Streatham terror attacker Sudesh Amman was ‘lawfully killed’, jury finds

After stealing a knife from a shop in south London, Sudesh Amman stabbed two members of the public at random before being gunned down by police – and he was lawfully killed, it has been decided

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Footage shows final seconds of Sudesh Amman’s life

A man who carried out a terror attack in south London last year was lawfully killed by police, an inquest into his death has found.

Sudesh Amman went on a 62-second stabbing rampage on Streatham High Road little over a week after he was released from prison.

After stealing a knife from a shop in south London, he stabbed two members of the public at random. They both survived the attack.

The 20-year-old then charged at police before being shot dead by armed officers in south London in February last year.

But the terror attack may have been prevented had he been recalled to prison after buying items used to fake a suicide belt, the inquest found.

Sudesh Amman was shot as he ran towards undercover armed officers with a 20cm knife on Streatham High Road



Police and MI5 officers were so concerned about Amman two days before the atrocity that they held an emergency meeting to discuss the prospect of arresting the recently released terrorist.

Amman was kept under round-the-clock armed surveillance instead.

The senior investigating officer on the Amman case denied suggestions from the terrorist’s family that police should have intervened and that the undercover operation was a “massive failure”, saying instead the Met’s actions on the day he struck prevented further tragedy.

Screams of “he’s not going to make it” after terrorist went on knife rampage

Dramatic final seconds of terrorist’s life as he stabbed two in knife rampage

Amman had only been released from Belmarsh prison 10 days earlier after serving part of a 40-month sentence for terror offences.

His release came despite pleas from police and MI5 to detain him for longer amid concerns that he remained a danger to the public.

The 20-year-old was shot dead by armed police last year



In prison, he boasted of a “strong desire to go to the afterlife” and openly shared his wish to kill the Queen.

A senior officer wrote to the prison governor of Belmarsh jail, asking if he could keep Amman in jail longer.

Amman, who was of Sri Lankan descent and was raised in Coventry and Birmingham before moving to Harrow in north-west London, was seen buying four small bottles of Irn Bru, some parcel tape and kitchen foil from a nearby Poundland on January 31.

It prompted police to call an emergency meeting at which it was decided to ramp up security rather than arrest him amid fears that he might use the materials to fashion a suicide belt.

Officers conducted a finger tip search at the scene following the Streatham High Road attack



Amman struck two days later and was found to be wearing a “crude” explosive device replica, made out of the items he bought at Poundland.

The inquest jury at the Royal Courts of Justice returned a conclusion of lawful killing, after retiring for 11 hours to consider their finding, but said probation “missed an opportunity” to send him back to prison following the Poundland trip.

Jurors concluded the decision not to search Amman’s probation hostel, or search him in person on the day of the attack, did not amount to a missed opportunity.

The coroner Mr Justice Hilliard, at the inquest’s conclusion, said: “Amman was prepared to risk his life… In stark contrast the Metropolitan Police surveillance teams were prepared to put themselves in harm’s way.

In prison, he openly shared his wish to kill the Queen



“They are all to be commended for their bravery, and they are owed a considerable debt of gratitude for their bravery.”

Amman’s family already conceded police had little choice but to shoot the 20-year-old.

One of the victims of the terror attack feared he would bleed to death after overhearing someone say ‘he’s not going to make it’.

The man told police: “I didn’t realise I had been stabbed until I saw the blood.

“I felt something on my right-hand side, blood was spurting out and hitting my hand. I couldn’t breathe when the knife went in.

“I looked but couldn’t believe it until I saw the blood hitting my hand and realised it was me.”

The man said he walked three or four metres before falling over, at which point he was tended to by two passers-by, Katherine Day and Thomas Baldwin, who began performing first aid.

He said: “They cut off my clothes, they saved my life. I will never forget.

“The woman was crying saying: ‘Please don’t go, where’s the ambulance?’ It really hurt when they put me on the ambulance bed. I heard someone say: ‘We can’t drive, he’s not going to make it.’

“Then I don’t remember anything until the hospital. I was awake until they put the mask on me.”

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