Bystanders took selfies and filmed victims of the Westminster Bridge attack instead of going to help, the inquest has heard.

On the last day of evidence, a senior police officer spoke of witnesses who yelled at bystanders to help, instead of taking pictures.

Gareth Patterson QC, for the families of victims on the bridge, said that although many members of the public did assist, some members of the public used phones to take photographs or video the casualties.

'Some of the footage was sent in to the police but some unnecessary footage was put online,' he said.


One member of the public who gave a statement told how she and the person she was with had been hit by the vehicle in the attack and she was filmed as she tried to help him.

'No one was helping they were just taking photos and videos of us,' she said.

Another mentioned 'lots of people taking pictures and using selfie sticks' and added: 'I was getting cross and shouting at them to help. I remember getting very cross with them'

An off-duty police officer mentioned 'huddles of people along the footpath' and said she remonstrated with a man who had been told by another officer to stop filming.

'I saw around six or eight people walking along the bridge with their mobile phones out as though they were filming the injured people,' she added. 'I think they were sick for doing this.'

Khalid Masood, 52, was shot dead after stabbing Pc Palmer, 48, to death and ploughing into four pedestrians on Westminster Bridge in a rented 4x4.
Khalid Masood, 52, was shot dead after stabbing Pc Palmer, 48, to death and ploughing into four pedestrians on Westminster Bridge in a rented 4x4.

A number of people took pictures of Aysha Frade who had died under the wheels of a bus, before she was covered with a blanket.

One witness saw someone with a large camera lens, and told police: 'I told him very sternly, using bad language, to clear off.'

Someone else got 'very angry' trying to get 'some idiot to stop filming her.'

Det Supt John Crossley said that as soon as police got there they tried to stop them.

'There was a shock at the indignity of the casualties and, in at least once case, one of those who was killed,' Mr Patterson said.

Pc Nick Carlisle was among the uniformed unarmed officers posted at the gates of the Palace of Westminster on March 22 last year.

He told the Old Bailey how he attempted to launch a 'rugby tackle' on knifeman Masood when he saw him setting upon his colleague Pc Keith Palmer.

He distracted Masood long enough to allow them both to run off before the attacker was shot dead by close protection officers.

Asked if he had any doubt what the attacker wanted to do, Pc Carlisle said: 'None whatsoever.

'He looked me directly in the eye. He was coming through a crowd of people. He was not interested in members of the public.

'He was coming to kill police officers.'

Describing the fast-moving events, he said: 'I heard a loud bang in Bridge Street. It was over my right shoulder, about 30 metres away.'

Through the radio he heard a report of a possible explosion, he said: 'I could see a grey vehicle 4x4 against the wall of the railings in Bridge Street. Smoke was coming through the fence. It looked as if there had been a high speed road accident.'

He said there was shouting and screaming as a crowd of people surged towards Parliament Square.

'A man wearing a suit in his 40s shouted 'men with knife stabbing people, men with knives'.

'As soon as he said that I was drawn to the attacker just behind.'

Pc Carlisle said he backed away about 10 metres and turned to see the attacker had caught Pc Palmer.

'I ran forward intending to issue a rugby tackle, shoulder barge.

'He came at me with knives up. I was very close.'

The distraction worked and gave Pc Palmer enough time to get up and run as Pc Carlisle shouted for 'armed support', the inquest heard.

Pc Carlisle told how he saw close protection officers with handguns drawn.

'I indicated the suspect, making it clear who the attacker was and pointing him out.'

He said he did not hear the warning but understood there had been one before Masood was shot.

Afterwards, he secured him in handcuffs, fearing he was a 'Jihadi-type' attacker who might was wearing a suicide vest.

He then saw Pc Palmer on the ground surrounded by a 'gaggle of people' and went to help.

Hugo Keith, for the Met Police, said: 'You bravely attempted to go towards Masood and Pc Palmer to try to disable Masood, but the reality was there was no time to stop him before he got to Pc Palmer and once he turned towards you with his knives there was no time or ability to stop him after that.'

