Kirsty Boden bravely ran towards the terror attack in June 2017 to help other victims
The heroic final moments of a woman dubbed the Angel of London Bridge have been revealed today, including how she told friends: ‘I’m a nurse, I have to go and help’, before she was attacked by all three terrorists.
Kirsty Boden, 28, was excitedly talking about plans to be a bridesmaid at her friend’s wedding after getting the last table at Boro Bistro when French waiter Alexandre Pigeard, 26, was knifed amid the slaughter on June 3, 2017.
Desperate to help, she ran to his aid telling her friends to stay behind and was caught film bending over the stricken Frenchman on the ground when she was set upon by all three knifemen.
The Old Bailey heard how Khuram Butt, 27, appeared to make a stabbing motion before Rachid Redouane, 30, and Youssef Zaghba, 22, also moved in.
The tip of Butt’s 12-inch pink ceramic blade was later found embedded in her head. CCTV video showed her clearly injured as she fled the carnage before she collapsed.
Alexandre Colou said he thought she had tripped when he looked over his shoulder and saw Ms Boden on the floor before he noticed there was ‘blood everywhere’.
Nurse Kirsty Boden (pictured with her fiancé James Hodder), also known as the Angel of London Bridge, was stabbed as she went to the aid of another victim
Miss Boden is captured on a CCTV camera moving towards the injured during the attack
Miss Boden was also captured on an internal camera on the night of the London Bridge attack
He told the court he knelt down and looked into her eyes to check on her.
He said: ‘Her eyes were moving wildly. She had difficulties breathing. I was talking to her and then her eyes stopped moving. I said ‘stay awake, stay awake, stay with me’.’
Ms Boden had been dining in Boro Bistro with two friends, Harriet Mooney and Melanie Schroeder, when the attackers’ van crashed into railings above.
PC Charlie Guenigault (left) and PC Wayne Marques (right) arrive at the Old Bailey today
In a statement read to court, Ms Schroeder said: ‘Kirsty jumped up and said ‘I’m a nurse. I have to go and help. I need to see if they need help’.’ Kirsty headed off and I thought nothing of it.
‘The next thing I remember was hearing screaming and thinking to myself ‘calm the f*** down it’s just a crash’.’
At first Ms Schroeder wanted to wait for Ms Boden but then joined the ‘stampede’ as diners fled the restaurant.
She said: ‘As I was walking back to the Boro Bistro I saw Kirsty lying on the corner.
‘I recognised the person lying in the floor as Kirsty because of her bright pink cardigan. I screamed ‘Kirsty’ and ran down the alleyway.’
Ms Boden had suffered stab wounds and was alive but unable to speak, she said.
Ms Schroeder helped with first aid along with a GP Saira Khan who gave chest compressions before saying she was gone and there was nothing more they could do, the court heard.
PC Guenigault and PC Marques were among the heroes on the night of the terrorist attack
Rachid Redouane (pictured left), 30, was the terrorist who stabbed nurse Helen Kennett and killed waiter Alexandre Pigeard. One of his accomplices Youssef Zaghba, 22, is pictured right
Khuram Butt (left) was shot dead in the attack (the aftermath of which is pictured right)
Dr Khan and her friends had also fled the Boro Bistro as people knocked over chairs and tables in a desparate bid to get away.
She found Ms Boden on the ground with her friend saying: ‘Kirsty, what had they done to you?’
Describing the nurse’s condition, she said: ‘She was still. There was no movement. She looked like her eyes were open just staring.’
Emergency services were called and the doctor went to get a first aid kit from a police car before she concluded Ms Boden was dead.
Dr Khan said she agreed to carry on CPR after the victim’s friend begged her to continue.
But at 10.23pm, she pronounced Ms Boden dead and went on to help another victim with a stab wound to the neck.
The terrorists tied 12-inch knives to their wrists with tape before they launched their attack
A map of the London Bridge area shows where each of the victims were injured in June 2017
The battered Renault van used by terrorists during the attack on London Bridge in 2017
She told the court the situation had been ‘difficult to overcome without any equipment’.
Gareth Patterson QC, for Ms Boden’s family, said the nurse had got up from her table within seconds of the crash, thinking of others rather than her own safety.
The senior staff nurse at Guy’s Hospital was ‘right there in the thick of it’ when she tried to help Mr Pigeard.
Mr Patterson said the tip of Butt’s knife was found embedded in Ms Boden’s head, most likely from the blow caught on CCTV.
