Sir David Amess murder trial: Bodycam shows moment police arrest MP’s alleged killer

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Ryan Curtis and Scott James repeatedly yelled at knife-wielding Ali Harbi Ali to drop the weapon, telling him: “It is only going to go one way!” The duo confronted Ali as he stood among the pews of a church, a court heard.

Sir David was stabbed 23 times with a carving knife in the vestry office.

Armed only with extendable batons and incapacitant spray, and not wearing stabproof vests, the plainclothes officers opted to tackle Ali after being told a police Taser unit was just 60 seconds away.

PC James told Ali: “Mate, listen to me, drop the knife. Please drop that knife for me.”


Ali told them: “I can’t.” One of the officers was holding the spray and Ali asked: “Is that a gun or a Taser?”

The two PCs repeatedly ordered the suspect to drop his knife as they inched closer towards him.

A third officer suddenly ran into the church and shouted: “Tasers!”

One of the PCs then yelled: “On the floor now! Get him down.”

Ali dropped the knife and lay face down on the floor as shouts of “Taser! Taser!” echoed around the church.

PC Curtis said: “We’ve got him!We’ve got him!”

As his colleague handcuffed Ali’s wrists behind his back, PC James added: “It’s all right, search him.”

PC James’s body-worn camera footage was played to the jury yesterday at Ali’s trial at the Old Bailey. The swift actions of PCs James and Curtis allowed medics to get to Sir David, 69, as he lay mortally wounded, the court heard.

Doctors performed emergency surgery on the floor of the Belfairs Methodist Church, in Leighon-Sea, Essex, but there was no hope of saving the veteran Tory backbencher.

The PCs had heard about the stabbing of Sir David over the police radio. As they were nearby, they decided to race to the scene.

The footage started as they leapt out of a marked police car by the church and ordered everyone out of the building.

Witness Darren King told the officers where he had last seen Ali, and PC Curtis said: “So we’re going to go in and he’s going to get Tasered mate, all right?”

However, no Tasers were fired, the court heard. Ali had told Mr King he wanted to be shot by police and “die a hero”, the court heard.

Mr King replied: “You’ve come to the wrong country because they do that in America. We’re in England, mate.”

As he lay on the floor, Ali told officers: “I’m a happy guy. I was prepared to die.”

He had been speaking to his distraught sister on his mobile phone shortly before his arrest and believed she was still on the line.

The video recorded him saying: “Don’t worry, the police got me. They aren’t going to shoot.” Pathologist Dr Matthew Cieka told the court Sir David had suffered 23 “sharp force injuries”.

Dr Cieka gave the cause of death as multiple stab wounds to the chest.

Meanwhile, extremist material was found after police seized Ali’s four mobile phones and two laptops, the court heard.

Jurors were told Ali allegedly killed Southend West MP Sir David to avenge bombing in Syria.

Ali, 26, of Kentish Town, north London, denies murder and preparing an act of terrorism.

The trial continues.

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