London Bridge attack victim’s fiance asked man to stop filming, inquest told
Christine Archibald was one of eight people killed in the attack.
The fiance of a Canadian woman killed in the London Bridge terror attack told a man to “stop filming” after she was dragged under the wheels of a van, an inquest has heard.
Social worker Christine Archibald, 30, suffered “almost instantaneous” death when she was hit by the rented vehicle on June 3 2017 as she walked with Tyler Ferguson, the Old Bailey was told.
She was one of eight people killed when Khuram Butt, 27, Rachid Redouane, 30, and Youssef Zaghba, 22, launched a van and knife rampage on London Bridge and in Borough Market.
Bus driver Anton Sobanski said he returned to his vehicle in the aftermath of the attack to find the bottom deck deserted except for an empty pram, with passengers sheltering upstairs.
He said: “There was a man upstairs at the back and he was trying to film where Chrissy and someone – I believe it was Tyler – telling him ‘stop filming’.”
Ms Archibald, along with Xavier Thomas, 45, Alexandre Pigeard, 26, Sara Zelenak, 21, Kirsty Boden, 28, Sebastien Belanger, 36, James McMullan, 32, and Ignacio Echeverria, 39, all died in the atrocity before their attackers were shot dead by armed police.
Ms Archibald and her fiance were walking across the bridge after the couple, who were living together in The Hague, Netherlands, went for dinner at a Thai restaurant during a weekend visit to the capital.
Mr Ferguson said that earlier during an “intense conversation” she had told him to tell his father he loved him because he “could get hit by a bus tomorrow”.
The inquest heard how they switched sides moments before the attackers began targeting groups of pedestrians in their rented van.
Mr Ferguson said he saw a man screaming as he ran down the road and heard the screeching of tyres as the vehicle approached from behind, then heard a “loud thud”, adding: “I then looked for Chrissy. She was no longer next to me.
“I realised she had been hit by the van.”
CCTV footage played in court, which was described by counsel to the inquest Jonathan Hough QC as “graphic and distressing”, showed Ms Archibald being struck by the van on the third time it had mounted the 10cm curb.
Mr Ferguson was seen to run after the van and crouch down over her body, which had been carried down the road under the chassis.
He said: “She was lying on her back, her dress had been ripped off by the van, so she was naked at this stage.
“I remember looking down at her mangled body as she convulsed and released the life from her physical body.”
Describing the scene, Mr Ferguson said: “It was chaos and mayhem. It was a war zone.”
One of the first armed police officers to respond, City of London Pc Andrew Duggan, defended his decision to treat casualties rather than hunt for suspects.
He was on the scene within minutes but believed it was a road traffic accident, the inquest heard.
The marksman explained how he went into “medic mode” and began helping victims, including Ms Archibald, staying with her until an ambulance arrived before realising there was a further incident south of the bridge.
Gareth Patterson QC, representing the families of some of those stabbed in Borough Market, questioned the officer about why he did not realise earlier that there had been a terror attack.
Pc Duggan said he did not hear messages sent over the Metropolitan Police radio channel, used by armed officers, indicating the incident was being treated as terrorism.
“I was focused on what was in front of me and how I could help. I don’t know what I thought. I didn’t think that at the time,” he said.
Mr Patterson asked: “With the benefit of hindsight, as possibly the first, or certainly a very early armed officer on the scene, would it have been better to have proceeded and investigated and potentially stopped this marauding terrorist attack?
Pc Duggan said: “With the benefit of hindsight, no. My colleague and I did the best we could.”
The barrister continued: “Do you think an opportunity might have been missed that night, officer, to stop this stabbing attack earlier than it possibly was?”
Pc Duggan replied: “No, I believe we deployed and did the best we could with the information at the time.”
The marksman said he and his colleague ran back to the car to get their guns after realising there was another incident.
They arrived at Borough Market to hear the sound of other armed officers opening fire on the terrorists, the inquest heard.