Pages

Monday, 10 September 2018

Chilling CCTV shows 'hero' American tourist and his wife strolling across Westminster Bridge seconds before he was mown down and killed by terrorist after pushing her to safety

  • Terrorist killed four pedestrians when he drove car along pavement on bridge
  • He then rushed the gates of Parliament and stabbed to death a police officer
  • Coroner opens inquests into the victims' deaths with a minute's silence today
  • Victims families pay heartbreaking tributes to them on first day of the inquest 
  • Court shown CCTV of final moments of victims and as the terrorist struck 
CCTV footage shows an American couple walking across Westminster Bridge seconds before a terrorist drove onto the pavement and killed the husband.
Tourist Kurt Cochran, 54, was one of four people murdered when Muslim convert Khalid Masood launched his attack in the shadow of Big Ben in March last year.
Mr Cochran's final action was to push his wife Melissa out of the way of Masood's rented 4x4. He was thrown into the air and fatally injured, dying at the scene.
In a statement read to the court by Mr Cochran's sister-in-law, Angela Stoll, his wife Melissa said: 'I am forever grateful for the time we had together, allowing me to be the mother to his children and especially his heroic actions on that day, saving my life.'
Retired window cleaner Leslie Rhodes, 75, Aysha Frade, 44, and Romanian tourist Andreea Cristea, 31, were also killed by Masood's car on the bridge. PC Keith Palmer was stabbed inside the gates of Parliament. 
Families of all of the victims left court as the disturbing footage of their loved one's final moments were played to the coroner. 
CCTV showsĂ‚ Kurt Cochran's final moments as he walks over Westminster Bridge with his wife Melissa. Seconds later, terrorist Khalid Masood mounted the pavement and drove into them
CCTV shows Kurt Cochran's final moments as he walks over Westminster Bridge with his wife Melissa. Seconds later, terrorist Khalid Masood mounted the pavement and drove into them
This footage shows the couple approaching the St Thomas' Hospital side of the bridge opposite the House of Parliament at 2.39pm. Masood launched his attack at 2.40pm
This footage shows the couple approaching the St Thomas' Hospital side of the bridge opposite the House of Parliament at 2.39pm. Masood launched his attack at 2.40pm
Mr Cochran, was on holiday with his wife Melissa, pictured together. She told an inquest hearing today that his last action was to save her life
Police outside Parliament hold terrorist Khalid Masood on the ground after his terror attack in March last year. The inquests into the deaths of his victims opened today
Police outside Parliament hold terrorist Khalid Masood on the ground after his terror attack in March last year. The inquests into the deaths of his victims opened today
Mrs Cochran described her husband as 'my inspiration, my rock star, and most of all my hero', adding: 'We wish everyone had Kurt's love and compassion for others.
'No words will bring Kurt back or anyone else who has died senselessly in such cowardly attacks on humanity.'
Opening the inquest into the victims' deaths today, Chief Coroner Mark Lucraft QC said: 'The lives of many were torn apart by 82 seconds of high and terrible drama.' 
He asked the court to observe a minute's silence for those who died. 
Disturbing CCTV footage shown to the hearing showed Masood driving across the bridge, before he stabbed PC Palmer as he lay prone against a low wall was also shown.
After inflicting the fatal blows, Masood is apparently distracted by another officer, giving Pc Palmer the chance to run away. 
At the start of the hearing, each bereaved family gave a touching 'pen portrait' of their loved one at the inquest.
PC Palmer's sister said he had joined the police to make a difference and loved his role guarding the Palaces of Westminster. 
Chief Inspector Neil Sawyer said: 'His brave actions that day did not surprise me. Keith never backed away from a job protecting people.'
Aysha Frade's husband John told the inquest 'lived and breathed for her daughters', and struck a balance 'between tender care and discipline'.
He said his wife, whose smile was like the sun 'popping out from behind a cloud', had been 'cruelly and brutally ripped away' from the family. 
PC Keith Palmer was stabbed to death as he rushed to tackle Masood
Aysha Frade was one of four pedestrians killed on Westminster Bridge
PC Keith Palmer was stabbed to death as he rushed to tackle Masood. Aysha Frade was one of four pedestrians killed on Westminster Bridge
Romanian tourist Andreea Cristea was also killed when Masood drove a rental car along the pavement of Westminster Bridge
Retired window cleaner Leslie Rhodes was also killed when Masood drove a rental car along the pavement of Westminster Bridge
Romanian tourist Andreea Cristea (left) and retired window cleaner Leslie Rhodes (right) were also killed when Masood drove a rental car along the pavement of Westminster Bridge
Detective Superintendent John Crossley told the coroner how each of the victims was fatally injured. 
Masood mounted the pavement at 14:40:08 and within 30 seconds hit the four civilian victims and crashed into railings at the perimeter gates of the Palace of Westminster.
Mr Cochran acted with 'instinctive courage' when he pushed his wife out of the path of the hired Hyundai Tuscon driven by Masood, the court heard. He was thrown into the air and was fatally injured, dying at the scene.
Mr Rhodes was dragged 33 metres under the car, and was taken to Kings College Hospital but never regained consciousness. He died the next day from head injuries.
Mrs Frade was hit by the car from behind and thrown into a bus lane, where she was run over by a bus and died from a 'catastrophic' head injury.
Images were shown of what happened, with the court warned that they were distressing.
Miss Cristea was thrown off Westminster Bridge, falling 12.5 metres into the Thames. She was in the water for nearly nine minutes before she was recovered.
Masood killed five in his 82-second rampage over Westminster Bridge in March last year
Chief Coroner Mark Lucraft QC today opened inquests into the victims' deaths
Masood killed five in his 82-second rampage over Westminster Bridge in March last year. Chief Coroner Mark Lucraft QC today opened inquests into the victims' deaths
Masood drove along the pavement of Westminster Bridge before running into the grounds of ParliamentThe inquest heard that the Romanian tourist, who had been walking over the bridge with her boyfriend Andrei Burnaz towards the London Eye, was given 'intensive and complex' treatment at the Royal London and St Bartholomew's hospitals but never regained consciousness and died on April 6 when her life support was switched off.
Her cause of death was multiple organ failure, head injuries and immersion.
After mowing down the pedestrians, Masood got out of his car and became involved in a violent struggle with Pc Palmer, who stumbled and fell backwards.
Pc Palmer was stabbed, but managed to escape when Masood was distracted by two other officers.
He ran a short distance but collapsed, and despite receiving first aid from the public, the police and treatment from paramedic and air ambulance crews, died at the scene.
Masood was then challenged by an armed close protection officer, who shot him three times when he failed to drop the two knives in his hands. 
The coroner will examine Masood's background, police record and the fact that in 2009 and 2010 he briefly featured in MI5 investigations. Security around the Palace of Westminster and the protection of PC Palmer's body armour is also an issue.
Video evidence will include footage of Masood as he set about hiring a car, buying knives and carrying out reconnaissance as he prepared for the attack.
Various experts will be called to give evidence about the crash, police body armour, and Masood's use of anabolic steroids.
A psychologist has also been asked to prepare a 'psychological autopsy' on Masood to look at how he came to settle on his violent intentions.
The hearings, which are due to go on for up to five weeks, will be followed by a separate jury inquest for Masood.

