21 Y.O. Australian Slipped In Heels During Fatal London Attack, Inquest Hears

An inquest has heard Australian woman Sara Zelenak slipped and fell in the moments before she and passer-by James McMullan were stabbed to death during the 2017 London Bridge terror attack.

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The hearings, which have entered their second week, have turned their focus on the moments before three armed men attacked the 21-year-old au pair and the British man who came to her aid.

Zelenak and McMullan were two of eight people killed in the attack, including South Australian woman Kirsty Boden. The three attackers were killed by police.

Eyewitness Erick Siguenza told the Old Bailey he saw Zelenak jump out of the way of the rental van the attackers used to hit pedestrians on the bridge.

The inquest heard Zelenak, who was wearing high heels, likely slipped on the wet pavement.

Siguenza said the men exited the van when it crashed and attacked people nearby with knives.

“She was still on the floor and that’s when they started stabbing her and a man trying to help her up, and that’s when he was stabbed as well,” he said.

Zelenak had been visiting bars with friend Priscilla Concalves at the time of the June 3 attack.

Goncalves told the inquest the pair had just crossed the bridge and were climbing down the stairs to visit a bar when they heard the commotion above them.

She said they climbed the stairs to find the van attack taking place.

“We started running and when I looked again she wasn’t next to me anymore,” she said.

Goncalves told the hearing she tried to contact Zelenak by phone after becoming separated.

Two of the first Met Police officers on the scene, PC Clint Wallis and PC Richard Norton, also gave evidence.

PC Wallis said Zelenak’s phone was flashing as they came to her aid. 

PC Norton told the inquest he was trained to treat minor injuries but not the severe stab wounds Zelenak had sustained to her neck.

“I thought, she’s lost a lot of blood,” PC Wallis told the hearing.

The pair took turns taking chest compressions on the unresponsive Zelenak. They flagged down a paramedic. The inquest heard the paramedic determined Zelenak was dead within 30 seconds of arriving on the scene.

The inquest has looked into why it took paramedics so long to attend the incident, and has posed questions regarding the British intelligence system.

The hearings are expected to last for ten weeks.