Families of the innocent victims of the July 7 attacks made an emotional courtroom outburst after a lawyer called the men who killed their loved ones "apparent bombers".
Dozens of bereaved relatives attended a hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice to discuss how the inquests of those who died in the 2005 London bombings should proceed.
But several took offence at the way counsel to the inquest, Hugo Keith QC, referred to the four men who carried out the suicide attacks.
Ernest Adams, 72, stood up in the hearing to protest at the phrase he used, "apparent bombers". His son James, 32, a mortgage broker from Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, was one of 26 people killed by Jermaine Lindsay, 19, between King's Cross and Russell Square.
Mr Adams told the court: "For more than four-and-a-half years, the whole world has known that four sick and evil men killed 52 lovely innocent people. And yet now lawyers are talking and writing about 'apparent bombers'.
"Your inquest is not going to be about 52 apparent deaths, it will be about 52 real deaths caused by four real bombers. I find it very upsetting and insulting to use the word 'apparent'."
Families of two of the attackers were represented at the hearing, and Mr Adams questioned whether their lawyers had asked for the phrase to be used.
Mr Keith apologised for causing distress to the families, saying: "I must balance that which may seem to be obvious with not wishing to pre-judge the issues."
The coroner, Lady Justice Hallett, said her team would try to come up with another phrase that would not cause upset. "We have all very much noted that point, and are sorry for any distress caused by use of that expression," she said.
The coroner will decide whether the inquests need to be held at all, and if so how broad their scope should be, at a further three-day hearing from April 26 to 28.