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London Bridge inquests detail attacks

Press Association logoPress Association 13/06/2017

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

Australians Kirsty Boden, 28, and 21-year-old Sara Zelenak were among the eight people killed on June 3, when three attackers ploughed into pedestrians with a white van before stabbing revellers in Borough Market.

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 at the court on Tuesday 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."

Boden, Zelenak, Sebastien Belanger, 26, of France, James McMullan, 32, from London and Ignacio Echeverria, 39, from Spain all 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.

McMullan, from Brent, northwest 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 and fingerprints while his loved ones spent several days unaware of his fate.

Boden, from Loxton, South 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.

Au pair Zelenak, from Brisbane was found in Borough High Street, stabbed in the neck, and was subsequently identified by dental records and DNA.

HSBC analyst Mr Echeverria, from As Pontes, 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.

Armed police shot dead ringleader Khuram Butt, 27, and his two accomplices Rachid Redouane, 30, and Youssef Zaghba, 22, just eight minutes after the first emergency call was made.

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

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

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