Mother killed on the bridge 'lived and breathed' for her daughters

The husband of Aysha Frade said she had been 'cruelly and brutally ripped away from us'
A mother-of-two killed in the Westminster terror attack as she walked from work on her way to pick up her children had a smile that was like the sun 'popping out from behind a cloud'.
Aysha Frade's husband John told the inquest into her death how the couple met at the gym in 1996, and described how he was immediately struck by her smile.
He said Aysha was 'relaxed, fun to be around, laughing and smiling', and greatly valued her family and close friends.
She loved her job as a PA at a school and was a devoted mother to her two daughters, the Old Bailey heard.
Mr Frade said the couple had plans for a big white wedding in 2006, but the idea was shelved when she became pregnant with their first daughter in 2005.
Keen to be married before she gave birth, the couple 'grabbed two strangers from the street' to be witnesses and were married in a 10-minute ceremony.
The inquest heard Mrs Frade 'lived and breathed for her daughters', and her husband was in awe of the balance she struck 'between tender care and discipline'.
He told the court that she was a loving daughter to her aging mother who she visited every day.
Mr Frade went on: 'The truth is that she still doesn't feel like she's gone, her love surrounds us, her aura lights up the paths of life's journey.'
He said his wife had been 'cruelly and brutally ripped away from us'.
Her sister Michelle also read an emotionally-charged statement to the hearing.
She said: 'People cannot understand how this despicable act of futile atrocity has impacted on not only her families' lives but also herself. She will never be able to smile again, see her daughters grow up.'
Mrs Grade had said she was worried about the risk of a terror attack when her job relocated near Westminster.
Her sister went on: 'Aysha and all the other victims of this tragedy are people and not just statistics or a name that will be forgotten once this inquest is over.'

