06/04/2017 08:46 BST

London Attack Victim Melissa Cochran Speaks About Her Husband's Killer In Dignified Interview

'I don’t feel any ill will towards him.'

The injured wife of a man killed in the Westminster terror attack has said she does not hate the assailant, and even pities him.

Melissa Cochran had been visiting London from Utah with the “love of my life” Kurt, 54, to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary when they were caught in the carnage on Westminster Bridge. 

But despite the murderous rampage unleashed by Muslim convert Khalid Masood on March 22, that resulted in four deaths, Cochran said she felt sorry for the 52-year-old, the Press Association reports.

Handout . / Reuters
Kurt Cochran and his wife Melissa, who were in Europe to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary

In a tearful but dignified interview, she told the BBC: “I don’t feel any ill will towards him. I don’t know what he was feeling or thinking or anything that had been going on in his life so I can’t relate.

“I just know that unfortunately he didn’t have the qualities and the beautiful heart that my husband had so I actually kind of feel a little sorry for him and no hate.”

She was widely praised for her courage and strength, including by Brendan Cox, whose MP wife Jo was murdered last year a week before the EU Referendum. 

The interview came after she appeared in a wheelchair among 1,800 people, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, at a service in Westminster Abbey on Wednesday.

She was also pictured smiling defiantly from her hospital bed the preceding week, surrounded by her friends and family.

Cochran surrounded by friends and family in her hospital bed

Kent-born Masood drove a rental car into pedestrians before fatally stabbing PC Keith Palmer, 48, in the Palace of Westminster’s forecourt in a rampage that lasted 82 seconds. 

Cochran, who suffered a broken leg and rib and a cut to her head, also spoke of her love for her husband.

“Kurt was probably the best man I have ever met, he was sweet and kind and I’m extremely proud of him and I am very happy that the world now knows what a wonderful man he was,” she said.

Cochran told how she learned of her husband’s death when she asked her parents to find out his condition as she lay in a hospital bed recovering from surgery to her leg.

AP/PA Images
Cochran arrives at the Service of Hope at Westminster Abbey

“My parents walked out of the room and came back in and both grabbed my hand and said that he didn’t make it, which crushed me,” she said.

“But fortunately I have a wonderful family and I’m able to take their strength and recover.”

Retired window cleaner Leslie Rhodes, 75, and Aysha Frade, 44, also died in the attack.

Masood, who had a history of violent crime, was shot dead by armed police after stabbing Palmer.