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London Bridge terrorists set upon police officer like ‘wolf pack’

Wayne Marques told an inquest he just tried to ‘hold on and keep them fighting until the cavalry arrived’.

Wayne Marques received the George Medal for his actions in the London Bridge attack (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)
Wayne Marques received the George Medal for his actions in the London Bridge attack (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

A hero police officer has described how he took on all three London Bridge terrorists as they set upon him like a “wolf pack”.

British Transport Police officer Wayne Marques told an inquest he just tried to “hold on and keep them fighting until the cavalry arrived”.

Armed only with a baton, he was repeatedly stabbed by the “cold and calculating” killers after coming to the aid of Marie Bondeville, her boyfriend Oliver Dowling and Richard Livett who were injured on the evening of June 3 2017.

Police Constable Marques had been on patrol when he was alerted by a woman’s scream and people running up and down Borough High Street.

He saw a group of people outside a nightclub staring in the same direction “looking like statues” as if they were “rabbits caught in a headlight”, he said.

As he went to investigate, he was accosted by a man running, pointing and saying: “Mate, mate this guy’s been stabbed.”

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The victims of the atrocity at London Bridge (Metropolitan Police/PA)

Pc Marques, who was wearing standard kit, including a baton and body armour, found Mr Livett in a pool of blood before he saw a man grab Ms Bondeville.

He said: “I turned around to see who was screaming and where it was coming from.

“I could see a white lady. She seemed to be almost stumbling and that was when I saw the first attacker get her in a head lock.

“She appeared to be trying to run, stumbling, coming towards my direction.”

The attacker appeared to punch Ms Bondeville three or four times and she fell face down.

The Asian man straddled her with her head between his hands, he said.

Pc Marques told the Old Bailey: “He seemed to look up and I believe he then let go of Marie and stood up.”

The officer went on to describe how Mr Dowling was stabbed in the head and neck.

The officer got out his baton and took a deep breath, then charged in.

He said: “I knew I did not have long before Oliver was probably going to die in front of me. I got my baton out and charged the first attacker.

“I just sucked in as much as I could as if I was going in for a fight.

“My intention was to hit him as hard as I could with all my weight behind me with everything I had.

“I knew he was trying to kill the man on the floor.”

He hit as hard as he could and connected to his head.

He decided he had to “take the fight to the attacker” to protect the people on the floor, and punched again at “close quarters”.

As the attacker began to “crumble” Pc Marques felt an “almighty blow” to the head as if from a crowbar.

“I stumbled a few steps backwards and my right eye was put out of commission, I could not use it.

“I looked with my left eye and towards the direction of where the attack was coming from.

“At this point I saw a knife coming towards me. Through instinctive reaction I defended myself.”

He got into a “messy fight” with the second attacker then spotted a third attacker running over.

My job at that stage was to hold on and keep them fighting until the cavalry arrived British Transport Police officer Wayne Marques

Pc Marques said: “I was aware I was being stabbed and cut but did not really feel the pain as such. Fighting for your life, the adrenaline has taken over.

“My job at that stage was to hold on and keep them fighting until the cavalry arrived.”

He felt his leg shaking and looked down to see a knife in it.

Pc Marques told the court the attackers appeared well trained and “knew what they were doing”.

He said: “One of the things that stood out to me was the quite cold and calculating way they went about things. They were attacking almost like in a formation.”

He said they were standing “shoulder to shoulder” like a “wolf pack”.

“I ended up having a voice in my head just telling me ‘don’t go down, don’t go down’.

“My thought process was to hold on as long as I could. I knew there were people on the floor and I knew people were running away.”

His next clear memory was of the three attackers backing away “whether it was because I was falling around like a crazy person I have no idea”.

One of the men shouted “Allahu Akbar” three times, as if they were preparing to “finish” him off, but the attack never came, Pc Marques said.

The officer suffered nine injures, including eight knife wounds, but has since returned to work and received the George Medal.

Pc Charlie Guenigault had been off duty and walking home after watching the Champions League final in a pub near London Bridge when he heard Mr Livett say: “Help I’ve been stabbed.”

The Met Police officer made a 999 call before he was approached by Pc Marques and his colleague.

He ran over to help when he saw the two BTP officers appearing to break up a fight.

He said: “I sprinted over towards them. I just threw myself into this bundle of people.

“I remember pushing people away. At that point, in terms of the scrap, it’s unclear to me what happened.

“I’m now faced with three people in vests with knives in my direction.”

He said their eyes were dilated and they appeared “very stern” and “angry”.

He said: “They wanted to kill me.”

Two of the attackers came over and stabbed him in the back and eye.

Pc Guenigault, who also received the George Medal for bravery, said he thought it would “not end well”, before his legs collapsed from beneath him and he “played dead”.

He said: “I thought I would get one in the head and one in the chest to finish me off.”

Within 10 minutes, Khuram Butt, 27, Rachid Redouane, 30, and Youssef Zaghba, 22, had killed eight people and injured 48 more before they were shot dead near Borough Market.

The victims were Xavier Thomas, 45, Christine Archibald, 30, Alexandre Pigeard, 26, Sara Zelenak, 21, Kirsty Boden, 28, Sebastien Belanger, 36, James McMullan, 32, and Ignacio Echeverria, 39.

The court heard how Ms Boden was awarded an Australian bravery medal and Queen’s commendation for bravery.

Ms Boden, dubbed the Angel of London Bridge, was killed after rushing in to help victims outside Boro Bistro restaurant, saying: “I’m a nurse. I have to go and help.”

She was caught on film bending over French waiter Mr Pigeard on the ground when she was set upon by all three knifemen.

The tip of Butt’s 12-inch pink ceramic blade was later found embedded in her head.

Adjourning the Old Bailey inquest, chief coroner Mark Lucraft QC said: “It has been a case of extraordinary bravery in the face of extraordinary brutality.”

PA

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