Retired window cleaner was killed on his way back from hospital

Leslie Rhodes, pictured in younger life, loved cricket, growing vegetables and music, his family have said
Leslie Rhodes, pictured in younger life, loved cricket, growing vegetables and music, his family have said
A retired window cleaner caught up in the Westminster terror attack was 'placid, quiet and kind', his inquest heard.
Pensioner Leslie Rhodes, 75, was on his way back from an appointment at nearby St Thomas's hospital when he was killed.
His niece Amanda Rhodes told how the family were 'devastated' and 'incredibly angry' on hearing of his death.
She told how Mr Rhodes was born in Battersea, south-west London, as the youngest of three children.
'Everyone loved him. He would do anything to help anyone who needed it,' she said.
He loved his job as a window cleaner and would stop and enjoy tea with his customers before his retirement.
Ms Rhodes said he had a very private life and, despite his advancing age, continued to climb ladders and ride his bicycle, as well as enjoying cricket, growing tomatoes and listening to music.
His favourite Queen song - These Are The Days Of Our Lives - was played at his funeral, the hearing was told.
In a statement read out at the Old Bailey, she said: 'Les will be greatly missed by all his family and friends who loved him. May he rest in eternal peace.'
Wife pays tribute to her hero husband who died saving her life
Mr Cochran was described as a 'rock star' and 'hero' by his family
Mr Cochran was described as a 'rock star' and 'hero' by his family
The widow of American tourist Kurt Cochran, 54, has paid tribute to her 'hero', who died saving her life.
Mr Cochran and his wife Melissa were walking across Westminster Bridge when they were both hit by the rented car being driven by Khalid Masood, 52.
At an inquest into his death, Mr Cochran was described as a 'rock star' and 'hero' by those who knew him as pictures of him were displayed on two big screens.
He left behind a 'legacy of love and compassion' and spread joy to everyone he met, the Old Bailey heard.
Mrs Cochran was too upset to pay tribute to her late husband in person.
Her sister Angela Stoll read out a statement on her behalf on what would have been the day after Mr Cochran's 56th birthday.
'He was my best friend, my husband and my everything,' she said.
'I was so lucky to have had 25 wonderful years with the man of my dreams. He made me laugh every single day. I cherish every single memory we made.
'I am forever grateful for the time we had together, allowing me to be the mother to his children and especially his heroic actions on that day, saving my life.'
Kurt Cochran and his wife Melissa. She said: 'He was my best friend, my husband and my everything'

Kurt Cochran and his wife Melissa. She said: 'He was my best friend, my husband and my everything'
She described her husband as 'my inspiration, my rock star, and most of all my hero', adding: 'We wish everyone had Kurt's love and compassion for others.
'No words will bring Kurt back or anyone else who has died senselessly in such cowardly attacks on humanity.'
Ms Stoll told how Mr Cochran grew up in the Sixties and Seventies when he developed 'a profound love for all music' and played the guitar from a young age, wanting to be a rock star.
He never fulfilled his dream, but nurtured musical talent through his recording studio, she said, and the family held a concert instead of a traditional funeral following his death.
'We love you Kurt, more than the moon and stars,' Ms Stoll said tearfully

