Victim’s parents comfort terror survivor
A QUEENSLAND woman who was stabbed in the neck by terrorists during the London Bridge attacks has described the support she's had from the parents of slain Australian Sara Zelenak.
Brisbane and Dalby woman Candice Hedge, 36, recalled the horror of June 3, 2017 to London's Central Criminal Court during the inquest's third week.
She was one of 48 injured and very nearly was added to the death toll after she was stabbed in the neck, millimetres from an artery and vocal cord.
Among the eight innocent people slain were fellow Brisbane woman Ms Zelenak, 21, and South Australian nurse Kirsty Boden, 28.
Outside court and flanked by Ms Zelenak's parents Julie and Mark Wallace - who have travelled to Britain for the inquest - Ms Hedge praised the couple, who have been a source of support for her since the violent confrontation.
Ms Hedge still works at the Elliot's cafe at Borough Market, in the capital's inner south east, despite being stabbed there.
She said she just "had to get on with it".
"They win in the end if we give up, so we should celebrate our differences and carry on," she said.
Giving evidence last night, Ms Hedge told the Old Bailey how she had been working at the restaurant with her boyfriend, Luke Galea-Naudi that night.
But shortly after 10pm she realised something strange was happening when people began "surging" into the business.
The danger they were running from - unknown to Ms Hedge at the time - were terrorists Khuram Butt, 27, Rachid Redouane, 30, and Youssef Zaghba, 22.
The three jihadists had launched a stabbing rampage after mowing down pedestrians with a rental Renault van on London Bridge. Police later shot them dead.
"I was told there was somebody out the front with a knife," she said.
"I went back to talk back to my tables to let them know we would do our best to look after them and get them to safety."
By the time they reached Ms Hedge, the trio had already murdered eight others - two on the bridge and six in the nearby Borough Market.
Only two of the terrorists entered the restaurant and Ms Hedge thought they were about to leave when one spotted her.
"He immediately came down with a knife onto my neck," she said.
Mr Galea-Naudi and customers scrambled to help her, applying tea towels to her horrific wound.
She said it took between 20 and 30 minutes to be extracted by police and transferred to paramedics.
The court previously heard the attackers were shot at 10.16pm in a nearby street - nine minutes after they crashed their van.
Chief Coroner Judge Mark Lucraft, QC, is examining the victims' deaths, intelligence failures and other security mistakes.
The inquest continues.