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Westminster terror attack: 'How could Keith have been left alone?'

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PC Keith Palmer was one of five people killed in the Westminster attack in March 2017
Westminster terror attack: 'How could Keith have been left alone?'

The widow of the police officer killed during the Westminster attack says her husband was left "in a vulnerable location, with no protection, to die".It comes after the coroner said Keith Palmer's death on 22 March last year could "possibly" have been prevented if armed officers had been nearby."Shortcomings in the security system" meant they were unaware they should have been on guard near his position.All five victims of the terror attack were "unlawfully killed", he ruled.They were PC Palmer, 48, Kurt Cochran, 54, Leslie Rhodes, 75, Aysha Frade, 44, and Andreea Cristea, 31.
Their killer, Khalid Masood, was shot dead by police just inside the entrance to the Palace of Westminster. The inquest into his death will take place next.
What did the coroner sayHe said that on on 22 March 2017, Masood had driven a hired SUV at an average speed of 30 to 42mph with "clear murderous intent", killing four pedestrians and seriously injuring 29 others, before attacking PC Palmer.
Could Khalid Masood have been stopped?
The victims of the Westminster terror attack
'My wife didn't need to die'
The issues raised at the Westminster Attack inquests
The coroner highlighted the actions of one victim, Mr Cochran, whom he said had "pushed his wife away from the path of Masood's vehicle" - "an instinctive act" which "almost certainly had the effect" of saving her life.
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Melissa Cochran was saved by her husband in the Westminster attack
As part of the inquest, the coroner has also been examining security issues, including armed policing at Parliament, security on the bridge and what security service MI5 knew about Masood prior to his attack.He said PC Palmer had been "fulfilling his job to protect the Palace and those within it" and "did not shrink from" performing that duty.He was wearing a protective vest but was not armed, and the coroner said that had armed officers been stationed alongside him, they may have been able to prevent him suffering fatal injuries.
How have relatives reactedShe added: "What makes it even worse is that this lax security had been carrying on for years and it has taken what happened to Keith for things to change." The parents and sisters of PC Palmer, who would have turned 50 on Wednesday, said the inquest had been "traumatic" and "extremely difficult".They said the coroner should have gone further in his findings, accusing senior Met officers of closing ranks.
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John Frade: "No-one should have to go through this horrendous pain"
What's the police's responseHe said: "Even the possibility that the Met lost the chance to prevent the murder of such a brave and courageous officer is unacceptable. For the loss of that possibility… we are deeply sorry." Security arrangements had been "substantially changed" since that day, he added, and further changes would be made if recommended by the coroner.
The attack lasted 82 seconds.
14:40:08 - Masood's car mounts pavement on Westminster Bridge and hits pedestrians
14:40:18 - It hits another group of pedestrians and the impact sends Andreea Cristea over the side and into the river
14:40:38 - Masood crashes into perimeter fence of Palace of Westminster
14:40:59 - First 999 call made to Met police
14:41:30 - Masood leaves vehicle, stabbed PC Palmer, and is shot dead
Who were the victims?
Clockwise from top left: PC Keith Palmer, Aysha Frade, Leslie Rhodes, Andreea Cristea and Kurt Cochran all lost their lives
PC Keith Palmer had a young daughter. He was a member of the parliamentary and diplomatic protection squad who had served with the Met for 15 years.Aysha Frade had been walking across Westminster Bridge to pick up her two young daughters from school when she was killed. The British national worked as a PA at a nearby independent sixth-form.Leslie Rhodes a retired window cleaner from Clapham, south London, had been visiting St Thomas' Hospital when he was hit by the car driven by Masood.Kurt Cochran from the US state of Utah, was in London as part of a holiday celebrating 25 years of marriage to Melissa, who was seriously injured in the attack.Andreea Cristea was a Romanian tourist. She had been with her boyfriend, Andrei Burnaz, who had been planning to propose to her that day.
Westminster attack
London
Westminster attack inquest
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