A survivor of the London Bridge attack has told the inquest about his “personal mission” to get help after coming “face-to-face” with one of the terrorists.
Richard Livett was out watching football with his brother-in-law when he was caught up in the attacks on 3 June 2017.
Mr Livett told the inquest how he first thought he was watching a road accident when he jumped out of the path of the attackers’ van.
In a “split second” an attacker that he identified as Khuram Butt was “nose-to-nose” with him, and in his face shouting “Allahu Akbar”, the Old Bailey was told.
Mr Livett said: “I thought it was an accident, something happened to the driver. I did not know it was a terrorist attack. My recollection is, I even moved towards the van.
“The next sight was a man running straight up right into my face and screamed Allahu Akbar. It happened within a second, a split second, of my turning round.
“I just saw a dark face with a beard and his face was literally an inch or so off, nose-to-nose.”
He added: “I felt what I thought initially was a punch in the back, which turned out to be him flailing his arm around the back of me and stabbing me.
“I appreciated it very soon afterwards. I just felt the impact initially then withdrawing the knife downwards and I realised what had happened.”
Mr Livett said he then slumped on the ground for a few seconds before deciding to get up and move away.
He said: “It was chaos all around. I was aware of screaming and shouting and people around me.
“I think it was a personal mission to get help as quickly as I possibly could. I realised it was quite a serious blow I had taken.”
Mr Livett said he began to feel weak and he banged on the door of the Globe Tavern, which was locked down, before he then collapsed outside.
A soldier and an off-duty doctor came to his aid.
He continued: “After a time I was aware that we were told to stay in that place for a period of time and the special forces guys came past and let some rounds off right by us, and we still had to stay there for a while until the area was cleared.”
He then received medical attention on the bridge.
“I saw there were people in the middle of the road against the rails being tended to.
“Emergency services were present at that time as well, so there were blankets.”
He continued: “I believe I was one of the first people to be stabbed. I think they were probably in a real heightened state. They moved away very quickly.”
Khuram Butt, 27, Rachid Redouane, 30, and Youssef Zaghba, 22 were shot dead by police, 10 minutes after they launched their attack on London Bridge and Borough Market.
The attackers killed eight people and injured 48 more in the busy tourist area of London.