Woolwich: Brave former Ipswich Brownie leader Ingrid Loyau-Kennett confronts alleged soldier killer
PUBLISHED: 09:25 24 May 2013 | UPDATED: 09:25 24 May 2013
A woman who risked her life to confront an armed man who allegedly murdered Drummer Lee Rigby in a brutal attack in London can today be revealed as a former Brownie leader in Ipswich.
In response to the murder outside Woolwich Barracks, military bases across the Suffolk and Essex have stepped up their security measures.
A spokesman for Colchester Garrison, which incorpates bases in Woodbridge, Wattisham and Colchester, said: “Security is something the Army takes very seriously, and we have taken steps to ensure that appropriate security measures are in place for the protection of personnel and Army establishments.”
A Suffolk police spokeswoman said officers are carrying out reassurance visits to key locations, including military sites across the county.
She added: “While there is currently no indication of any specific threat relating to Norfolk or Suffolk, we would ask local people to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity immediately to the police on 999.”
Mother-of-two Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, formerly of Grundisburgh, was on a bus heading through Woolwich on Wednesday afternoon when she spotted the stricken 25-year-old soldier lying in the road.
The killing has caused heightened tensions between religious communities with Manwar Ali, chief executive of Ipswich-based Islamic charity, Jimas, afraid of potential repercussions.
Ms Loyau-Kennett, 48, tried to reason with one of the alleged killers wielding a bloodied knife just moments after father-of-one Drummer Rigby, who was wearing a Help for Heroes T-shirt, was hacked to death in the barbaric attack just yards from the Royal Artillery Barracks.
Roy Everett, who lived near her in Grundisburgh for around six years before she moved to New Zealand, said it was a shock to see her confronting an alleged cold-blooded killer.
“She was always quite a forceful character and if she wanted her way, she got it,” he added. “She was not worried about making enemies.
“She was a confronter rather than a negotiator so to see her do this was not a surprise.
“She’s still very much someone to plunge in at the deep end and help people.”
Ms Loyau-Kennett, who was a Snowy Owl Brownie leader in Ipswich, told ITV Daybreak she initially thought the victim had been injured in a car crash having seen a damaged car nearby.
She said: “I went to the guy and when I approached the body there was a lady cradling him.
“And then (one of the alleged killers), the most excited one of the two, said, ‘Don’t go too close to the body’.
“I thought, okay. And because I was down I could see a butcher’s knife and an axe - that’s what he had - and blood. I thought, what the heck? I thought obviously he was a bit excited and the thing was just to talk to him.”
Ms Loyau-Kennett, mum to Pawony and Basil Baradaran, said she tried to reason with the alleged killer in an effort to focus his attention away from other potential victims, as large crowds began to gather at the scene.
She said: “I know it’s big today but for me it was just a regular guy, just a bit upset. He was not on drugs, he was not drunk.
“I said, ‘Why?’ He said: ‘He’s a British soldier. He killed people. He killed Muslim people in Muslim countries.’
“And I said: okay. So what would you like? I tried to make him talk about how he felt. He said all the bombs dropping and blindly killing women, children.
“More and more people were starting to come. There were so many people around. I just looked around and I found it so daunting.”
Asked if she was scared, Ms Loyau-Kennett, who is understood to have links to Woodbridge Choral Society and Grundisburgh Amateur Dramatic Society, said: “No, better me than a child.”
Two men shot by police at the scene of the attack remain under armed guard at two separate London hospitals, having been arrested on suspicion of murder.
A man and a woman, both 29, were last night arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder in connection with Drummer Rigby’s death.