Nurse’s final words before brutal murder
AN Australian nurse was stabbed by three terrorists when she rushed to the aid of injured strangers after telling her friends: "I'm a nurse. I have to go and help."
Chilling footage has been shown to an inquest into the London Bridge attack of South Australian Kirsty Boden being attacked by the terrorists before she stumbled into an laneway and died.
The 28-year-old was at the Boro Boro Bistro at Borough Market on June 3, 2017, with two friends when a van mowed down pedestrians on the bridge before its driver deliberately crashed just outside the restaurant.
CCTV footage showed the friends sitting at a table before Ms Boden looks up suddenly and gestures for her two friends to stay where they were.
"I'm a nurse, I have to help, I need to see if they need help," she told her friends.
Ms Boden could be seen in the grainy footage tending to someone who had been hit by debris caused by the crash. For ten seconds, she can be seen checking over the injured before the stabbing rampage began.
She is then seen to help waiter Alexandre Pigeard, 26, who had been stabbed during the attack. It was the a man believed can be seen making "stabbing motions" at her as she was bent over Mr Pigeard, Detective Constable Alasdair Hutchison told the inquest at London's Old Bailey.
That attacker was Khuram Butt, 27 - but the inquest heard after he inflicted a wound on Ms Boden, two others, Rachid Redouane, 30, and Yousesef Zaghba, 22, also stabbed her.
Butt was seen "clearly swinging" at Ms Boden in the footage. An autopsy later found the tip of his knife was embedded in her head at the top of her left ear.
The court heard Ms Boden at least twice risked her own safety to care for others - when the crash happened and then as the attack began.
A previous witness has given evidence a woman, possibly Ms Boden, was being stabbed while she lay on her back on the ground. The detective said today it was not clear if Ms Boden was ever stabbed while she was lying on the ground.
Ms Boden staggered into a nearby laneway and collapsed soon after the attack, which would only have lasted a few seconds.
Her movements were different and clearly showed she was injured as she ran away, Mr Hutchison said.
Gareth Patterson QC, the lawyer for her family, said Ms Boden - who was dubbed the 'Angel of London Bridge' - got up within seconds of the crash and was thinking of others rather than her own safety.
A "stampede" of people were seen on CCTV scrambling through doors and windows of the Boro Boro Bistro as they tried desperately to get away from the attackers - who were stabbing anyone they could.
Chief Coroner Mark Lucraft said the "pretty stark" footage showed the "sheer panic" of those fleeing.
Eight people, including Ms Boden and another Australian, Sara Zelenak, 21, were killed in the attack.
The other victims were Christine Archibald, 30, Xavier Thomas, 45, Alexandre Pigeard, 26, Sebastian Belanger, 36, James McMullan, 32, and Ignacio Echeverria, 39.
The three attackers were gunned down by police 10 minutes after the attack began.
Among those listening in court were Ms Boden's father, Ken, and British fiance James Hodder while other friends and family watched in Australia via video link.
Friend Melanie Schroeder's statement was read to the Old Bailey, and described the haunting moment she found Ms Boden during the mayhem after the attack.
She and their other friend, Harriet Mooney, saw her lying in the alleyway, clearly identifiable by her bright pink cardigan.
Ms Schroeder screamed "Kirsty!" and ran to check her for injuries. She a severe stab wound to her arm - and it was at this point her friend realised it was no accident.
Ms Boden was crying and gasping, but could not speak.
"I was saying no, no Kirsty, and asking where she was hurt," said Ms Schroeder's witness statement, which was read by a lawyer.
"I know some of (my) breaths were good because I could see her chest rising, but her breath was all wheezy when it came out," Ms Schroeder's statement said. "It was awful, her mouth was frothing.
"I remember the GP looking into Kirsty's eyes and saying they were completely dilated and she was gone."
Off-duty doctor Saira Khan said she could see Ms Boden had died.
"I could see that her pupils were now fixed and dilated, she had a blocked airway," Dr Khan said.
"She wasn't making any breath effort, so I formed the judgement she was dead."
Dr Khan pronounced her dead at 10.23pm.
The GP told the court that despite calls for paramedics to assist none arrived.
The inquest continues.