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London Bridge inquest: Jurors visit site of terror attack

PUBLISHED: 14:00 03 July 2019

Counsel for the Metropolitan Police Richard Horwell QC, chief coroner Mark Lucraft QC and counsel for coroner Jonathan Hough QC during the visit to where the London Bridge terrorists were shot dead. Picture: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

Counsel for the Metropolitan Police Richard Horwell QC, chief coroner Mark Lucraft QC and counsel for coroner Jonathan Hough QC during the visit to where the London Bridge terrorists were shot dead. Picture: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

Jurors have examined the spot where the three London Bridge terrorists were shot dead by police two years ago.

Left to right:  Khuram Shazad Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba. Picture: MET POLICELeft to right: Khuram Shazad Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba. Picture: MET POLICE

Khuram Butt, 27 and Rachid Redouane, 30, from Barking and Youssef Zaghba, 22, from Ilford were killed by police marksmen 10 minutes after they embarked on a van and knife attack which left eight people dead and 48 injured.

Their Old Bailey inquest has heard they ploughed into pedestrians on London Bridge in a hired van and crashed into railings on the evening of June 3 2017.

They got out wearing fake suicide vests and rampaged around Borough Market, stabbing members of the public.

On Wednesday, the jury panel of five women and six men met chief coroner Mark Lucraft QC outside the bustling food market in the shadow of The Shard.

Bollards were laid across Stoney Street by the Southwark Tavern to stop traffic during the site visit.

Shoppers milled around fruit and vegetable stalls and City workers grabbed morning coffees oblivious to the arrival of jurors and lawyers, flanked by plainclothes police and court ushers.

The softly spoken coroner was almost drowned out by the noise from the market and trains trundling on a bridge overhead as he pointed out key areas.

He led jurors up Stoney Street, stopping outside the Wheatsheaf pub, where a member of the public was hit by a stray bullet during the attackers' stand-off with police.

Mr Lucraft instructed counsel to the coroner Jonathan Hough QC to stand and point towards the pub window the man was standing behind when he was struck.

The coroner told jurors to go in twos and threes to stand behind a large green pillar where police officers shielded themselves opposite the pub.

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He said: "You are going to hear evidence some of the officers took cover behind the green pillar."

He pointed to where an armed response vehicle containing police marksmen parked up but rolled forward during the fast-paced incident.

Further up, he highlighted the Black and Blue restaurant where the terrorists ran amok, stabbing diners shortly before they were shot.

He told jurors: "They are moving around in a relatively narrow area."

The jury had seen CCTV images and maps of the area before the visit, but Mr Lucraft said: "I wanted you to get an impression of how narrow the place is.

"It's very difficult sometimes to get a real feel for what a place looks like."

Earlier this week jurors saw graphic CCTV footage of the attackers' final confrontation with police.

The men had set upon their last victim, Antonio Filis, when three firearms officers arrived in an armed response vehicle (ARV).

An armed officer, identified only as BX46, was first to get out of the ARV and shouted at Butt to stand still.

Butt advanced towards him and the officer stepped back before opening fire at 10.16pm, jurors were told.

The other two attackers then ran towards officers BX44 and BX45 before they too were shot, the court has heard.

Afterwards, Mr Filis, who survived, was shown on police body-worn video with blood pouring from his wounds.

Jurors have been told a separate inquest concluded on Friday into the deaths of the victims, Xavier Thomas, 45, Chrissy Archibald, 30, Sara Zelenak, 21, James McMullan, 32, Kirsty Boden, 28, Alexandre Pigeard, 26, Sebastien Belanger, 36, and Ignacio Echeverria, 39.

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