Ormskirk Advertiser

Saffie’s life ‘is not a prac­tice ex­er­cise’

- BY PAUL BRIT­TON Society · Celebrities · Manchester · London · New York City · Kew · John Saunders

THE fa­ther of eight-year-old Saffie-Rose Rous­sos – the youngest per­son to die in the Manch­ester Arena bomb­ing – told the pub­lic in­quiry that les­sons should al­ready have been learned from past ter­ror­ism at­tacks.

The life of his daugh­ter ‘is not a prac­tice ex­er­cise for the se­cu­rity ser­vices or the emer­gency ser­vices’, Andrew Rous­sos said.

Mr Rous­sos – who de­scribed Saffie-Rose as ‘my star, my ad­mi­ra­tion, my per­fect daugh­ter’ – stood up to ad­dress the in­quiry’s chair­man, Sir John Saun­ders, af­ter his wife, Lisa, paid trib­ute to their daugh­ter.

He said the ‘big­gest les­son and wake-up call should have come from 7/7 and 9/11’ – the ter­ror at­tacks in Lon­don and New York.

Mr Rous­sos said that if les­sons were still be­ing learned in 2020, ‘noth­ing will ever change’.

He said: “Sir, could I just say some­thing. With the high­est re­spect I feel I need to say this.

“What we are all go­ing through, the fail­ures we are all lis­ten­ing to and the ex­cuses we will all sit through, needs to stop. “Enough is enough, Sir. “At present, in 2020, if we are still learn­ing les­sons, then noth­ing will ever change. The big­gest les­son and wake-up call should have come from 7/7 and 9/11.

“Saffie’s life is not a prac­tice ex­er­cise for the se­cu­rity ser­vices or the emer­gency ser­vices.

“Les­sons should have al­ready been learned and in place.”

The pub­lic in­quiry into the atroc­ity on May 22, 2017, which claimed 22 lives, en­tered its ninth day on Tues­day.

Pen por­traits from the fam­i­lies and friends of the de­ceased, and mov­ing per­sonal ev­i­dence about them, are con­tin­u­ing to be heard and shown to the in­quiry.

Saffie-Rose at­tended Tar­leton Com­mu­nity Pri­mary School, hav­ing pre­vi­ously gone to Kew Woods Pri­mary School in South­port.

In his trib­ute Mr Rous­sos said: “My daugh­ter Saffie – how can I de­scribe per­fec­tion?

“How do you de­scribe heart­melt­ing love? How can I ex­plain those big brown eyes.

“She is my star, my ad­mi­ra­tion, my per­fect daugh­ter.

“I am never go­ing to ac­cept life with­out Saffie.

“Go­ing out with Saffie was like magic, she cap­tured peo­ple by just look­ing at them and smil­ing.”

Mr Rous­sos said the fam­ily would be stopped on the street by peo­ple telling them how beau­ti­ful Saffie was.

Andrew re­called the pranks she played on her brother – and talked of an ad­ven­tur­ous free spirit who loved gym­nas­tics, singing and danc­ing.

“She would fight to the end and not show de­feat,” he said.

“She loved to ex­plore and see new things. She loved big cities, big cities at night when all the lights were switched on. “I can go on and on. “Never will there be an­other Saffie. Never will there be an­other kiss, cud­dle or a smile.

“I try and pic­ture what she would look like now, what she would be do­ing. What ca­reer she would choose to the wed­ding dress she would pick.”

He said Saffie was a ‘vic­tim of in­no­cence’.

“All she wanted to be was a lov­ing girl.”

Trib­utes from Saffie’s sis­ter, Ash­lee Bromwich, fol­lowed, as well as tes­ti­monies from other fam­ily mem­bers, friends and Saffie’s head­teacher.

Sis­ter Ash­lee said: “I was al­ways proud to call Saffie my sis­ter. I still am. She was some­one I al­ways wanted to tell peo­ple about and talk about.

“She was more than spe­cial, a rare soul.

“Our fam­ily will never be the same. I have lost the abil­ity to feel such emo­tions other than grief

 ??  ??
 ??  ?? Andrew Rous­sos ad­dressed the in­quiry
Andrew Rous­sos ad­dressed the in­quiry
 ??  ?? Andrew Rous­sos bears his daugh­ter’s cof­fin with son Xan­der
Andrew Rous­sos bears his daugh­ter’s cof­fin with son Xan­der

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