Catholic faith helped mother confront UK terrorists

A mother of two who calmly confronted the men who hacked to death a British soldier in London has attributed her courage to her Catholic faith.

Ingrid Loyau-Kennet, who formerly lived in Auckland, told the Daily Telegraph: “I live my life as a Christian. I believe in thinking about others and loving thy neighbour. We all have a duty to look after each other. A whole group of people walking towards those guys would have found it easy to take those weapons out of their hands. But me, on my own, I couldn’t.”

Mrs Loyau-Kennet was travelling on a bus through Woolwich in south-east London when the bus stopped because of a body on the road and a crashed car.

Thinking there had been a road accident, she immediately got off the bus to help.

A Caribbean woman tending to the man on the ground told her he was dead.

Mrs Loyau-Kennet said: “I took his arm to feel his pulse. There was blood on the pavement where he had been dragged and blood was pouring out of him.

“Suddenly this excited black man came up to me and said: ‘Get away from the body; don’t touch it.’ I looked up and I could see red hands, a bloodied revolver, bloodied meat cleaver and a butcher’s knife. OK, I thought, this is bad.”

As she waited for the police to arrive, Mrs Loyau-Kennett tried to reason with the two men.

“We want to start a war,” one of them told her. “I will shoot the police when they come. I want to kill them.” Looking them straight in the eye, she replied calmly: “That’s not going to happen. I am here and I am going to listen to you.”

Mrs Loyau-Kennet remained with the soldier, later identified as Drummer Lee Rigby, despite an onlooker advising her to move away.

She said: “I told her I wasn’t leaving; as long as I don’t see professionals here, I’m staying. He knows me; he knows I’m calm. I’m not afraid whatsoever. I’ll stay until something happens.”

In Britain, Mrs Loyau-Kennet is being regarded as a national hero, even Prime Minister David Cameron praising her courage.


Catholic Herald

The Telegraph

NZ Herald

Image: The Times

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