A British tourist has described comforting a child, believed to be Australian boy Julian Cadman, during the Barcelona terror attack despite police shouting at him to move to safety.
Harry Athwal said his fatherly instinct kicked in on Thursday as he comforted the helpless boy who was lying on the ground in the Las Ramblas tourist boulevard.
It was soon after a van had mowed down innocent bystanders, killing 13 people, including seven-year-old Sydney boy Julian.
It is thought the boy Athwal comforted was Julian, who was separated from his badly injured mother Jom in the attack.
The scene was “strewn” with bodies but Athwal said he was determined not to leave the boy, who was about the same age as his son, telling BBC News: “I put my hand on his back.
“He was facing face-down and because of the nature of the injuries I did not want to move him.
“I put my hand on his back and he was not breathing.”
Fearing another attack in the same street, a police officer shouted at him to leave.
Athwal told BBC News he was not going to move or leave the child, unless he saw another van or car coming.
“I am not going to let these cowards come back and run over him, not a chance in hell.”
He stroked the boy’s thick brown hair, which was like his son’s, and said a silent prayer for God to please help him.
Athwal rejected any suggestion he was a hero saying, in light of recent attacks, “now we have to stand and be counted”.
It took authorities three days to confirm Julian had died in the attack.