The gunman who killed 30 British people in the Tunisia hotel massacre was smiling as he shot tourists, according to a holidaymaker who ran for his life.

Seifeddine Rezgui calmly stalked the beach at the Mediterranean resort of Sousse, reloading his automatic rifle and shooting at helpless tourists, an inquest has heard.

In total, 38 tourists were killed in the attack at the five-star Riu Imperial Marhaba Hotel on June 26, 2015.

The Sousse attack is the deadliest on British citizens since the London bombings in 2005. Credit: ITV News

In a statement read out at London's Royal Courts of Justice, tourist Stephen Leake said he spotted Rezgui from about 20ft away, adding: "His teeth were white not yellow. He seemed to be smiling."

Mr Leake saw him "scatter" his shots but said he did not seem to be a "professional" gunman.

At one point, as Mr Leake fled and tripped in the sand, he could hear the "ting ting" of the bullets as they bounced off a nearby metal fence.

He managed to hide in a spa where he saw two terrified women, one was hiding in a locker and another was cowering behind a door.

The inquest also heard that two of the victims, mother-of-three Suzanne Davey, 43, of Tamworth, and her partner Scott Chalkley, 42, of Derby, were relaxing on sunloungers when Rezgui opened fire.

Ms Davey would have died very quickly after losing consciousness from being shot in the chest and neck, the court heard.

Mr Leake described the gunman as Credit: Leila Khemissi / AP

Speaking at the inquest into the massacre, Ms Davey’s son Conor Fulford paid tribute to his mother and her partner, who, he said, had given her a “new lease of life.”

He described her as a “hands-on mother”, and said she had enjoyed “many years of lovely holidays while watching her children grow up.”

She was sorely missed by all who knew her, he said, including her two young granddaughters.