The Daily Telegraph

Neighbours played Queen at 75-year-old’s bedside as life-support switched off

- By Henry Bodkin and Harry Yorke

‘The doctors wanted us to come. They were waiting for us so someone was there with him’

NEIGHBOURS of a retired window cleaner mown down on Westminste­r Bridge kept a bedside vigil and played Queen songs as doctors turned off his life-support machine.

Leslie Rhodes, 75, was described as a “lovely man” after being identified as the fourth person to be killed in the terror attack.

Friends said that cricket-loving Mr Rhodes, from Clapham, south London, “would do anything for anybody”.

His sister-in-law described his killer as “scum and pure evil”, as she recounted how she could not get the picture of Mr Rhodes lying in hospital “out of my head”.

“He was lying there, everything was broken. Lung punctured, broken ribs, it was just terrible,” she said outside the home in Seaford, East Sussex she used to share with her husband Roy Rhodes, who died two years ago.

Mr Rhodes is thought to have been visiting St Thomas’ Hospital, across the river from the Houses of Parliament, to get treatment for glaucoma when he was mown down by Adrian Ajao’s car.

His head was smashed on to the pavement after he was flung into the air. He died at King’s College Hospital on Thursday night.

Mrs Rhodes added that she had got the news on Wednesday, at around 6pm, as she sat watching events unfold on television. She said Leslie, whom she had known since he was a schoolboy, had been hit on what would have been her 60th wedding anniversar­y.

“He was a lovely man Les. He was just out for the day. He’s retired now, lives in Clapham, so it was just pure coincidenc­e that he was there,” she added. “These people are pure scum, evil. I just can’t get the picture of Leslie out of my head.”

She added that police were holding his body as part of ongoing investigat­ions, and that the family were in “limbo”, not knowing when they would be able to organise the funeral.

Yesterday his next-door neighbours and friends of 30 years, Michael and Chris Carney, told how they cried and played his favourite song as Mr Rhodes slipped away. When he had died, their daughter Emma tickled his feet to check he had actually gone.

Mrs Carney said: “The police advised us not to go down to the hospital. But when I rang, the doctors wanted us to come down, they were waiting for us so someone was there with him.

“We were trying to talk to him but we kept crying all the time while we were by his bed. The doctors got us to take his favourite music, which was Queen. We played These Are the Days of Our Lives which was his favourite song.

Mrs Carney, 70 added: “He was a very good friend, he was always there for us.”

Mr Carney said he first met Les in The Sun pub, Clapham, in the 1960s. He added: “If he cleaned your windows he would do it for nothing or very cheaply, that’s just the kind of person he was. When you know someone like that you can’t just let them die on their own, we had to be there for him.

“He was so fit, he would have lived until he was 90, but they took his life away, that’s why we’re so angry. It’s just awful.”

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