Wife pays tribute to her hero husband who died saving her life

Mr Cochran was described as a 'rock star' and 'hero' by his family
Mr Cochran was described as a 'rock star' and 'hero' by his family
The widow of American tourist Kurt Cochran, 54, has paid tribute to her 'hero', who died saving her life.
Mr Cochran and his wife Melissa were walking across Westminster Bridge when they were both hit by the rented car being driven by Khalid Masood, 52.
At an inquest into his death, Mr Cochran was described as a 'rock star' and 'hero' by those who knew him as pictures of him were displayed on two big screens.
He left behind a 'legacy of love and compassion' and spread joy to everyone he met, the Old Bailey heard.
Mrs Cochran was too upset to pay tribute to her late husband in person.
Her sister Angela Stoll read out a statement on her behalf on what would have been the day after Mr Cochran's 56th birthday.
'He was my best friend, my husband and my everything,' she said.
'I was so lucky to have had 25 wonderful years with the man of my dreams. He made me laugh every single day. I cherish every single memory we made.
'I am forever grateful for the time we had together, allowing me to be the mother to his children and especially his heroic actions on that day, saving my life.'
Kurt Cochran and his wife Melissa. She said: 'He was my best friend, my husband and my everything'
Kurt Cochran and his wife Melissa. She said: 'He was my best friend, my husband and my everything'
She described her husband as 'my inspiration, my rock star, and most of all my hero', adding: 'We wish everyone had Kurt's love and compassion for others.
'No words will bring Kurt back or anyone else who has died senselessly in such cowardly attacks on humanity.'
Ms Stoll told how Mr Cochran grew up in the Sixties and Seventies when he developed 'a profound love for all music' and played the guitar from a young age, wanting to be a rock star.
He never fulfilled his dream, but nurtured musical talent through his recording studio, she said, and the family held a concert instead of a traditional funeral following his death.
'We love you Kurt, more than the moon and stars,' Ms Stoll said tearfully.
Romanian tourists had hoped 2017 would be 'the best year of my life' 
A Romanian tourist killed in the Westminster attack had written that she hoped 2017 would be the best year of her life.
Andreea Cristea, 31, died from her injuries after she was thrown into the Thames as she walked across Westminster Bridge with her boyfriend, Andrei Burnaz, on March 22 last year.
Her family, some of whom followed proceedings from the British Embassy in Bucharest, paid tribute to Ms Cristea on what would have been her 33rd birthday in an audio recording played in court.
She was described as a 'lovely, enchanting and life-loving' woman, who had a thriving interior design business.
Architect Andreea Cristea, pictured in London before the horrific terror attack
Architect Andreea Cristea, pictured in London before the horrific terror attack
The statement from her family included a note from Ms Cristea, which was written on her final New Year's Eve in which she told of her hopes for the coming year.
'The year 2017 will be the best of my life,' she wrote.
She hoped she would be 'happy, cheerful and jovial', have a successful business and buy a new house, which she planned on decorating.
'I will have a wonderful man by my side, who will love and cherish me and with this man I will start a wonderful family,' the note said.
Her family said they had been 'hoping for a miracle' when she was in hospital following the attack and told of their 'heartbreakingly sad' loss when she died two weeks later.
'All her dreams were shattered when she went on her final trip to England, London, and she suddenly became the victim of the Westminster terror attacks,' their statement said.
'It is awful and heartbreakingly painful. The pain we felt and feel now cannot be expressed in words.'
 
Hero police officer joined the force 'to make a difference' before making the 'ultimate sacrifice' as he guarded the seat of British democracy
PC Palmer's sister said he 'was always brave and took his role as a police officer seriously'
PC Palmer's sister said he 'was always brave and took his role as a police officer seriously'
Popular family man Pc Keith Palmer has been hailed for making the 'ultimate sacrifice' during the Westminster terror attack.
Family, friends and colleagues of the 48-year-old uniformed officer paid tribute at the Old Bailey inquest into the victims' deaths.
PC Palmer was unarmed and wearing body armour when he was fatally stabbed by Khalid Masood in the forecourt of the Palace of Westminster on March 22 last year.
His sister Angela told of Pc Palmer's career from paperboy to police officer.
She said he joined the force because he wanted to 'make a difference'.
He would help his friends and families with household jobs like mowing grass or building walls and loved family gatherings, she said.
She said the best day of his life was when his daughter was born and he went on to become a 'proficient nappy changer' as he took to fatherhood.
Pc Palmer took up his job at the Palace of Westminster for a new experience and loved his new role.
His sister said: 'He was always brave and took his role as a police officer seriously. He treated everyone with respect.
'Keith died protecting strangers whilst doing his job and he will be remembered by many for his courage and bravery.'
PC Palmer's coffin is carried into Chapel of St Mary Undercroft at his funeral last year
PC Palmer's coffin is carried into Chapel of St Mary Undercroft at his funeral last year
She said the family was 'completely devastated' and would also remember him as a caring and loving father, husband, son, uncle and friend.
Pc Shaun Cartwright described him as a happy, honest and genuine family man who worked to provide for his wife and daughter.
As the 'face of British policing', he was also popular with tourists who flocked to the Palace of Westminster, Pc Nick Carlisle said.
Chief Inspector Neil Sawyer paid tribute to Pc Palmer's 'ultimate sacrifice'.
He said: 'His brave actions that day did not surprise me. Keith never backed away from a job protecting people.'
While many would remember him for his 'brave actions' and 'ultimate sacrifice', Mr Sawyer said: 'To me and others he was our dear friend.'
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick was also present as the inquests began toda

1 comment:

  1. More good white people murdered by a brown savage who shouldn't even have been in ?Britain. When is common sense on immigration coming back?

    ReplyDelete