A witness to the Streatham terror attack has told an inquest into the perpetrator’s death about how he approached a group of people that included a child.
Katherine Day said she saw Sudesh Amman bearing down on the child as he launched a 62-second rampage on Streatham High Road in London on 2 February last year.
Amman, 20, from Queensbury, North London, had grabbed a 20cm kitchen knife from a hardware store and stabbed two passers-by in the attack.
He was shot dead by an armed surveillance team that had watched him look at knives and buy items for a fake suicide belt two days earlier.
Ms Day and her partner Thomas Baldwin, who were shopping in the area at the time, came to the rescue of a male victim, who was not named at the inquest.
The couple saved his life by taking their tops off to stem the bleeding.
Ms Day told the inquest how she had driven her blue Volkswagen Polo from a Lidl car park and into Streatham High Road when she heard a commotion and saw a man coming out of a shop, following by someone telling him to stop.
“I thought it was a robbery if I’m honest. I thought it was him running out of the shop after stealing something,” she said, explaining how she first saw him lunge at a woman and then the male victim, which is when she saw he had a knife.
“His pace had picked up at that point but once again not sprinting, more of a jog or dash,” she said.
“I saw him approach a mixed age group. From recollection there was definitely a child.”
Jonathan Hough QC, for the coroner, asked: “You were concerned he was lunging to stab a child, concerned that he might have gone for a child?”
“Yes, very much so,” Ms Day said.
The male victim, who was heading to Argos went he was attacked, told the inquest that he did not realise he had been stabbed until he saw the blood.
“I felt something on my right-hand side and put my hand down and blood was spurting out and hitting my hand,” he said in a statement.
“I didn’t see who did this as they came from behind. I couldn’t breathe when the knife went in. I couldn’t believe it until I saw the blood hitting my hand and realised it was me.
“I walked maybe three or four metres before I fell over and people came to help me,” he said.
The man also described how Ms Day and Mr Baldwin came towards him and took their tops off to stop the bleeding. “I will never forget them,” he said.
He said the woman as crying and saying: “Please don’t go, where is the ambulance?”
“The lady was stopping the blood. The police and ambulance then arrived and I could hear them, but not see very well,” he added.
“I heard someone say, ‘we can’t drive, he’s not going to make it’. They pulled over and put a mask on me and then I don’t remember anything until the hospital.
Explaining the impact the attack has had, the man said: “This has affected me a lot. Thank God for the doctors or I would be dead.
“My mind is not the same and I am very stressed, but the doctors have said I will slowly get better. I am sleeping very badly and have bad dreams.”
He described four wounds from surgery and said he still struggles to turn his head properly.