Briton stabbed by London Bridge terrorists as he helped au pair, 21

Revealed: Last moments of London Bridge hero who was stabbed to death by terrorist while trying to save Australian au pair, 21, who he saw being knifed to death by attackers after he left pub to smoke

  • Andrius Vorobjovas tells inquest how he jumped flowerbed to hide and saw body
  • Mr Vorobjovas said he almost trampled James McMullan, 32, as he lay face down
  • James McMullan was stabbed as he came to the aid of Australian au pair Sara Zelenak, 21, as terrorists ran amok with 12in knives on the evening of June 3 2017

A reveller has described how he jumped over a flowerbed and almost trampled on the only Briton to be killed in the London Bridge attack as the terrorists ran amok with bloody knives.

Entrepreneur James McMullan, 32, had been out with friends in the Barrowboy and Banker pub watching the champions League game on the evening of June 3 2017.

When terrorists careered down London Bridge and smashed into railings, he came to the aid of Australian au pair Sara Zelenak, 21.

CCTV showed how she appeared to trip in her high heels as attackers emerged with 12in knives.

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James McMullan, 32, tried to help Sara Zelenak, 21, after she fell over as she ran away from the terrorists, but the pair were stabbed to death. Miss Zelenak had met up for drinks with her friend Priscila Goncalves near London Bridge before terrorists killed her and seven others

Mr McMullan was helping her up when they were both stabbed, the Old Bailey has heard.  

Mr McMullan was later found in an alleyway near to the Boro Bistro restaurant, where Andrius Vorobjovas was celebrating a friend’s birthday.

Mr Vorobjovas described how debris rained down on diners sitting at tables in the courtyard below.

People then ran for their lives when a man emerged wielding a bloody knife which had just been used to stab somebody.

CCTV shows the 32-year-old entrepreneur James McMullan out with friends in the Barrowboy and Banker pub watching football on the evening of June 3 2017 when the London Bridge terrorist attack happened

CCTV shows James McMullan, 32, at top of steps to Green Dragon Court, London Bridge, on the night of the attack

Mr Vorobjovas said: ‘I saw a man’s blade and a swing away. I saw a bloody blade.’

‘I ran. You could hear the tables moving, glasses smashing, people running.’

He headed to flowerbeds and took refuge behind a trellis in an alleyway.

He said: ‘I nearly stepped on a person on his belly. I was very shocked and amazed to see someone there because I could not figure out how they got there.

‘When I jumped over the flowerbed I nearly stepped on him.’

CCTV issued by the Metropolitan Police of James McMullan leaving the Barrow Boy and Banker pub

The witness told the court the man, since identified as Mr McMullan, was lying ‘star shaped’ on his front but he did not check on him.

He said: ‘Literally at that moment I thought the individuals are coming our way. I just went down on my knees and tried to hide behind the flowerbed.

‘Whilst I was there I did not see any movement. He was right next to me.’

The witness said he hid in the dark passage for some seconds before he ventured out and ‘decided to make a run for it’.

He emerged on to the main road and shouted at people in another restaurant to run away, he said.

Simon and Mila McMullan, parents of victim James McMullan, arrive for the opening day of the inquest into the London Bridge terror attack on May 7, 2019 in London, England

Simon and Mila McMullan, parents of victim James McMullan, arrive for the opening day of the inquest into the London Bridge terror attack on May 7, 2019 in London, England

Mr Vorobjovas said he later directed armed officers back to the courtyard of the Boro Bistro before he met his wife, who took him home.

Gareth Patterson QC, for Mr McMullan’s family, said: ‘You explain how you jumped over a trellis of flowerbeds. You said you stayed there for between 15 and 30 seconds, presumably you were looking around to see what was going on with the attack?

‘You were thinking about avoiding the attackers and to get yourself out of danger. So presumably you were not paying particularly close attention to the man on the ground.’

The witness replied: ‘That’s correct. I did not check. I was sitting right next to him virtually but I was expecting someone to come my way any moment.’

Australian Ms Zelenak was stabbed in the neck after she fell over in her high heels. She is pictured earlier that evening

Mr Patterson said: ‘You described everyone was running for their lives and getting out of harm’s way. You said ‘I was worried for my life’ is that right?’

He agreed, adding that Mr McMullan was not moving.

The lawyer said a post-mortem examination did not reveal any evidence that Mr McMullan had fallen from above.

Mr McMullan and Ms Zelenak were among eight people killed by the three attackers who were shot dead by armed police.

CCTV showed McMullan entering the pub just after 7pm and greeting his friends, then standing with his hands on his hips, chatting to them in front of the bar.

Emergency services are pictured swarming London Bridge and the surrounding area on the night of the terror attack in 2017 

Footage showed the pub packed as Mr McMullan slipped out for a cigarette four times during the final of the game, which was being shown on screens in the pub.

At 10.04pm, Mr McMullan left for a last time for a cigarette and was not allowed back in by the bouncers.

The lights from a number 43 bus turning out of the station, caught him in a grey t-shirt and black jeans, standing at the top of some stone steps, a few yards from where the van later crashed.

Pictured: the battered Renault van used by terrorists during the attack on London Bridge in 2017, leaving it with its bumper hanging off

Ms Zelenak’s friend Priscila Goncalves is pictured at the Old Bailey in London on Monday, left, with her parents Julie, 52, and Mark Wallace, 51, right 

Paramedics couldn’t get in to help victims for 40 minutes  

Most paramedics were prevented from helping the victims of the London Bridge terror attack for nearly 40 minutes.

Ambulance crews were ordered to wait 100 yards away in case more terrorists were at large, leaving police officers to try to save lives.

The inquest into the atrocity heard these officers were ‘desperately in need of paramedics’. Three arrived within 15 minutes of the start of the attack but were being held back after the three fanatics were shot by police because there were fears that there were more of them.

