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London Bridge terror inquest hears harrowing details of frenzied attack

By Rachael Burnett

Details of the terrorist knife attacks on unarmed victims in the London Bridge atrocity have been set out at the inquests into their deaths.

Three terrorists stabbed people in the neck, back and chest during a rampage that left eight dead on June 3, Southwark Coroner's Court was told yesterday.

The mother of Australian nanny Sara Zelenak was in attendance to hear how her 21-year-old daughter was knifed in the throat on Borough High Street that night.

Julie Wallace, sitting beside her partner Mark Wallace, nodded silently to confirm the spelling of her daughter's name.

Coroner Andrew Harris opened and adjourned inquests for five victims of the attack.

He told the families: "All of our thoughts and condolences are with you at this terrible time, one of the most horrible things is for parents to be in court hearing the details of a death, particularly a violent one, of their children."

Kirsty Boden (28), Sebastien Belanger (36), James McMullan (32) and Ignacio Echeverria, who was 39, also died in the area on June 3.

A grim account of their injuries was read out to the inquest, detailing where they had been found and how they were identified.

Mr McMullan, from Brent, north-west London, was killed by a haemorrhage after being stabbed in the chest in Borough Market. He was found lying outside the post office on Borough High Street and was later identified by his father.

Chef Mr Belanger, originally from Angers, western France, was drinking at the nearby Boro Bistro when he was stabbed repeatedly in the chest, the inquest heard.

His body was located in Borough Market and he was identified by dental records while his loved ones spent several days unaware of his fate.

Nurse Ms Boden, from Loxton, Australia, ran towards the danger in a selfless bid to save people.

She was found in the shadow of Southwark Cathedral, on Montague Close, with a stab wound to her chest, and was later identified by DNA and dental records.

HSBC analyst Mr Echeverria, from north-west Spain, was knifed in the back on London Bridge, having tried to defend a woman with his skateboard.

His body was identified by his brother several days later, the hearing was told.

Representatives from the Spanish consulate also attended on behalf of Mr Echeverria's family.

Police shot dead Khuram Butt (27) and his accomplices Rachid Redouane (30) and Youssef Zaghba (22) just eight minutes after the first emergency call was made.

The inquest proceedings were suspended by Mr Harris so that the vast police operation was not hampered by his investigation.

A hearing will take place today into the deaths of Canadian Christine Archibald (30), and Frenchmen Xavier Thomas (45) and Alexandre Pigeard (26).

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