Police officer feared Woolwich suspect would kill her, court hears

LONDON Tue Dec 3, 2013 8:35am EST

Police officers block the street while defendants under armed guard are driven into the Old Bailey in central London, December 3, 2013. The trial of two men accused of killing a soldier on a south London street continues at the Old Bailey today. REUTERS/Andrew Winning

Police officers block the street while defendants under armed guard are driven into the Old Bailey in central London, December 3, 2013. The trial of two men accused of killing a soldier on a south London street continues at the Old Bailey today.

Credit: Reuters/Andrew Winning

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LONDON (Reuters) - A police officer who arrived shortly after a British soldier was hacked to death in broad daylight on a London street thought she too was going to be killed by one of the suspected murderers, the Old Bailey was told on Tuesday.

Michael Adebolajo, 28, and Michael Adebowale, 22, are accused of running over Drummer Lee Rigby, 25, as he crossed a street in Woolwich, southeast London, in May before attacking his unconscious body with a meat cleaver and knives.

In comments read out by prosecutor Richard Whittam, the female specialist firearms officer, identified only as 'D49', said how she feared she too would be attacked moments after arriving on the scene.

"I saw a flash to my right and I saw a black male running towards with me with both hands in the air with a chopping motion," the officer said.

She said she saw what appeared to be a meat cleaver in the man's right hand.

"I instantly thought he's going to kill me," said D49, one of three firearms officers who rushed to the scene.

She said at one point one of the two suspects was just a meter away from the police car as she unsuccessfully tried to pull out a gun before managing to hit the man with her taser stun gun.

The court has heard several witnesses describe seeing the attack and aftermath.

The jury has heard the two suspects dragged Rigby's body into the middle of the road for as many people to see as possible.

Both men deny murder and the trial is expected to last three weeks.

(Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by Stephen Addison)

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