Man ‘lost love of his life’ after arena bomb ‘ripped’ them apart

The boyfriend of a police officer killed in the Manchester Arena terror atrocity which claimed 22 lives has spoken of "losing the love of his life."

Elaine McIver, from Ellesmere Port, died in the mass murder which also left hundreds of other people injured.

Today, homegrown jihadi Hashem Abedi was jailed for at least 55 years.

The 43-year-old, Ms McIver, and partner Paul Price had been waiting in the arena foyer to collect his 13-year-old daughter and a friend from the Ariana Grande concert when she was killed by the blast.

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Mr Price was also seriously injured in the attack on the evening of May 22 2017, and may still need to have his leg amputated.

He was in a coma for more than a week after shrapnel left him with many serious injuries and still in hospital eight months after the terror attack.

Tributes left to the Manchester Arena bombing victims

Mr Price, who undergoes physiotherapy every day and became addicted to strong painkillers, said, in a statement at the Old Bailey: "I may still have to take the difficult decision whether to have my leg amputated above the knee…if I am still unable to bend my leg.

"The burns on my face have not healed properly and have left scarring, which I'm self-conscious about it.

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"I also lost the love of my life. We had planned our life, our house and travel once she retired from the police force.

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"I suffer emotionally still and have found it hard to come to terms with losing Elaine.

"I'll never love anyone like Elaine and due to my injuries and disabilities I doubt I'll ever find love again.

"My life has been ripped apart in ways that can't be imagined."

Elaine McIver, the off-duty police officer killed in the Manchester bombing

Elaine, who grew up in Ellesmere Port and later moved to Frodsham, was a serving Cheshire Constabulary officer who had been working for the North West regional organised crime unit (TITAN) during a career spanning 20 years.

She started as a special constable and became a regular officer in September 1998.

She had worked in Ellesmere Port, Warrington and for the Economic Crime Unit at Winsford headquarters before moving to TITAN in 2013.

Mr Price, who struggles to remember his partner's funeral because of the pain medication, added: "I've recently started bereavement counselling, which is helping.

"I struggle on a daily basis with my mental health, I feel alone, directionless and lost."

Also killed in the atrocity was 15-year-old Megan Hurley, from Halewood.

Halewood teenager Megan Hurley was also killed in the terror attack

Her brother Bradley was seriously injured and spent a month in hospital for treatment to two broken legs, burns and a perforated ear drum.

Megan's parents Michael and Joanne stopped working at their popular Merseyside cafe to care for their son following the atrocity.

The family was supported by charity donations in the wake of the tragedy.

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Abedi is expected to die in jail after being handed a record-length sentence for bomb plot as Judge Mr Justice Jeremy Baker ordered he serve 24 life sentences.

Family members gasped as the sentence – a record for a determinate prison term – was handed down for Abedi's role in the largest murder case in English legal history.

Abedi, born and raised in Manchester, was accused of showing "contempt" to the families of those he and his suicide bomber brother Salman Abedi killed more than three years earlier by not coming into the dock.

Paul Price spoke about losing the love of his life Elaine McIver, from Frodsham, when she was killed in the Manchester Arena bomb.

He was again absent as the sentence was handed down, the judge ordering a copy of his remarks to be sent to the cells.

Sentencing him on Thursday afternoon, the judge said: "The defendant and his brother were equally culpable for the deaths and injuries caused.

"The stark reality is that these were atrocious crimes, large in their scale, deadly in their intent, and appalling in their consequences.

If you have been affected by any of the details mentioned in this story there are people who can help you.

Most people grieve when they lose something or someone important to them.

The way grief affects you depends on lots of things, including what kind of loss you have suffered, your upbringing, your beliefs or religion, your age, your relationships, and your physical and mental health.

Grieving is a totally normal process but there are way to get help if you need support.

Your GP is a good place to start. They can give you advice about other support services, refer you to a counsellor, or prescribe medication if needed.

Or you can contact support organisations directly, such as Cruse Bereavement Care (0808 808 1677) Samaritans (116 123) or Love Jasmine.

"The despair and desolation of the bereaved families has been palpable."

The sentence eclipsed that of racist homophobe David Copeland, who was handed a 50-year term for a 13-day nail bombing campaign in London in 1999 which killed three and injured scores.

The judge – who put on record his tribute to "the tremendous dignity and courage" of the families who attended court – said the 1,024 days Abedi spent remanded in custody will count towards the overall sentence, adding he was unable to hand him a whole-life term due to his age.

Manchester Arena after the terror attack at an Ariana Grande concert

He added: "He may never be released."

Abedi, of Fallowfield in south Manchester, was found guilty by a jury in March of 22 counts of murder, attempted murder and plotting to cause an explosion likely to endanger life.

The trial heard it was Abedi's older brother, 22-year-old Salman, who detonated the suicide bomb in the foyer of Manchester Arena at 10.31pm on May 22 2017, as thousands of men, women and children left a concert by pop star Ariana Grande.

Together, the Abedis spent months ordering, stockpiling and transporting the deadly materials required for their murderous act, using multiple mobile phones, addresses and runaround vehicles to craft their bomb.

The brothers joined their parents in Libya the month before the blast amid concerns the siblings were becoming radicalised.

However, Salman returned to the UK on May 18. He bought the final components needed for the bomb, rented a flat in the city centre in which to build it, and carried out reconnaissance on the arena before finally executing the plot – the chilling final moments of which were caught on CCTV.

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The 22 people who were killed were: off-duty police officer Elaine McIver, 43, Saffie Roussos, eight, Sorrell Leczkowski, 14, Eilidh MacLeod, 14, Nell Jones, 14, Olivia Campbell-Hardy, 15, Megan Hurley, 15, Georgina Callander, 18, Chloe Rutherford, 17, Liam Curry, 19, Courtney Boyle, 19, Philip Tron, 32, John Atkinson, 28, Martyn Hett, 29, Kelly Brewster, 32, Angelika Klis, 39, Marcin Klis, 42, Michelle Kiss, 45, Alison Howe, 44, Lisa Lees, 43, Wendy Fawell, 50, and Jane Tweddle, 51.

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

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