Brave woman tried to reason with London attackers

May 24, 2013, 07:01 IST | Agencies

Mother-of-two Ingrid Loyau-Kennett describes how she jumped off a bus and tried to talk down the knife-wielding London attackers, who murdered a soldier in daylight

A brave scout leader who may have prevented further violence has emerged as an unlikely hero in the apparent terror attack that left one man dead on the streets of London.

Ingrid Loyau-Kennett got off a bus and tried to reason with the two attackers after she tried to help the man lying on the street but found he had no pulse and was already dead.

Honouring the fallen: People react after laying floral tributes outside Woolwich Barracks, a day after soldier Drummer Lee Rigby was killed by two men. Ingrid Loyau-Kennett (below) tried to calm the attackers so that they did not go on a rampage. Pics/AFP

The 48-year-old mother kept talking to the two bloody attackers before police came, trying to keep them calm.

Loyau-Kennett, who lives in Cornwall in southwest England, said that she was returning from a trip to France and was visiting her children in London when the bus she was on stopped because of the melee.

She said she saw a crashed car and the victim lying on the street and tried to help him since she had been trained in first aid. She had determined the man was dead by the time the attackers confronted her.

She said a man ‘with a black hat and a revolver in one hand and a cleaver in the other came over’ and excitedly warned her to stay away from the body.

“I asked him why he had done what he had done,” she was quoted her as saying. “He said he had killed the man because he (the victim) was a British soldier who killed Muslim women and children in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was furious about the British Army being over there.”
When the man told her he was going to kill police when they arrived, she asked him if that was reasonable and tried to keep him engaged.

Then she spoke to the other attacker. “I asked him if he wanted to give me what he was holding in his hand, which was a knife, but I didn’t want to say that,” she said. “He didn’t agree and I asked him: ‘Do you want to carry on?’ He said: ‘No, no, no.’ I didn’t want to upset him,” she said.

Britain’s PM David Cameron praised Loyau-Kennett’s performance in the tense situation and said she ‘spoke for all of us’ when she told the first attacker that he could not win the war he said he was hoping to start on the streets of London.

Loyau-Kennett said she was not scared and that the armed men did not seem to be drunk or on drugs. She said she was trying to keep them occupied so they didn’t get more agitated.

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