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  1. ITV Report

'Keith, come on son': Footage of battle to save Pc Keith Palmer played at Westminster attack inquest

  • Video report by ITV News correspondent Sejal Karia

Footage showing the moment a police officer was stabbed during last year's terror attack in Westminster has been played in court, as questions were raised over were armed police had been.

Pc Keith Palmer, 48, was killed along with pedestrians Kurt Cochran, 54, Leslie Rhodes, 75, Aysha Frade, 44, and Andreea Cristea, 31, who were ran down by Khalid Masood before he left the car, armed with knives.

Masood, 52, went on to stab Pc Palmer repeatedly inside the Palace of Westminster.

Mobile phone video showing the moment Masood struck, then people rushing to help the officer, was played at the Old Bailey along with audio from phone calls made by people at the scene.

In one clip, someone could be heard shouting: “Police officer stabbed in the head. Police officer stabbed in the head.”

He was described as having a “weak pulse” and losing blood

A man could be heard urging Pc Palmer to fight for his life, shouting: “Keith, come on son.”

Barriers in place at Westminster. Credit: PA

An ambulance arrived on the scene just before 3pm but efforts to save Pc Palmer’s life stopped at 3.15pm.

Masood was shot and killed by a plainclothes officer as he made his way towards the MPs' entrance to the building.

The entire attack lated just 82 seconds - but the inquest heard that there had been no firearms officers near Parliament’s Carriage Gates for at least 46 minutes before the attack.

Dominic Adamson, representing his widow Michelle, said the gates were regarded as “one of the most vulnerable areas of the New Palace Yard to an attack” and one of the most “identifiable and exploitable weaknesses”.

“The evidence will show that for at least 46 minutes there is no evidence of authorised firearms officers (AFOs) being present or in close proximity to the gates in the CCTV footage,” he told the Old Bailey.

He suggested the arrangements meant an unarmed officer would be left with a can of CS “spray and a baton against a large man armed with two knives”.

Victims of the Westminster attack.

“It’s not an equal fight, a spray against knives,” he suggested to Pc James Ross, a former AFO, who was unarmed when he was on duty on March 22 last year.

Pc Ross said he did not hear a fellow officer shout: “Where’s the firearms, Where’s the firearms?” as Masood stabbed his colleague with two foot-long knives.

“At that time you need them there,” said Mr Adamson. “And they were, to put it bluntly, nowhere to be seen.”

Pc Ross replied: “No sir.”

The officer told the court armed officers used to be stationed at the heavy open gates but in 2017 they had a “roving patrol”.

Asked if he thought he would have been able to take an effective shot at Masood, had he been armed, Pc Ross said: “From where I was there was two officers in front of me.

“From where I was the attack was too close to Keith. It’s very hard to say.”

Westminster attacker Khalid Masood. Credit: Metropolitan Police/PA

Mr Adamson also suggested security barriers would have also provided officers at the gate “with a degree of protection”.

“Whenever you’re opening and closing the gates there is no protection at all,” Mr Ross said.

“It’s changed now for the better. There’s more protection”

The inquest heard there were two firearms officers on patrol in New Palace Yard on the day of the attack.

Pc Doug Glaze said he held a fixed position on the gates as an AFO until 2012, but was on duty as an unarmed uniformed officer on the day of the attack.

He estimated the pair of AFOs on roving patrol would be near the gates about half of the time.

Carriage Gates, one of the entry points to the Palace of Westminster Credit: John Stillwell/PA

The hearing on Friday began with an 11th-hour bid by Pc Palmer's family to halt the inquest, after being refused legal aid.

The Old Bailey heard the sisters of the officer - Angela Clark and Michelle Palmer - were “extremely distressed” that nobody from the Metropolitan Police has spoken to them to let them know there was an issue surrounding the absence of armed officers in place to protect their brother.

His wife was already being represented.

Susannah Stevens, representing the pair, applied to adjourn proceedings before evidence relating to the officer was due to begin.

“Their application for funding so that they could have lawyers at this inquest was refused by legal aid agency on Thursday last week,” she said.

The Metropolitan Police, on the other hand, have been represented by a QC and a junior barrister since the beginning of the process, she added.

She said lawyers had been acting pro bono for them, and appealed to the coroner Mark Lucraft QC to help.

But he rejected her applications, saying the inquest would be “thorough and detailed”.