Ms Boden was one of eight people killed when three terrorists mowed down pedestrians on London Bridge and ran amok around Borough Market.
Xavier Thomas, 45, Christine Archibald, 30, Mr Pigeard, 26, Sara Zelenak, 21, Ms Boden, 28, Sebastien Belanger, 36, James McMullan, 32, and Ignacio Echeverria, 39 all died in the atrocity.
Their attackers were shot dead near Borough Market in less than ten minutes.
Survivor begged for her life as London Bridge terrorist tried to ‘cut her head off’
A survivor of the London Bridge attack has told how she begged for her life, fearing the terrorists were trying to cut off her head.
Marie Bondeville had been dining with her boyfriend Oliver Dowling at Lobos Meat and Tapas restaurant on the evening of June 3 2017.
As they left, they saw three shadowy men coming at them, with one ‘walking like a boxer going into a fight’ with closed fists and hunched shoulders.
The two hero officers who suffered horrific injuries in attack
Two policemen who tackled knife-wielding jihadists during the London Bridge terror attack were awarded the George Medal by the Queen for their bravery.
PCs Charlie Guenigault and Wayne Marques suffered horrific injuries when they confronted the three terrorists wearing fake suicide vests in June 2017.
Off-duty officer PC Guenigault was out with friends in the London Bridge area when the terrorists smashed their van into a nearby restaurant.
PCs Charlie Guenigault (left) and Wayne Marques (right) arrive at the Old Bailey
Instead of fleeing from the attack at about 10pm, he ran towards the attackers to protect others as they lashed out with 12in kitchen knives.
He received stab wounds to his head, leg, back and stomach, and had to undergo a three-hour operation to remove his spleen.
PC Marques was armed only with a baton when he confronted the attackers, who stabbed him repeatedly near London Bridge.
The British Transport Police officer was temporarily blinded when he was wounded above his right eye and also suffered significant injuries to his head.
Despite his wounds, he continued to fight – even with a knife sticking out of his leg. The officer later said he was ‘overwhelmed’ by messages of support.
He told how well-wishers he had never met had sent ‘genuine, heartfelt, caring messages’ following news of his bravery becoming public.
In a statement read out at the Old Bailey, she said: ‘I felt a punch to the right side of my face. I instantly covered my face and heard Oliver shout something like ‘oi what the f***’ and fall to the floor.
‘It was at this moment I saw blood on my hands and thought maybe he had broken my noise. Oliver seemed to fall instantly without any kind of struggle.
‘He fell in stages, firstly down to his knees and then his upper body down to the floor.’
Ms Bondeville said she also fell to the floor in ‘overwhelming pain’ with the taste of blood in her mouth.
‘I tried desperately to reach Oliver and touch him. He was lying in the road about two metres away from me.
‘I was in a foetal position trying to cover my face in my hands.
‘I was devastated that Oliver might have died and I was unable to reach him. I kept looking at Oliver. I thought he was dead. I was begging for them to stop and calling for help saying ‘please please’.
‘The punches just came again and again and again.’
The witness said she kept wondering why they were spending so much time on her and at one point thought she was being attacked by two people at once.
She went on: ‘I just knew the more I begged the more they attacked me because I was still alive. I recall thinking they were trying to cut my head off.’
Following a huge blow as if from a ‘hammer or axe’, she disconnected from the pain and ‘played dead’, the inquest heard.
She said the worst part of the attack was not the pain, but the thought that her boyfriend had died trying to protect her and she could not reach him.
Ms Bondeville described her attacker as looking like a ‘junkie’ with ’empty’ eyes.
She was taken to hospital with 18 stab wounds and put into an induced coma, the court heard.
Mr Dowling was also badly injured with wounds to his cheek, shoulder and chest, but survived the onslaught.
He said in his statement that he felt as if he had been punched and heard his girlfriend say: ‘What are you doing, leave him alone.’
He said: ‘I immediately tried to hit the person that was over her. It looked like he was punching her or what I thought was punches.’
Mr Dowling said he tried to get help from people standing nearby, but no-one came.
He recalled an ‘undercover’ police officer arriving before he knelt down by Ms Bondeville.
He said: ‘I thought she was dead. I only realised she was not when the paramedics started working on her.’
Who were the victims of the London Bridge terror attack?
(Top, from left) Christine Archibald, James McMullan, Alexandre Pigeard, Sebastien Belanger, (bottom, from left) Kirsty Boden, Sara Zelenak, Xavier Thomas and Ignacio Echeverria
Spaniard Ignacio Echeverria was stabbed to death as he tried to fight off the terrorist attackers with his skateboard.
