Fishmongers' Hall: Witness describes aftermath of terror attack

image copyrightMet Police
image captionJack Merritt and Saskia Jones were killed during a conference to rehabilitate offenders

A film-maker who saw the aftermath of the Fishmongers' Hall terror attack said she realised "something very bad had happened" after hearing screams.

Convicted terrorist Usman Khan stabbed Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones at a prisoner rehabilitation conference on 29 November 2019.

At the inquest into their deaths, Amy Coop said she had attended the event to make a film for the organisers.

She said that she saw Ms Jones lying injured on a landing looking "ashen".

Ms Coop was in the Banqueting Hall to obtain footage of a feedback session when she heard screaming, and went out on to a landing to see what was happening.

"There was more screaming and shouting and it very quickly became apparent that something very bad had happened," she told day two of the inquest at London's Guildhall.

She saw Ms Jones, from Stratford-upon-Avon, lying injured on the stairs, with a man kneeling next to her, trying to give first aid.

image copyrightInquest handout
image captionUsman Khan sat at the same table as Ms Jones before launching his attack
image copyrightJulia Quenzler
image captionFilm-maker Amy Coop went out of the room and looked over banisters to see Saskia Jones lying fatally wounded on the stairs below

"She looked very, very unwell," Ms Coop said. "She was ashen, grey in the face. Her eyes were open and very glassy and staring straight upwards."

Ms Coop went to look for a first-aid kit or something that might help stem the bleeding for anyone who was injured.

As she returned to the landing, she heard more shouting, including "a loud and guttural roar".

She told the jury: "It was a horrible noise coming from someone. It sounded like the kind of thing you see in a film."

image copyrightMet Police
image captionJurors heard that one of Khan's knives had a crudely etched Arabic symbol for Allah on it
image copyrightJulia Quenzler
image captionUsman Khan talked to barrister Catherine Jaquiss minutes before taping knives to his wrists and stabbing Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones to death

Barrister Catherine Jaquiss, who shared a table with Khan at the Learning Together anniversary event, said he had described how he had been going down the wrong path in life but had changed his ways.

Ms Jaquiss told jurors at the inquest that she had invited Khan to come to sit at a table to take part in a group discussion during a workshop.

Asked how he seemed, she said: "Perhaps a little shy. I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary at all at the time.

"I remember him saying something to the effect of he had been involved with a group of people who had been leading him down the wrong path.

"He had now seen that way was wrong and he was now essentially turning the other way or going a different way."

Khan, 28, who was armed with two knives and wore a fake suicide vest, was tackled by members of the public using a decorative pike, narwhal tusk and fire extinguisher, and then shot dead by police on London Bridge.

image copyrightWest Midlands Police
image captionUsman Khan was jailed in 2012 over a plot to blow up the London Stock Exchange

Earlier, jurors were shown a video of Khan lying on London Bridge after he had been shot for the first time.

He could be seen rolling around, removing his jacket and gloves, while officers kept members of the public back.

About eight minutes after he was first shot, he sat up, leading to police shooting him again. Less than two minutes after the second shots, he stopped moving.

The inquest is scheduled to last nine weeks and is expected to be followed by a separate jury inquest into the death of Khan.

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