An off-duty nurse was stabbed in the neck by an “evil” terrorist after she rushed in to help a victim of the London Bridge attack, an inquest has heard.
Waiter Alexandre Pigeard, 26, was grabbed by a knifeman and repeatedly stabbed outside the Boro Bistro on the evening of 3 June, 2017.
When Helen Kennett saw his gushing neck wound she offered to help, but he just shook his head and told her: “No, just run.”
But instead she confronted his attacker, saying: “What’s wrong with you?”
The knifeman replied: “No, what’s wrong with you?” then plunged a 12in blade into her neck, the Old Bailey heard.
Ms Kennett has been drinking at the Boro Bistro with her mother and sister when the attackers crashed their van on the bridge above and ran amok around Borough Market.
She told the Old Bailey that at first she thought there had been a car crash when a man emerged holding the injured Mr Pigeard.
She said: “I just presumed it was a car crash. I thought, ‘I’m a nurse, if somebody is injured I should go and see what’s happening and I should go and help’.
“I saw a man who was very, very injured. There was just a lot of blood and then, as I got closer, I saw there was a cut right across the neck. I looked at him and thought, ‘That’s not a car accident, that’s something more’.”
The court heard she told Mr Pigeard: “Oh my god, you’re bleeding. Let me help, I’m a nurse.” He looked at her shaking his head and frightened, as he replied: “No, just run.”
Ms Kennett said: “I looked up to the attacker. I did exchange words with him. I said, ‘What’s wrong with you?’. He said, ‘No, what’s wrong with you’.
“Before I could process what I was seeing, he stabbed me in the neck to the left side.”
Asked to describe the attacker, she said: “I just remember his eyes. They were soulless. Evil. They were empty.”
Her next thought was for her family as they edged around the corner while two more men began to attack others she could see in her peripheral vision, the court heard.
“Two guys had jumped over the bushes and they were attacking people. Everybody was shouting. Everybody was screaming. I thought at that point, ‘I cannot help anybody, I’m going to die’.”
Ms Kennett made it back to her sister and mother and tried to hide the extent of her injury as they escaped.
She said: “I remember falling to the floor because I was slipping in my own blood.”
Mr Pigeard’s father Philippe Pigeard listened to the evidence about the death of his son, who had been described as “charming and sensitive”.
The inquest continues.