Man stabbed at London Bridge recalls ‘murderous rage’ of knife attackers

A journalist who was stabbed in the London Bridge terror attack has recalled the “murderous rage” of three knife-wielding men who he tried to talk down during the bloody rampage.

Business and financial journalist Geoffrey Ho told an inquest at the Old Bailey that he saw three men approaching the Black and Blue restaurant in a “slow, deliberate and predatory movement” like “they were stalking someone”.

Eight people were killed and 48 injured when Khuram Butt, 27, Rachid Redouane, 30, and Youssef Zaghba, 22, launched a van and knife attack in central London on June 3 2017.

Khuram Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba
Khuram Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba (Metropolitan Police/PA)

Mr Ho said the men were shouting and screaming and a waitress had bolted the door of the restaurant.

He said a man wearing an Arsenal shirt seemed to be leading the group, and there was also one with messy hair and another with a beard. They were carrying knives and Mr Ho says he was convinced they were wearing suicide vests.

He told the court: “As soon as they approached the door I could see a series of metal vests attached to each of them to some fabric.”

He said they had a series of wires and he thought they were IEDs (improvised explosive devices) or suicide vests.

The victims of the London Bridge attack
The victims of the London Bridge attack: Christine Archibald, James McMullan, Alexandre Pigeard, Sebastien Belanger, Kirsty Boden, Sara Zelenak, Xavier Thomas and Ignacio Echeverria (Metropolitan Police/PA)

The court heard the attackers kicked the door off its hinges and walked into the restaurant, and Mr Ho said he tried to engage with them to get them to stop.

He said the men “moved as a pack” and the man in the Arsenal shirt screamed: “Everyone lie down on the f****** floor.”

He noted that one of the three men moved off and the man in the Arsenal shirt again “spat” out his order to lie down.

Mr Ho told the hearing he said: “No, you do not have to do this,” and he thought about intervening.

He told the court: “(I thought) if I rush him he might detonate and kill us all. Hopefully if I talk to him we might be able to get away.”

Mr Ho recalled thinking he could not protect himself if he laid down on the floor.

He looked at the attacker and saw “he just wanted to kill people and there was rage, just murderous rage”, he told the inquest.

Mr Ho recalled being lunged at with a knife and trying to defend himself.

One of the knives used by the terrorists
One of the knives used by the terrorists (Metropolitan Police/PA)

He said: “He hit my neck first. Then he hit it again. I remember the blood. Then he came after me again and stabbed me in the stomach.”

He remembered being on the floor and there was further contact to the side of his head.

After the attack Mr Ho and another man, Gavin Joseph, went into a staff room, locked the door and called the police.

CCTV footage later showed that the time taken from the attackers battering the door down until they lashed out was less than a minute.

Mr Ho told the court: “Yes, but it seemed longer.”

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