A Good Samaritan has described in vivid detail his tense stand-off with a knife-wielding terrorist accused of murdering MP Sir David Amess.
Unarmed Darren King said he immediately became aware of the danger posed by the suspect, 26-year-old Ali Harbi Ali, as the pair came face to face inside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, last October.
He said he rushed into the building from outside when he heard what had happened, and tried to “calm” Ali, who stood clutching a blood stained carving knife in one hand, while shouting on the phone to his “hysterical” sister which he held in the other.
In one exchange, recalled to police hours after the stabbing and captured on police video, Mr King said: “He (Ali) said: I want to be shot.
“I said: They (police) do that in America, not so much over here.”
Mr King said he saw Sir David’s bloodied body “crumpled up on the floor” in a vestry room at the back of the church as he tried to reason with the suspect and let him tend to the casualty, who he had known for years and had been due to meet at the church that afternoon.
He said: “My one eye was looking at David to see if I could see movement, the other eye was on the knife – it was a big knife.
“Me, not having anything except two hands, I thought: I’m gonna keep an eye on him.”
The witness said Ali also tried to justify his actions, which jurors previously heard was to do with the Government’s Syrian bombing campaign.
Mr King said: “It was all on Syria, the Iraq war, the innocent people who died over there, he wants to kill David, all the MPs that voted for the bombing.
“And he wanted to die. (He said): I want to be shot.
“The rest of it was probably crap.
“I said: Why do you want to die? You’re talking to your sister – how’s she gonna feel if you die?
“He said: I’m gonna be a martyr, I’m gonna die a hero.
“And I said: No, you’re just gonna be dead, mate.”
Mr King told police he eventually persuaded Ali to step to one side so he could treat Sir David, but retreated the moment he heard police sirens.
He said: “I heard the sirens, I moved back to the doorway, saw the two plain clothes fellas.
“They told me to f****** get out, excuse my French.
“They rushed in, started effing and blinding ‘put that effing knife down’, and eventually they came out with him.”
Mr King added: “With nothing on me (weapons), I was just trying to calm him down.
“Then your boys turned up, problem solved.”
Ali, from Kentish Town in north London, denies preparing terrorist acts and murder.
The trial continues.