had a lucky escape. They simply
didn't have the cash to pay Durlow's
If I'd have had the money all
we could have remortgaged the house,
yes, I could have lost quite a bit.
To go on Paul Okon on somebody that
has lost somebody -- to go and pull
a con. To give them full scope when
there is no help at the end of the
line, how low can you go? -- to give
them false hope.
Durlow said he had
spent 15 years with the REF, that he
had been a pilot and risen to the
rank of Group Captain. But we
checked with the Ministry of
Defence, and it says it doesn't have
any military credentials whatsoever.
And his company was simply a website
he ran from his home in Gloucester.
But it was slick enough to persuade
some people to hand over the money.
We knew that he would give a free
assessment of the case to see if he
could help. And we felt that it was
worth a try. Because, by then, with
three years after Andrew died...
Julie's son Andrew Watt was 31 when
he died in September 20 ten. He was
found in a country lane near to
where he was living in France. With
injuries on his body. Wrench police
initially said he had died from
natural causes. Months later, they
ruled it was too aside.
had said it wasn't suspicious. So,
you know, there was nothing to be
done. And we started the campaign.
And just to knock on any door for
They have spoken to the
managers and advised them not to
come out and see the B they are not
The man they knew as
Simon di Grassi accompanied them on
many of the protests. This one was
outside the French Embassy in
London. They gave him £18,000,
thinking they were paying for his
investigation services through his
accountant, Paul Durlow, not knowing
that was his real middle name and
surname. It wasn't the only
fictitious character he dreams up
along the way.
He told us he had a compact in
France who will is almost his
counterpart, called Louis, based in
Paris, who would help him with the
language and the law and everything.
We were drawn in.
Julie now lives
near Penrith in Cumbria. For her
money, all she got was an interim
report full of fabricated claims
about her son's death. Beginning to
suspect all was not as it seemed to
be, Julie and her husband Les
insisted they accompanied by Michael
on his next trip to France.
it would be dangerous. And he said
that if there was a problem, then we
may have to escape through Germany.
We were still determined to go, and
we did, we very quickly unravel.
Louis was meant to meet us in Paris,
and he didn't turn up. But he was
shouting down the phone at Louis,
swearing at Louis. And Les and I
does looked at each other and we
both knew that we'd been conned.
just looked at each other. The
Shepherds went to Durham Police for
It became clear that he had
been in touch with the number of
families across the UK, and these
families that he had been contacting
were clearly very desperate.
interview with the French
He didn't have
operatives across the country or the
old boy's network that he claimed to
have. He was going under a different
name and he had a previous
conviction for fraud and had been to
prison for fraud.
More than a decade
ago, Durlow posed as an insurance
broker in Lincolnshire. But he spent
most of the tens of thousands of
pounds he had taken for policies on
expensive cars. Simon Durlow had set
up a company
specialist insurance cover for the
construction industry. Looking into
that, we quickly found that the
whole thing was a sham, really. On
the internet, his website, it
reported blue-chip company,
expensive offices in Singapore and
New York. The reality was it was a
two-bedroom flat above a
hairdressers in Boston.
Police built up the case against
Durlow for his latest fraud, he went
on the run. He had left Gloucester,
but they traced him to Jersey in the
Channel Islands. He was found by
officers at the motorhome stopovers
-- stopover site, appropriately
called The Hideaway. Unfortunately
for him, it wasn't a very good
hiding place. He was arrested and
held on remand in Durham. In August,
he pleaded guilty to ten fraud
charges, related to the Shepherds,
the Martins, and a third family.
want to look him in the eye, for him
to know what he has done.
ago, Simon Durlow had to face his
victims again at Durham Crown Court,
as he was given a ten year sentence
for Acorn the judge said could be
summed up in one word as my cruel.
What did you make of that?
enough, but, yeah, happy, at least
he's not out there trying to dupe
Well, the families now
have justice against Simon Durlow.
But they say they will continue to
fight for justice for their loved
ones who died abroad.
That's all from here at the Humber
bridge, and for this series of
Inside Out. We'll be back in
January. By the now. -- goodbye for
Presented by Keeley Donovan.
Colin Paterson examines claims that there were delays in the emergency services' response after the Manchester Arena bombing and Keeley Donovan joins the local tradespeople coming together to help a disabled couple.