A journalist stabbed by the London Bridge terrorists has described their “murderous rage” and said they approached the restaurant he was dining in like “they were stalking someone”.
Giving evidence at the inquest into the killings, Geoff Ho said he saw the three attackers walking towards the Black and Blue restaurant in a “slow, deliberate and predatory movement”.
Eight people were murdered in three minutes in the van and knife attacks on London Bridge and then at Borough Market on 3 June 2017. Six of the victims were stabbed to death.
Mr Ho said the apparent leader of the group was wearing an Arsenal shirt, and all three men appeared to be carrying knives and wearing suicide vests.
He told the court a waitress had bolted the door, but the attackers kicked it off its hinges and “moved as a pack” into the restaurant.
As Mr Ho pleaded with the terrorists to get them to stop, the man in the Arsenal shirt screamed: “Everyone lie down on the f****** floor.”
The journalist told the inquest: “(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.”
He recalled thinking he could not protect himself if he laid down on the floor.
Mr Ho looked at the attacker and saw “he just wanted to kill people and there was rage, just murderous rage”.
The terrorist then lunged with the knife as Mr Ho tried to defend himself.
“He lunged towards me… at this point it gets a little fuzzy,” he said. “He hit my neck first, then he hit it again and tried twisting it and there was blood.
“He came at me again and tried to stab me in the stomach… He ended up scratching me… and I ended up lying on the floor.”
After the attack, Mr Ho went into a staff room, locked the door and called the police, while using a pair of jeans to stop the bleeding to his neck.
Gavin Joseph, who was also in the Black and Blue restaurant at the time of the attack, described seeing Mr Ho try to “engage” with the men before “falling to the floor”.
He felt blows to his face and fell backwards. The next thing he recalled was seeing Mr Ho in front of him on the floor and that the terrorists had gone.
The three attackers, Khuram Butt, 27, Rachid Redouane, 30, and Youssef Zaghba, 22 were later shot dead by armed officers.
PC Bartosz Tchorzewski, who confronted the London Bridge terrorists, told the court that officers had no choice but to shoot the attackers.
He recalled officers shouting “drop the knife, drop the knife now” as the terrorists charged towards them.
“As they were getting closer I was afraid that they may get hold of the guns,” he said.
He then shouted to the officers to shoot the three men.
The inquests at the Old Bailey continue.