Pc Carlisle replied: 'It's fair to say, sir.'

Lawyer Susannah Stevens said: 'Can I say on behalf of Pc Palmer's family thank you very much for your bravery in trying to assist?'

Police officer Keith Palmer was killed in the attack.
Police officer Keith Palmer was killed in the attack.

Masood, 52, was shot dead after stabbing Pc Palmer, 48, to death and ploughing into Kurt Cochran, 54, Leslie Rhodes, 75, Aysha Frade, 44, and Andreea Cristea, 31, on Westminster Bridge in a rented 4x4.

Later Jonathan Hough QC, for the coroner, said the Westminster inquest should conclude all five victims of Masood were 'unlawfully killed'.

In his closing submissions, he said: 'Each was murdered in a terrorist atrocity which was no less brutal for its lack of sophistication.'

He argued Coroner Mark Lucraft QC should also provide a detailed narrative of how they died.

In the case of Pc Palmer, the main issue was the lack of armed support at the Carriage Gates entrance to the Palace of Westminster.

He said there was an 'arguable case for breach of general duty' and 'systematic weaknesses in security arrangements'.

In his closing argument, Gareth Patterson QC, for families of victims on the bridge, said: 'There are some troubling areas of concern that have emerged from evidence.'

He urged the coroner to make a report on the circumstances of the case to 'protect the public'.

On the role of MI5, he said: 'We do think there is room for improvement in terms of decision making.

'A key feature of Witness L was that all-important decision - when do they investigate, when do they not?'

The barrister said there was a 'black and white' approach among security services, separating probes into attack planning and general evidence of extremism.

'The Frade family was quite frankly bewildered by the failure to revisit Masood, particularly in the latter years when he was again and again meeting with ALM individuals,' Mr Patterson said.

He suggested security services should look again at when to investigate and when to stop, and take account of violent backgrounds.

Mr Patterson suggested the coroner make recommendations to the Government on regulation of hire cars.

The inquest has heard Masood rented a powerful Hyundai in Birmingham without any regulation.

He said: 'The court could encourage the Government to try again. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain.'

He also highlighted problems of the internet and radicalisation and end-to-end encryption of apps such as WhatsApp, which Masood used to send his final 'Jihadi' message seeking to justify his actions.

Parliament's systematic security failures led to missed opportunities to save murdered Pc Palmer's life, the inquest heard.

Dominic Adamson, representing the officer's widow, Michelle, said: 'The evidence has shown that there was, in short, a systematic failure and, in our submission, the evidence has shown in relation to the security arrangements of New Palace Yard that the system for protecting unarmed officers at the gates of the Palace of Westminster had failed and had been failing for years.

'This is not, in our submission, an incidence of an individual act of negligence.

'The problems were, in our submission, obvious and ought to have been identified by those in authorities at the Palace of Westminster.'

He told the coroner: 'In my submission it is very clear that you can be satisfied that as a result of those failures the consequences for Pc Palmer were that there was a substantial loss of the opportunities for him to be saved.'

The lack of firearms officers protecting the entrance to the Palace of Westminster contributed to Pc Palmer's death, an inquest has heard.

Two marksmen were on patrol in New Palace Yard but had been in the vicinity of the Carriage Gates for just 14 out of the 108 minutes before the officer was attacked by knife-wielding Masood.

'Pc Palmer, an unarmed officer, should not have been stabbed to death inside the Palace of Westminster on March 22 last year without any adequate firearms protection,' said Susannah Stevens, representing his family.

'The inadequate security system created a situation where there was no authorised firearms officers present at the time Pc Palmer was attacked,' she continued.

'If there had been AFOs present at that time, in our submission, on the balance of probabilities they would have been able to prevent a loss of an opportunity of saving Pc Palmer's life.

'Or to put it another way, on the balance of probabilities, their absence contributed to Pc Palmer's death.'

She said had AFOs been present, Pc Palmer would not have had to 'sacrifice his life' by moving towards Masood, but could have stepped to the side to allow marksmen to deal with him.