A barman who ran straight towards the terrorist knifing spree was one of the first at the scene and re-directed police racing to deal with the carnage on London Bridge back towards the massacre unfolding in Borough Market.
The 41-year-old Bermondsey father-of-two, who works at the Old King’s Head just off Borough High Street, was unaware of the true scale of the attack when he responded to a customer shouting out at the pub that someone had been stabbed at the nearby market.
“I was in the pub and somebody came in and said ‘someone had a knife on the high street’. I stepped outside and there was a group of people – one of them said that he ran down past the Southwark Tavern into the Borough Market. As far as I knew they were talking about one guy with a knife. I rang the police 999, there was no answer.”
The barman, who’d rather not be named, remembers the exact time he made that call. It was 10.12pm. We now know that the van struck pedestrians on the bridge at 10.08pm and that by 10.16pm the terrorists had been shot down.
In these eight minutes three terrorists had unleashed a bloodbath upon people enjoying a night out. For this one barman, unable to get through to the police, he instinctively rushed to help.
“I ran across the road,” he told the News, “to where Leon’s is, it’s right on the corner of Borough Market. “There was a gentleman on the floor, he had a very significant wound. I don’t know whether it was his neck or mouth. There was a lot of blood on the floor.
“At that point I noticed the police were going on towards London Bridge. I didn’t know there was anything happening on London Bridge, so I didn’t know obviously where they were going.
“I got into the middle of the road and started directing police down to Borough Market. Two police cars stopped. One woman police officer jumped out and asked me what I’d seen. I said there was a man down there in the market with a knife and there was a man on the floor down there who needed help.
“There were then five or six police cars heading towards London Bridge. I obviously thought they were going to go over London Bridge, so I directed them down into Borough Market as well.”
Heading back into the pub the true horror of what was unfolding around him became sickeningly clear and he heard gun shots behind him. “As soon as I saw the guy on the floor I did think it was a terrorist attack. It’s horrific, just horrific.”
Many hours later, at around 4.30am, the police rang the barman back on his mobile to ask why he’d called 999, after they had spent the entire night saving lives, evacuating people from bars, pubs and restaurants, as well as killing the three terrorists, who were intent on butchering as many people as they could.