A grieving husband armed with a machete launched a terrifying attack on a church hall singing group because he was angry at God for his wife’s painful death from cancer.
The unemployed man allegedly punched, kicked and battered five elderly people including an 84-year-old woman at St Barnabas Church in Orpington, Kent.
The terrified party, part of the Velvet Harmony barbershop singing group, locked themselves inside the hall, turned off the lights and closed the curtains after hearing windows breaking outside.
But as they waited for the police to arrive the man, who was wearing a mask with a Mohican hairstyle, smashed his way in and attacked the singers, aged in their 60s and 80s, as they tried to flee.
He was only stopped when he was wrestled to the ground by Stephen Izegbu, a careworker who had seen the violence erupt from his flat across the road.
Mr Izegbu, 28, said: ‘He wanted to kill. He would have murdered everyone inside that church.
‘As I tried to pin him back he shouted “I am the devil and I will kill you all”. You could see in his eyes that he meant it.’
Mr Izegbu received head injuries but said he could not have sat back. He said: ‘I was only in my pyjamas but I ran out to stop him. He was punching an old lady in the face and hitting her with a walking stick. I had to do something.’
It later emerged that Mr Izegbu had become a British citizen just hours before.
Richard Elliott, who helped the hero tackle the masked man, said of the incident: ‘I had never met Stephen before and he said he had just got his British citizenship that day.
‘I said, welcome to the country, do not expect this every day.’