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London attack: the victims, the vigil, the aftermath

A message to the world: thousands attended today's vigil in Trafalgar Square. Picture: Reuters

Twenty-four hours after the attack near parliament, London honours the victims – and shows terrorists why they will not win

London attack: the victims, the vigil, the aftermath

THE MOTHER

Aysha Frade, 43, a mother of two who taught at a secondary school, had left work and was walking over the bridge to pick up her daughters from school when she was killed.

Frade, a British national, had lived in Britain for many years and had close family in the Spanish town of Betanzos, in Galicia. Her sisters Sylvia and Michelle flew to London to be with her husband and children.

London neighbours and colleagues described her as a wonderful mother and a lovely person.

Rachel Borland, principal of DLD college, where Frade worked said she was highly regarded and loved.

Patricia Scotland, one of Frade’s former neighbours in Notting Hill, said: “She was just such a lovely person, with two lovely, lovely girls.”

THE MUSICIAN

Kurt Cochran was walking across Westminster Bridge with his wife, Melissa, on the last day of a 25th wedding anniversary trip to Europe when the car struck him.

The 54-year-old musician from West Bountiful, Utah, is believed to have fallen from the bridge on to the concrete steps beneath. He died from his injuries.

His wife was thrown to the ground by the impact. Melissa Payne Cochran, 46, remains in hospital, suffering a broken leg, rib and head wounds. The couple’s family said they were the first to be hit when the car accelerated across the bridge towards Parliament Square, mounting the pavement and ploughing into crowds of tourists and Londoners going about their daily life.

Cochran and his wife had travelled to Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland and Scotland, posting pictures for their friends back home. London was their last stop and they were visiting Melissa’s parents, who are Mormon missionaries. They had been due to fly home today.

Cochran and his wife were well known in their home town. Ten years ago he fulfilled a dream by setting up a state-of-the-art recording studio in his house, known as the Onion Street studio.

THE POLICE OFFICER

Keith Palmer, 48, was a former artillery officer in the British army who joined the police when he left the forces. He was an unarmed officer, well known at the gates of parliament.

Palmer’s family said: “Keith will be remembered as a wonderful dad and husband. A loving son, brother and uncle. A long-time supporter of Charlton FC.

“Dedicated to his job and proud to be a police officer, brave and courageous. A friend to everyone who knew him. He will be deeply missed. We love him so much. His friends and family are shocked and devastated by his loss and ask that they are left to grieve alone in peace.”

As a mark of respect, Palmer’s shoulder number – 4157U – will be retired and not issued to any other officer.

THE INJURED

A Romanian tourist in London to celebrate her boyfriend’s birthday was pulled from the river by a passenger boat after falling into the Thames during the attack.

Andrea Cristea, a 29-year-old architect, was knocked into the Thames as the attacker drove towards Parliament Square. She was plucked to safety when the crew on a passing boat saw her floating downstream. She was picked up by a rescue boat and treated by paramedics.

Cristea sustained serious head injuries and has badly damaged lungs.

Victims of the attack came from 11 different countries. They included four tourists from South Korea, a Greek couple, a German, a Pole, an Irish citizen and an Italian.

Twelve Britons were also injured.

The Greek embassy said a Greek couple sustained minor injuries and made their own way to hospital for treatment.

The Italian ambassador said an Italian tourist injured when she was hit by the car was recovering from her injuries.

Three police officers were injured as they walked from a commendation ceremony. Two were seriously hurt, one with head injuries.

Kings College hospital said doctors were still treating eight patients today. Two were in a critical condition and six were stable.

THE ATTACKER

Khalid Masood, 52, was born in Kent, southeast England, lived in the English Midlands, and had previously been convicted of violent offences but had never been charged with terror offences.

Masood, who was shot dead as he attacked police in the shadow of Big Ben, was known to MI5 but was considered to be a peripheral figure and had fallen from the intelligence picture.

Police said Masood had convictions for grievous bodily harm and assault. His first conviction was in November 1983 for criminal damage and his last was in December 2003 for possession of a knife.

Police and security services monitor about 3000 Britons who they regard as potentially capable of domestic terrorism. Of these, about 500 are the subject of active investigations and only a limited number become the targets of physical surveillance. The attacker was regarded as posing so little threat that he did not even make the list of 3000.

Police believe he acted alone.

THE QUEEN

The Metropolitan police force’s new headquarters were due to be formally opened by the Queen today but the ceremony was cancelled. The Queen said she and Prince Philip had not been able to open the building for “very understandable reasons”.

“My thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathy are with all those who have been affected by yesterday’s awful violence. I know I speak for everyone in expressing my enduring thanks and admiration for the members of the Metropolitan police service and all who work so selflessly to help and protect others.”

THE VIGIL

Thousands of people went to Trafalgar Square today for a candlelight vigil to honour the victims.

London mayor Sadiq Khan praised the bravery of the emergency services: “When Londoners face adversity, we always pull together. We stand up for our values and we show the world we are the greatest city in the world.”

Home Secretary (internal affairs minister) Amber Rudd, paid tribute to “courageous and brave” officer Palmer.

To applause from the crowd, she said: “They will not win, we are all connected and we showed that today by coming together, by going to work, by getting about our normal business, because the terrorists will not defeat us, we will defeat them. We are strong in our values and proud of our country.”

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