A man has described how he came face to face with a crazed knifeman after a woman was savagely killed in the street.
Michael Herbert was confronted with a horrific scene after hearing the victim screaming near his home in Beckton, east London. He ran to Stansfeld Road where he found a man dressed in black standing over the body of a woman whose throat had been cut.
Mr Herbert, 47, said the man threatened him with a silver kitchen knife as he chased him to a house in nearby Leamouth Road. The house had been set on fire and when riot police forced their way inside they found the victim's mother had also been fatally stabbed.
The suspect, named locally as Sergei Zolotovsky, was arrested after being discovered in the loft where he had slashed his neck.
Mr Herbert, who had been cutting a hedge with a work colleague, said: "I heard screaming and went around the side of the building and saw him standing over the body. The guy was standing over the body with a knife in his hand and a woman was lying on the ground cut open. It was not a very nice scene to see.
"He stayed there for a few minutes and then he started running away from the scene, so two of us made chase. One of us gave up, but I carried on up an alleyway. When I got there the house was on fire."
Describing how he came face-to-face with the knifeman, Mr Herbert added: "He threatened us, saying, 'Keep away, I've got a knife.' Then he carried on."
He added that he covered the woman's body with clothing before giving chase because it was "obvious" she had died.
Detectives were preparing to interview Zolotovsky who is under guard at an east London hospital. They believe he ambushed his former wife Svetlana, aged in her early forties, as she walked towards the Royal Albert DLR station to go to work.
Her mother, aged in her late sixties or early seventies, moved in after the couple separated more than a year ago. The suspect, aged in his forties and a self-employed engineer, and the two murdered women, are all from Eastern Europe.