Three hero Britons who took down Sydney knifeman Mert Ney have described how ‘people wanted to hurt’ the ‘weak’ attacker as he lay pinned under a milk crate.
Brothers Paul and Luke O’Shaughnessy and their friend Lee Cuthbert, all from Manchester, were working in the area when they heard the 21-year-old attempting to stab several people in the city’s business district.
Racing down from their fourth-floor office, the three men chased the attacker before tackling him to the ground and helping pin him down with a chair and milk crate.
They have said they are ‘proud’ of their actions, but denied they were heroes – despite police and the country’s prime minister commending them for helping to tackle the suspect.
Today, Luke O’Shaughnessy, a champion Muay Thai boxer, revealed the moment he restrained the knifeman along with other bystanders.
He said that ‘a lot of people… wanted to get to him and hurt him a little bit’ but that the man was talking ‘gibberish’.
Champion Muay Thai boxer Luke O’Shaughnessy (right) led the chase as he joined his brother and a friend in taking down the Sydney knifeman
Lee Cuthbert (pictured) said Luke, with the help of another man, ‘managed to get him down on to the floor and pin him down’ with chairs and a plastic crate before police arrived
Mert Ney is accused of killing a woman before running through central Sydney with a large knife and stabbing another. He was restrained by civilians and firefighters using a crowbar, a chair and a crate (pictured)
The three Britons, Paul O’Shaughnessy (left), Luke O’Shaughnessy (centre) and Lee Cuthbert (right) have described chasing the attacker down. They are pictured during a television interview in Australia today
‘It was more that you could see that he wasn’t well. Yeah, he was very troubled and you could see that, and it was just a shame to see this weak person that had caused so much damage.
‘By then, it was unknown what he had done.’
He said that he and his brother and friend didn’t hesitate as they raced to the scene.
‘It was just one of those things that when you see someone like that covered in blood and there’s a knife and there’s people around, you know, some of our employees were out having coffee meetings and things, so it’s just protection.
‘I said to my brother, “let’s go”. I said we are going and we are in the lift and I said “Mate, there is a person with a knife and there’s blood” and we ran and I’m just so happy that these boys followed.’
Ney is accused of stabbing a 41-year-old woman in the back during his rampage with witnesses saying he shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’.
Paul O’Shaughnessy (right and left, in his playing days with Bury in 2003), speaking with a distinctive northern accent, told reporters the man ‘had a balaclava on, he was wielding a knife with blood on it’
Luke O’Shaughnessy (pictured) chased the attacker and managed to pin him to the ground
Police believe he killed a 24-year-old sex worker before launching his stabbing spree yesterday.
Paul O’Shaughnessy, a former midfielder with Bury between 1999 and 2004, said: ‘We got down the elevator, down the lift and… I’m just thankful that we could play our part.
‘There’s other people that certainly, you know, kind of got there first and we just ran after him as well and helped kind of restrain the individual.’
He added: ‘Luke jumped on the guy, as well as other people restraining him and he didn’t move after that. And I was the one that kind of like just assessed the situation.
‘I could see the knife with blood, I was checking him to see whether he had any explosive on him but Luke was for me, he’s my brother, he’s my hero, he jumped on him straight away without even thinking any of that process through, and I just analyzed the situation in terms of is there any more attackers.’
Paul, a father-of-two who has lived in Sydney for 11 years, said that their actions reflected ‘the type of guys that we are as people’.
The brothers, who run digital talent agency MAP Talent, were in their office on York Street when the drama unfolded at around 3.15pm local time (6.15am BST).
Their friend Lee Cuthbert, 30, said he ‘didn’t really think’ as they sprang into action.
‘I saw these guys run out, you know, first, and I just followed suit. These guys are like my brothers, so once you see them go you kind of just, follow suit really.
‘It was pretty chaotic, very surreal experience, I didn’t really think to be honest, you just act on instinct.’
Paul added: ‘You don’t have to thank us, you know. For us being Britons overseas, like this is our second home. We love Australia. It’s an amazing place and I’ll tell you right now, we’ve had this conversation in the car, if it happened again, we would do it again.’
Three Britons have been hailed as ‘heroes’ by police after they helped detain the knifeman. Lee Cuthbert(left), Paul O’Shaughnessy (centre) and Luke O’Shaughnessy (right), all from Manchester, were working in the area when they heard the man attempting to stab several people outside
Mert Ney was caught on camera moments after allegedly killing 24-year-old sex worker Michaela Dunn (pictured) at a nearby apartment
The brothers said they kept the attacker detained until the police arrived on scene.
New South Wales Police Superintendent Gavin Wood, speaking to reporters near the scene yesterday, said: ‘A number of members of the public actually physically restrained the offender.
‘And I want to acknowledge those people, those members of the public who got involved. They are brave, and I can only use that word seriously.
‘They are significantly brave people. They approach the person … with clear evidence of a stabbing previously. These people are heroes, and I want to acknowledge that.
‘These members of the public going about their day-to-day business have jumped into a situation which was extremely dangerous, extremely hostile, and they have brought a person – who we will be alleging stabbed an innocent person for no specific reason – into custody and allowed us to do our job.’
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison commended the bystanders for intervening.
He posted on Twitter: ‘The violent attack that took place in Sydney this afternoon is deeply concerning.
‘The attacker is now in police custody following the brave actions of those who were present at the scene and able to restrain him.
‘The motivation for this attack has not yet been determined as police are continuing with their enquiries.
‘Our thoughts are with all of those who have been impacted by this violent attack.’