7/7 bomb victim’s sister describes last day of hearing

The sister of a victim of the 7/7 London bombings has described her emotions after the last day of the hearing into the terror attacks.

Rachel Mayes, an art teacher at Moss Bury Primary School in Stevenage, spoke about the last day of the hearing into the attacks in 2005 which killed her brother James along with 51 other innocent victims. The 28-year-old Healthcare Commission analyst died instantly when a suicide bomber set off an explosion on the Piccadilly Line near Kings Cross.

The 37-year-old sat with her family and those of the other victims of the bombings at the Royal Courts of Justice on Friday to hear the coroner’s findings from the five month enquiry into the coordinated attacks on three tube trains and a double-decker bus.

During the the hearing, which involved harrowing evidence, the coroner Lady Justice Hallett, paid tribute to the “quiet dignity” of the families, and thanked them for giving evidence to the inquest.

Ms Hayes said she was thankful that her family had not had to hear the traumatic evidence other families had gone through.

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“It may sound bizarre, but I was glad that my brother had been killed outright and we did not have to go through what they went through today. We didn’t have to deal with that. We just had to deal with the grief that he is dead.”

The conclusion of the inquiry had given her and her family some closure, she added.

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“That part of it is over. It finished on Friday. We got the answer to his death – unlawful killing and the family death certificate. We can now go through the process in a more private way.

“There are other families out there who want to perpetuate the process because of their circumstances. Some have issues about emergency response times. But it wouldn’t have mattered for us.

“It was never going to please everybody. People always think there’s more to be found out.

“The person responsible for my brother’s death was the person who set off the bomb. I’ve never hated him. Rage and anger are pointless. There’s nothing that’s going to bring him back. Other people are looking for someone to blame.”

The art teacher who was teaching at Moss Bury School at the time of the attacks, said the school had been very supportive of her during the immediate aftermath and since.

“Everyone here has been really good. I’ve been really, really lucky with friends and family.

She added: “People say time heals. But I think time makes you accept. There’s nothing I can change what’s happened to my brother.

“Every time I’ve turned the news on there’s been something about it. For me it’s a flashback. Going into court it took you back to the uncertainty, the unknowing. I don’t want to live my life doing that. I want to remember my brother for the positive things.

“Me and my brother were immensely close. I have really good memories. I want to remember the positive things about him rather than that he was caught up in these horrendous attacks.”

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