The 39-year-old had been in the UK for over a year was working as a financial crime analyst at HSBC.
Mr Echeverria joined unarmed police constables Wayne Marques and Charlie Guenigault in fighting off the three attackers as they set upon Marie Bondeville, hitting at least one terrorist with his skateboard.
‘His courageous efforts were to seek to stop the attack,’ Chief Coroner Mark Lucraft said.
Mr Echeverria was the youngest of five siblings and was a Catholic who went to mass every week. He could speak English, German and French fluently.
Nurse Kirsty Boden was fatally stabbed as she tried to tend to the wounded and the dying.
Miss Boden, 28, moved to London in 2013 from the small town of Loxton, in South Australia.
She was a senior staff nurse at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital and lived with her British boyfriend James Hodder in a flat in Hampstead.
Mr Hodder said: ‘She loved people and loved her life helping others. To Kirsty, her actions that night would have been an extension of how she lived her life.’
Alexandre Pigeard was working as a waiter at Boro Bistro when he was attacked.
The 26-year-old Frenchman had moved to London to further his ambitions as a dance music DJ.
Minutes before he was fatally stabbed, he video-called his father Philippe during a break from work at the French restaurant.
Mr Pigeard had planned to return to France in the autumn of 2017 to help open a restaurant in Nantes and to record an EP with his musician father.
Mr Pigeard senior told the inquest: ‘I’m present here as a devastated father who has lost a child in such circumstances – an inconsolable father.’
James McMullan was stabbed in the chest near the Barrowboy and Banker pub while he was celebrating getting financial backing for his online education company.
The British-Filipino entrepreneur was watching the Champions League final with friends in the pub.
The 32-year-old, from Hackney in East London, was attacked when he stepped outside to have a cigarette.
He had dreamed of helping children without access to education through his e-learning company.
Mr McMullan’s father Simon described his son as ‘funny, charming and clever’ and said ‘his fearlessness could never be underestimated’.
The mother of chef Sebastien Belanger said she does not forgive the terrorists who ‘mutilated and killed him’.
Her 36-year-old son was drinking at the Boro Bistro when he was stabbed repeatedly in the chest.
His mother Josiane Belanger said: ‘We miss him so much, his smile, his joie de vivre. I do not forgive what they did to him.’
Originally from Angers in western France, Mr Belanger started work at the Coq d’Argent in the City and was promoted to the role of head chef.
Australian au pair Sara Zelenak was on the ‘trip of a lifetime’ when she was stabbed to death while on a night out with a friend.
Miss Zelenak’s mother Julie Wallace said ‘every sliding door’ put her daughter in ‘harm’s way’.
‘She was meant to be working and at the last minute she got the night off,’ Mrs Wallace said.
‘At 10pm Sara’s phone rang and her friend said ‘I’ve finished at the rugby’ and so she left her safe haven and walked out into a terrorist attack and was stabbed to death.’
Before leaving for UK in March 2017, Miss Zelenak worked with her stepfather Mark as a crane truck operator in Brisbane to save up for her trip.
Her parents have since set up Sarz Sanctuary to help other families to cope with grief.
Xavier Thomas was walking over London Bridge with his girlfriend Christine Delcros when they were hit by the van.
The 45-year-old father-of-two was catapulted into the Thames and his girlfriend suffered life-changing injuries. His body was recovered downstream three days later.
Mr Thomas, who had arrived in London on the day of the attack, lived near Paris and worked for American Express.
Miss Delcros said: ‘Since Xavier disappeared in such tragic and traumatic circumstances our whole world has fallen apart.’
Canadian tourist Christine Archibald told her fiance Tyler Ferguson she loved him seconds before she was mowed down.
Miss Archibald and Mr Ferguson were walking across London Bridge after dinning at a nearby restaurant when the atrocity unfolded.
Her fiancé said: ‘At one point Chrissy stopped me out of nowhere, grabbed me close and gave me a passionate kiss after telling me she loved me.
‘I remember it being a warm summer’s evening and the sun had just gone down.. And then the attack took place and Chrissy was killed.
‘No words can express how I felt when this happened. I was absolutely devastated and inconsolable. Nothing has ever been the same since.’
Miss Archibald’s engagement ring was lost during the attack, but later recovered from the bridge. Mr Ferguson now wears it on a chain around his neck.