The first person stabbed in the London Bridge attack has described how he came “nose to nose” with Khuram Butt, who shouted “Allahu Akbar” in his face before stabbing him in the back.
Richard Livett, who had been out watching football, first thought he had witnessed a road accident when he saw a van crash into railings two years ago.
He told an inquest he went to check on the occupants.
But in a “split second”, his attacker’s face was “an inch or so off”, he said.
“I felt what I thought initially was a punch in the back, which turned out to be him flailing his arm around the back of me and stabbing me,” Mr Livett told the hearing at London’s Old Bailey.
He said that after looking at photographs, he could identify the man as Khuram Butt, one of the three attackers.
Mr Livett said after he was attacked, he slumped on the ground for a few seconds before deciding to get up and move away.
“It was chaos all around. I was aware of screaming and shouting and people around me,” he said.
“I think it was a personal mission to get help as quickly as I possibly could. I realised it was quite a serious blow I had taken.”
The inquest into the deaths of eight victims has also been hearing from Rasak Kalenikanse, the doorman at the Barrowboy and Banker pub next to where the van crashed.
Mr Kalenikanse broke down in tears as he described seeing the three attackers standing with knives, while dead and injured people lay around them.
He said he heard one of them say: “We are doing these things in the cause of Allah, you unbelievers.”