Boyfriend of nurse Kirsty Boden London Bridge terror attack reveals plan to propose to her

Kirsty Boden (pictured), known as the Angel of London Bridge, died in the London Bridge terror attack in June 2017

Kirsty Boden (pictured), known as the Angel of London Bridge, died in the London Bridge terror attack in June 2017

The boyfriend of an Australian nurse who died in the London Bridge terror attack has revealed he was planning to propose to her before she was tragically stabbed to death.

Kirsty Boden, 26, known as the Angel of London Bridge, was stabbed by three terrorists while rushing to help the wounded during the attack in June 2017.

Two years on, James Hodder, 32, from Cheltenham, UK, has paid an emotional tribute, saying he is ‘still very much in love’ with the South Australian woman. 

‘There’s nothing I can do about it… I was planning to propose. I was trying to be a gentleman and was going to wait and ask her father but he lives in Australia,’ he said.

‘Kirsty died in the summer and we’d planned to visit them over Christmas so I never got round to it, I wanted to ask in person. She knew it was coming, we’d talked about the plans for what we wanted for our wedding day.

Two years on, James Hodder, 32, (right with Kirsty in 2014) from Cheltenham, UK, has paid an emotional tribute, saying he is 'still very much in love' with the South Australian woman

Two years on, James Hodder, 32, (right with Kirsty in 2014) from Cheltenham, UK, has paid an emotional tribute, saying he is ‘still very much in love’ with the South Australian woman

The couple met in 2013 when she moved to London to pursue her nursing career

The couple met in 2013 when she moved to London to pursue her nursing career

‘The sheer strength of her character, she was the most lovely, friendly, kind person, everyone she met remembered her, she just made that impression.

‘She believed in the kindness of people, a lot of people don’t trust each other or help each other but she always wanted to help people, she was there for you, she would get on a plane to be there for you, she was kindness personified.’

The couple met in 2013 when she moved to London to pursue her nursing career. 

During the inquest into Kirsty’s death last month, James claimed he was told he had been denied legal aid, leaving him fearing the hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of fees would leave him bankrupt – despite one of the perpetrator’s families allegedly receiving support.

He claims near the end of her inquest he discovered the cost of his barrister and solicitors – hired to cross-examine witnesses and charging hundreds of thousands of pounds – would not be paid for by the government.

‘I was in the Old Bailey when my lawyer told me I’d been rejected for legal aid, which completely shocked us both. It happened towards the end of the inquest which was a slap in the face,’ he said.

‘I would have been left bankrupt – it’s disgusting people have to go through this.’

The 26-year-old was stabbed by three terrorists while rushing to help the wounded

The 26-year-old was stabbed by three terrorists while rushing to help the wounded

James said he had planned on proposing to Kirsty before she was tragically killed in the attack

James said he had planned on proposing to Kirsty before she was tragically killed in the attack

James alleges he was told he wouldn’t be eligible for legal aid because the case wasn’t in the public interest, leaving him fearing bankruptcy. 

‘Then I found out that other victim’s families were going through the same which increased my horror. Families of victims of the Westminster attack and the Manchester Arena bombing will likely face the same decision,’ he said.

‘People don’t know this is an issue, and why should they? When they find out, they’re horrified, and people want to change it. It’s absolutely pathetic.

‘The amount it would cost the Ministry of Justice is minuscule compared with their budget.

‘I found out in the media the family of one of the perpetrators is getting legal aid which they are entitled to – everyone has a right to representation if they can’t afford it.

‘But it seems everyone gets legal aid apart from the victims and that is completely wrong, anyone with a moral compass knows that.’

Paying tribute to Kirsty, James said: 'She was the most lovely, friendly, kind person, everyone she met remembered her, she just made that impression' (pictured together in 2014)

 Paying tribute to Kirsty, James said: ‘She was the most lovely, friendly, kind person, everyone she met remembered her, she just made that impression’ (pictured together in 2014)

The couple met in 2013 when she moved to London to pursue her nursing career

The couple met in 2013 when she moved to London to pursue her nursing career

He said he launched his petition - which has since racked up 150,000 signatures - in the hope other families wouldn't have to suffer in the way he and Kirsty's family had

He said he launched his petition – which has since racked up 150,000 signatures – in the hope other families wouldn’t have to suffer in the way he and Kirsty’s family had

James’ barrister has now offered to carry out months of work for free, saving James and his family from bankruptcy.

He said he launched his petition – which has since racked up 150,000 signatures – in the hope other families wouldn’t have to suffer in the way he and Kirsty’s family had. 

He recently visited Parliament to meet MP Steven Lloyd who has promised to push the campaign forward.

James said: ‘The petition has reignited my faith in people, the faith that Kirsty had and that’s who I’m doing this for.

‘I know if she was here she’d be doing it herself. She’d be cheering me on and that’s why I can’t let this go.’

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: ‘Our recent legal aid review found representation for bereaved families is not necessary at the vast majority of inquests because the process is designed to establish the truth and learn lessons, rather than apportion blame in an adversarial way.

‘Legal aid funding for inquests is available through an exceptional case funding scheme, with around two-thirds of those applications approved, and we’re also making changes to ensure there is more support for bereaved families.’

For more information, visit James Hodder’s petition.

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