There were also concerns that there was a bomb in the van the killers had crashed into railings.

PC Clint Wallis, one of the first officers to arrive, tried to save the lives of three of the victims by giving them CPR. All three died at the scene. Gareth Patterson QC, acting for six of the victims, asked the officer: ‘Was it your understanding you were desperately in need of paramedics?’

PC Wallis said: ‘We were asking members of the public if they could see paramedics to flag them down.

‘It became quite clear that there were no paramedics being sent to us and they were probably being held at a rendezvous point away from the scene.’

He was on the phone to his friends inside the pub telling them he was going down to the Boro Bistro in the courtyard below for a drink, and appeared to move in that direction, one and a half minutes before the crash.

Mr McMullan had called his mother the previous morning to tell her his e-learning platform, to help children with no access to education, had received financial backing and he was going to celebrate with friends.

Erick Siguenza had earlier told the inquest that he saw McMullan try to rescue Miss Zelenak.

‘A woman who jumped out of the way of the van crashing was lying on the floor and they started stabbing her and a gentlemen was trying to help her up and that’s when he was stabbed as well,’ he told the inquest.

‘The woman, I believe was on her left side as she was lying on the floor and the gentleman I believe was stabbed in his chest in his heart area.’

Dusan Trivic was looking down into the courtyard and saw Mr McMullan running into the courtyard with Rachid Redouane, one of the attacker, and then disappear down an alleyway.

Mr Vorobjovas, explained the moments before he came to sheltered behind a flower bed where Mr McMullan lay, said he saw Redouane ‘walking with a purpose’ and that he ‘looked like he wanted to harm as many people as possible.’

‘You could just hear the tables moving, glasses smashing and running in all the direction they could, and I did the same,’ he told the inquest.

‘I could see a small passage and they had some kind of garden placed there and I jumped over it.’

PC Suial Miah, arrived on the scene and was directed to the court yard by a member of the public.

‘I ran down the stairs to see one victim being tended to by police officers. I then saw another area, a courtyard to the right there was darkness and I thought I could see a body lying there,’ he said.

London Bridge attackers Khuram Butt, Rachid Redouane, 30, and Youssef Zaghba, 22, were shot dead by police

They conducted CPR for half an hour without getting a response and at 10.42pm, PC Miah could be heard on his bodyworn camera saying: ‘Mate I don’t think anyone knows we are down here to be honest with you.’

A British Transport Police officer with him replied: ‘They do they do, I’ve put it up on the radio,’ then added: ‘We need ambulances down here.’

Soon afterwards they were told the area was unsafe and they should evacuate the Mr McMullen. He was declared dead by an ambulance officer at 10.54pm

The inquest continues into the deaths of Xavier Thomas, 45, Christine Archibald, 30, James McMullan, 32, Alexandre Pigeard, 26, Kirsty Boden, 28, Sebastien Belanger, 36, Sara Zelenak, 21, and Ignacio Echeverria Miralles de Imperial, 39.

PC armed with only a baton guarded scene amid attempt to save terror attack victim

A young police officer has told of desperate attempts to save one of the victims of the London Bridge terror attack as she guarded the scene armed only with a baton.

PC Mia Kerr arrived at 10.12pm – just minutes after the attack began – and discovered Sebastien Belanger collapsed in Green Dragon Court below the spot where the attackers’ van crashed into railings on London Bridge.

At first, she protected the scene single-handed armed only with a baton as members of the public gave first aid, the Old Bailey heard.

The Frenchman, who had a deep stab wound to the stomach, appeared to have a ‘faint pulse’ but later became very cold, the officer said.

She was joined by a colleague and a police medic arrived on the scene after about half an hour, the court heard.

Mr Belanger, 36, was eventually carried up steps towards waiting ambulances at around 10.45pm.

Gareth Patterson, QC, for the victim’s family, thanked the officer, saying: ‘It sounds as if you were concerned for your safety throughout but nevertheless carried on with your efforts armed only with a baton.’

PC Kerr replied: ‘Yes. Just batons. I was also concerned I was the only officer down there for a while. It felt like forever. I felt I was the person they were looking to for help by myself.

‘I only had a year’s service in the response team. It felt like a lot of pressure, looking back on it.’

Mr Patterson highlighted repeated messages referring to casualties in the courtyard, saying it was ‘obvious’ things were going on.

On body worn footage, messages could be heard requesting London Ambulance Service (LAS) be alerted to a man with a stab wound to the abdomen.

Mr Patterson said: ‘If you had been told there were LAS resources available before then, up on the High Street, presumably you would have discussed getting Sebastien up to those ambulances as quickly as possible?’

PC Kerr said: ‘We would have discussed it yes.’

Asked why they did not reach her, she said: ‘I can only assume that it was because they may have deemed the area too dangerous.’

Mr Patterson said: ‘We have heard from two LAS witnesses saying they were unaware of all this activity going on below in the courtyard. Were you and the others down there speaking quietly?’

PC Kerr replied: ‘I doubt it.’

She added: ‘Everything was noisy. It was just a lot of noise.’

Ambulance service incident response officer Nicholas Lesslar told the court Mr Belanger’s injuries were ‘incompatible with life’ and another casualty who was breathing and talking needed the ambulance more.

Mr Lesslar told the court he was unaware there were seriously injured casualties in the courtyard.

He said: ‘I did not know that area existed. We were not made aware of casualties in that area.’

Xavier Thomas, 45, Christine Archibald, 30, Alexandre Pigeard, 26, Sara Zelenak, 21, Kirsty Boden, 28, Mr Belanger, James McMullan, 32, and Ignacio Echeverria, 39, all died in the atrocity before their attackers were shot dead by armed police.


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