Hostages plotted to stab Sydney siege gunman

Two staff members of a Sydney cafe have revealed how they plotted to stab a gunman who held them hostage during a 16-hour siege in December.

Joel Herat, 21, and Jarrod Morton-Hoffman, 19, said in paid interviews broadcast yesterday by Nine Network television that they armed themselves with box cutters after gunman Man Horan Monis took them and 16 other people hostage in the Lindt Cafe in downtown Sydney.

“I’ve got this knife in my pocket and I know Joel has a knife in his pocket and we are so close, we can do this,” Morton-Hoffman said.

Morton-Hoffman said if someone had jumped Monis and pinned his arms, “I would stab him in the jugular” artery in his neck.

“But he had his gun. He had it on his knee and I could see that it was pointed directly at Julie Taylor,” a pregnant hostage, Morton-Hoffman said.

Herat said he contemplated stabbing Monis as Herat was forced to stand holding an Islamic flag against a cafe window.

“He was right below me sitting on the lounge and (I thought) do I stab him? What if I miss? What are the consequences of that, you know, who’s he going to shoot?” Herat said.

Cafe staffers Bae Jie-un, 20, who was on her first day back at work after a holiday, and Elly Chen, 22, who had been employed for less than a week, told how Bae quietly unbolted an internal door to escape. “I would have felt guilty if I ran out by myself with someone right next to me,” Bae said of Chen. “I had to get her out there with me.”

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