The 48-year-old, from Helston, Cornwall, told The Daily Telegraph: “I thought I had better start talking to him before he starts attacking somebody else. I thought these people usually have a message so I said ‘What do you want?’

“I asked him if he did it and he said ‘Yes’, and I said ‘Why?’ and he said because he has killed Muslim people in Muslim countries, he said he was a British soldier and I said ‘Really?’.

“I said ‘Right now it is only you versus many people, you are going to lose, what would you like to do?’

“And he said ‘I would like to stay and fight’.”

Her confrontation emerged as other witnesses revealed details of the horrific machete attack on the soldier.