'Huge comfort' for family that Paris terror attack Briton 'was loved' as he died

Updated: 

The family of the Briton who died in his ex-girlfriend's arms in the Paris terror attacks have been comforted by knowing he was loved in his final moments, they revealed ahead of the atrocity's first anniversary.

Nick Alexander, 35, was among 89 people murdered by Islamic State fanatics in the Bataclan theatre in the French capital.

His mother, Sheelagh, and sister, Zoe, spoke to BBC Essex in their first interview since the attacks on November 13 last year.

Mr Alexander, from Colchester, Essex, was selling merchandise for the US rock band Eagles Of Death Metal when gunmen stormed the building.

He died, having been shot in the stomach and chest, in the arms of former partner Helen Wilson, who told his inquest he was the "love of my life".

His mother said it is a "huge comfort" to know that he was being cared for.

She said: "He had a very good friend with him when it actually happened so we have been able to know exactly what happened rather than having that unknown feeling of 'I wonder how we was? I wonder if he was afraid?'.

"We actually know exactly what happened and, particularly for Zoe and I, that's been a huge comfort to know that he was loved from the minute he arrived on this planet and from when he left and that is a good feeling."

The pair, speaking on Sadie Nine's Breakfast Show, said they have not dwelt on the attackers and have instead remembered Mr Alexander's life.

His mother said: "What we've tried to do is focus on the who he was and what he would have wanted us to do, rather than focus on that night because that night isn't who he was, it was something that happened, and we have to move forward from that and we chose to move forward from that.

"We've had to face it but we have faced it privately, together, and what we want to do is just celebrate who Nick was.

"We're also filled with gratitude because we had Nick for 35 years and he was lovely to be with and we do feel totally grateful at this point to have had him.

"It was a very short life ... but it was twice as full as other people's lives. He lived life to the full and we're very glad to have had him around.2

Mr Alexander, who was living in London at the time, was one of 130 people killed by Islamic State terrorists who carried out six co-ordinated attacks, targeting bars, restaurants and the national stadium, the Stade de France.

Three men armed with automatic weapons, pistols and grenades attacked the Bataclan theatre. Two died after detonating suicide vests and the third was shot by police.

The trio were Frenchmen Omar Ismail Mostefai, 29, Samy Amimour, 28, and Foued Mohamed-Aggad, 23.

Mr Alexander's family will commemorate his death with a charity concert titled A Peaceful Noise at the Shepherd's Bush Empire in west London on November 15.

Supergrass's Gaz Coombes, Travis frontman Fran Healy and Maximo Park are among the performers.