Sir David Amess: Bodycam shows moment terror suspect is arrested

Bodycam footage of the moment the terror suspect accused of murdering Sir David Amess was tackled by plain-clothes police officers has been shown to jurors at the Old Bailey. 

The video shows Essex Police constables Scott James and Ryan Curtis ordering Ali Harbi Ali to drop a bloody, foot-long carving knife before charging at him and pinning him to the floor. 

In the aftermath, 26-year-old university drop-out Ali, who is said to have excelled at school, could be heard saying he was ‘prepared to die’, before asking the officers to put his glasses back on his face. 

One of the officers replied: ‘Mate, that’s not our concern.’ 

The stand-off happened within minutes of Conservative backbencher Sir David being knifed more than 20 times as he held a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea. 

PCs James and Curtis were in the area on October 15, 2021, looking for an unrelated wanted suspect when they were called to Belfairs Methodist Church, where Sir David’s meeting was being held. 

The duo arrived to be told the 69-year-old politician had been ‘stabbed several times’. 

The pair, armed only with batons and incapacitant spray, ran into the building and came face to face with the suspect. 

They can be heard shouting: ‘Drop that knife.’ 

One added: ‘It’s only going to go one way. Please drop that knife.’ 


Photo issued by Metropolitan Police of Ali Harbi Ali after being arrested on suspicion of the murder of Sir David Amess (Picture: PA)


Screen grab from CCTV issued by Metropolitan Police of of Ali Harbi Ali in Westminster on September 22 2021, which was shown to the jury that has been shown to the jury at the Old Bailey, London, in the trial of Ali accused of murdering the veteran Conservative MP Sir David Amess as he held meetings with constituents in a church building last year. The 26 year old denies fatally stabbing the MP for Southend West during a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, on October 15. Issue date: Thursday March 24, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story COURTS MP. Photo credit should read: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

Screen grab from CCTV issued by Metropolitan Police of of Ali Harbi Ali in Westminster on September 22, 2021, which was shown to the jury (Picture: PA)


Undated handout file photo issued by UK Parliament of Sir David Amess. Ali Harbi Ali is due to go on trial at the Old Bailey on Minday accused of murdering the veteran Conservative MP as he held meetings with constituents in a church building last year. The 26 year old denies fatally stabbing the MP for Southend West during a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, on October 15. Issue date: Monday March 21, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story COURTS MP. Photo credit should read: Chris McAndrew/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

Sir David Amess was stabbed as he held meetings with constituents in a church building last year (Picture: PA)


Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Ali Harbi Ali in the dock at the Old Bailey in London accused of stabbing to death Sir David Amess, the Conservative MP for Southend West during a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex on October 15. Picture date: Monday March 21, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story COURTS MP. Photo credit should read: Elizabeth Cook/PA Wire

Court artist sketch of Ali Harbi Ali in the dock at the Old Bailey (Picture: PA)

The pair then charged at Ali, who is said to have been on a 14-minute phone call with his ‘hysterical’ sister at the time. 

Ali then said: ‘My phone’s rung, it’s the family.’ 

Shouting, as if to ensure the caller could hear, he added: ‘Don’t worry. The police got me. They’re not gonna shoot.’ 

Ali was taken into custody, where he allegedly told the booking-in officer the incident was both ‘terror’ related and had ‘religious’ motivations. 

Jurors were also shown CCTV footage of Ali walking around Westminster, past Downing Street, along the Carriage Gates entrance to the House of Commons and around Parliament Square, less than a month before Sir David was killed. 

Ali had managed to arrange an appointment with Sir David by duping the veteran politician’s office into believing he was a healthcare worker moving to the area who wished to discuss local matters. 


REDACTION MADE AT SOURCE Undated handout photo issued by Metropolitan Police of email contact between Ali Harbi Ali and the office of Sir David Amess that has been shown to the jury at the Old Bailey, London, in the trial of Ali Harbi Ali accused of murdering the veteran Conservative MP as he held meetings with constituents in a church building last year. The 26 year old denies fatally stabbing the MP for Southend West during a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, on October 15. Issue date: Wednesday March 23, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story COURTS MP. Photo credit should read: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

Email contact between Ali Harbi Ali and the office of Sir David Amess (Picture: PA)


REDACTION MADE AT SOURCE Undated handout photo issued by Metropolitan Police of email contact between Ali Harbi Ali and the office of Sir David Amess that has been shown to the jury at the Old Bailey, London, in the trial of Ali Harbi Ali accused of murdering the veteran Conservative MP as he held meetings with constituents in a church building last year. The 26 year old denies fatally stabbing the MP for Southend West during a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, on October 15. Issue date: Wednesday March 23, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story COURTS MP. Photo credit should read: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

The 26-year-old denies fatally stabbing the MP for Southend West (Picture: PA)

Rebecca Hayton, Sir David’s junior aide who was with him at the surgery, previously described seeing Ali stand up, say ‘sorry’, pull a knife from his clothing, and stab the married father-of-five. 

Other witnesses said Ali had a look of ‘self-satisfaction’ as though he had ‘achieved something’ in the moments after the attack. 

Darren King, who ran to the scene after the alarm was raised, recalled his own tense stand-off with the armed assailant, telling police Ali claimed he killed Sir David due to the Government’s bombing campaign in Syria and wanted to be shot by officers. 

Sir David died from multiple stab wounds to the chest, some 15cm deep, and was pronounced dead at the church. 

The trial previously heard how Ali allegedly spent years hatching his plot, researching severalpotential high-profile political targets including Michael Gove, Dominic Raab and Sir Keir Starmer, before settling on Sir David. 

Ali, from Kentish Town in north London, denies preparing terrorist acts and murder. 

The trial continues. 

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