An off-duty nurse was stabbed in the neck as she rushed to help a waiter injured in the London Bridge attack, an inquest heard on Thursday.
Alexandre Pigeard, 26, was grabbed by an attacker and repeatedly stabbed outside the Boro Bistro on the evening of 3 June, 2017.
Off-duty nurse Helen Kennett said she offered to help him, but he just shook his head and told her: “No, just run.”
Instead, she confronted his attacker, saying: “What’s wrong with you?”
The attacker replied: “No, what’s wrong with you?” and then plunged the knife into her neck, the Old Bailey heard.
Ms Kennett was at the bistro with her mother and sister when the attackers crashed their van on the bridge above and ran amok around Borough Market.
She told the Old Bailey that at first she thought there had been a car crash when a man emerged holding the injured Mr Pigeard.
“I glanced to my right, which was towards where the steps are coming down, and I saw a man who was very, very injured,” Ms Kennett said.
“There was just a lot of blood and then, as I got closer, I saw there was a cut right across the neck. It looked like there was multiple injuries on the body but my attention was the neck.
“I looked at him and thought, ‘that’s not a car accident, that’s something more’. It happened so quickly and I thought, ‘he’s been attacked by a knife’, and then I saw the knife.”
Ms Kennett said she looked up to the attacker and exchanged words with him.
“Before I could process what I was seeing was happening to the man, he stabbed me in the neck to the left side.”
Asked to describe the attacker, she said: “I just remember his eyes, they were soulless – evil – they were empty.”
Ms Kennett went on to talk about her injury: “The only way I can describe it was like somebody had thrown a bucket of warm water over me. I felt this rushing all down my body and I thought, ‘oh no, I’ve been stabbed as well’.”
Her next thought was for her family as they edged around the corner while two more men began to attack others in her peripheral vision, the court heard.
“Two guys had jumped over the bushes and they were attacking people. Everybody was shouting. Everybody was screaming. I thought at that point, ‘I cannot help anybody, I’m going to die’.
“I did not want to die there. I wanted to die around the corner with my family.”
Ms Kennett and her family members escaped to another pub.
She said: “I remember falling to the floor because I was slipping in my own blood.”
The attackers killed eight people in the span of three minutes. Six were stabbed to death.
Earlier the inquest heard that one of the victims kissed her fiance and told him “I love you” before she was killed on the bridge and that the partner of another victim had “premonitions” of an attack.
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