Service marks Soho nailbomb anniversary

An emotional service was being held today to mark the first anniversary of the Soho nailbomb attack, which claimed three lives at the Admiral Duncan pub.

Three newly-planted cherry trees in the gardens of St Anne's Church, just yards from the Admiral Duncan, were being dedicated to victims Andrea Dykes, John Light and Nik (correct) Moore.

Mrs Dykes, 27, was four months pregnant when she was killed alongside with John Light, 32, the best man at her wedding. Her husband Julian, 25, spent weeks in hospital recovering from horrific injuries.

Nik Moore, who was 31, had recently returned to London to work as an administrator after travelling the world when he died.

Their family and friends are to observe a sombre two minutes' silence at 6.37pm - the exact time the blast ripped through the popular gay pub on April 30, 1999.

Nik's brother, Martin Moore, is to read a speech which will call on people to be more tolerant of minorities.

An alternative memorial to be held in the Admiral Duncan itself will be attended by many of those injured in the explosion, including landlord Mark Taylor who suffered 75 per cent burns and had a nail embedded in his elbow after acting as a human shield in the blast.

The 32-year-old has since recovered and helped the pub to rise from the rubble.

"A lot of people want to be in the pub at the same time as when it happened, and while it will be sad, I think it needs to be done," he said.

"But the idea is that it is a celebration of their lives, a time to remember and think about them.

"The last two or three days have been very, very hard on all of us, but we have had a lot of flowers delivered, messages and roses.

"It has been a difficult year - I had a lot of skin grafts, the deafness is still very bad and a lot of us still have a ringing in our ears.

"Some positive things have come out of it - almost all our staff who were working with us then are still here and there has been a lot of support and we have all been counselling each other.

"We are getting there and we are pulling together."

The impact of the anniversary has been so great that it moved Mr Taylor's father Phil, 52, to write a special poem which may hang on the wall of the pub, which reopened on July 2 last year.

David Copeland, 23, admitted the manslaughter of three people in a London pub explosion at the Old Bailey in February.

Copeland, an engineer from Cove, near Farnborough, Hampshire, denied murder but admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

He has also admitted causing explosions in Brixton and Brick Lane last year and is expected to appear in court again in June.