A witness to the 2019 terror attack at Fishmongers Hall on London Bridge told one of the victims she was “loved” and “beautiful” as he comforted her and tried to stem the bleeding from her fatal stab wound.
Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, were stabbed to death by Usman Khan at a criminal rehabilitation event at Fishmongers Hall on the north side of the bridge on November 29. An inquest started last week as an attempt to work out what happened on the day.
Gareth Evans, a former prisoner who worked with Merritt at the Learning Together event, found Saskia Jones just after she had been fatally stabbed in the neck by Khan.
He told the inquest: “I saw Saskia looking distressed and pale… She was walking towards me… she was pale and she was holding her neck.
Evans added: “She collapsed as I caught her and as she let go of her neck, there was a lot of blood that came out.”
Jones tried to say “please”, Evans said, before collapsing – although she was still conscious.
He added: “I was just trying to make sure that she felt comfortable and safe, and so I said that she was loved and that she was beautiful.”
Prison officer Adam Roberts then took over, trying to stem the flow of blood with his jacket.
Earlier, the inquest heard how prison reform policy officer Marc Conway had come face to face with Khan as he brandished two knives strapped to his hands.
By this stage other people at the event had battered Khan with objects inside the building before the attacker ran outside, followed by several men.
Conway said he had joined in the efforts to subdue Khan, although he feared for his life.
“I just wanted to help. When someone said he’s got a bomb, and you realise that he’s got a belt round him, you felt like you was frightened for your life,” Conway said.
“I stamped on his hands, I may have put a few kicks in. One of the knives we managed to get rid of quite quickly, but the other was quite difficult to get off him.”
Khan attacked both Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones shortly before 2pm at the event. They both died at about 2.30pm after receiving treatment from other people at the event and paramedics.
He gave two other people serious stab wounds, but they both survived. Others received minor injuries. Khan was shot by police on London Bridge several times and died shortly afterwards. A separate inquest into his death will begin on May 27.