NEWS
12/09/2018 14:54 BST | Updated 12/09/2018 14:59 BST

Westminster Terror Attack Inquest: Mum-Of-Two Aysha Frade Was Looking At Her Phone As Car Sped Towards Her

Aysha Frade was killed instantly.

Westminster attack victim Aysha Frade was looking at her phone and was “completely unaware” that terrorist Khalid Masood was about to mow her down in an SUV, an inquest into her death heard.

The 44-year-old had her back to the Hyundai Tucson when she was hit and thrown in a somersault around 17.4 metres, landing in a bus lane on Westminster Bridge on March 22 last year.

Her head and shoulders went under the side of a slow-moving number 53 bus and the mother-of-two was killed instantly when its back wheel passed over her.

The inquest heard she had no idea what was about to happen, even though Masood had already hit five people, killing two of them.

On Wednesday, detective Constable Simon Osland took the Old Bailey through a video compilation of CCTV clips of Frade’s final moments.

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Floral tributes left on Westminster Bridge in March

Gareth Patterson QC, representing Frade’s family, asked him: “Having been focused on her phone it’s clear, isn’t it, that at no stage do you see Aysha turning round or doing anything else, any movement to suggest that she heard the car or was aware of what was going to happen?”

Osland replied: “She seemed completely unaware.”

Masood was driving an average of 31mph when he deliberately knocked down Frade; Kurt Cochran, 54; Leslie Rhodes, 75 and Andreea Cristea, 31, on Westminster Bridge before stabbing PC Keith Palmer to death at the gates to the Palace of Westminster.

Frade had been walking from work to pick up her children when she was struck.

Members of her family sat in Court One of the Old Bailey looking down at the ground as graphic and distressing footage of the tragedy was shown.

Mr Patterson said there was hair on Masood’s car, suggesting she hit her head on the windscreen.

She was then thrown into the road, with the number 53 bus braking, coming to a halt in five seconds.

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Westminster attacker Khalid Masood

Patterson said a pathologist had concluded her death would have been “instantaneous and would have been without suffering”.

The lawyer for the family added that graphic photos and videos had been posted on the internet of Frade’s body by passers-by, causing “real distress to the family”.

He said: “Despite efforts to have them taken down because of the distress caused, to this day there are images on the internet.”

Bus passenger Rob English picked up Frade’s phone from the road, and answered a call from her husband John.

English told him there had been a terrible accident and advised him to get to the bridge.

Rob Lyon banged on the side of the bus in an attempt to stop it, moments before Frade was crushed under its wheels.

Masood’s car had missed him by inches, while his colleague was forced to climb the balustrade to escape his path.

Lyon had been returning to his hotel from Millbank when a colleague shouted: “Get out of the way.”

He said: “There was a crunch sound, the curbing of a wheel, of a car high-revving.

“I then saw, I believe, three people being hit by a car. I could tell it was a 4×4. I heard lots of noises, bangs and shouts.”

Lyon said Frade was about 10 metres away when she was run over in a “split second”.

He went on: “Initially I was frozen. I just remember trying to slow the bus down because I could see it was going to run over Aysha. I was just completely in shock.”

He added he was so close to the incident that he heard the sound of the bus running over Frade and the effect on her body.

He estimated the Hyundai was travelling at about 40mph when it ploughed into the pedestrians.