Lifestyle

Heroic London Bridge victim Jack Merritt was first to try to stop terrorist

London Bridge terror attack victim Jack Merritt was stabbed to death when he bravely confronted terrorist Usman Khan as the "first line of defence", it was revealed this evening.

Jack, 25, was a course coordinator for prisoner rehabilitation programme Learning Together, which was hosting an event when Usman Khan, 28, launched his attack .

Now the former Cambridge student's heroics have been laid bare by Bryonn Bain who was speaking at the event at Fishermans' Hall in London Bridge on Friday.

He described how Jack was the "first line of defence" running down when he heard shouting in the building.

Speaking to the BBC Mr Bain said: "It felt like a war zone…total chaos but these guys stepped up in the moment and did what few would do and put their own lives in harm's way.


  • London Bridge attack: How brave heroes faced down terror in Fishmongers' Hall

  • London Bridge terror attack heroes share why they tackled knife man

"He was brave in his own regard. He was the first line of defence, He was the first person to confront him at the door.

I saw people die. I saw things that I'm never going to be able to unsee."

Mr Bain, Associate Professor at UCLA, had spent the day before the attack with Jack at Whitemoor Prison.

He added: "He was aspiring. He had a bright light in his eyes. He was a young kid but he was a Cambridge grad so he could have been anywhere, done anything with his privileged education."


  • Jeremy Corbyn says terrorists should only be released if they no longer pose a threat

Jack's devastated father David paid tribute to his son on Twitter , writing: "My son, Jack, who was killed in this attack, would not wish his death to be used as the pretext for more draconian sentences or for detaining people unnecessarily.

"R.I.P. Jack: you were a beautiful spirit who always took the side of the underdog."

Jack was killed along with fellow student Saskia Jones who was volunteering at the event.

Usman was on licence and wearing an electronic monitoring tag when he launched his attack as he attended Friday's conference on prisoner rehabilitation hosted by the university scheme at Fishmongers' Hall.

Inspirational Saskia motivated people to be the best versions of themselves, and selflessly went out her way to help others, including shaving all her hair off to raise money for charity.

Her heartbroken family said she “always wanted to see the best in people” describing her as "a funny, kind, positive influence at the centre of many people's lives."

The full statement from her family said: "Saskia was a funny, kind, positive influence at the centre of many people’s lives.

"She had a wonderful sense of mischievous fun and was generous to the point of always wanting to see the best in all people.

"She was intent on living life to the full and had a wonderful thirst for knowledge, enabling her to be the best she could be.

"Saskia had a great passion for providing invaluable support to victims of criminal injustice, which led her to the point of recently applying for the police graduate recruitment programme, wishing to specialise in victim support.

"This is an extremely painful time for the family. Saskia will leave a huge void in our lives and we would request that our privacy is fully respected.”

Saskia, who had been volunteering with the Learning Together programme when the stabbing frenzy began, has also been described as someone who "would have been a force for good".

Olivia Smith, a lecturer in Criminology who marked Saskia's dissertation when she was at Anglia Ruskin University, described her as "one of a kind".

Dr Smith said: "Saskia Jones was one of those students makes you so proud to be in this job.

"I'm so sorry that the world won't get to see what she could have achieved.

"She was one of a kind and loved justice, she would have been a force for good and I'm so sorry for us all that we've lost her."

Source: Read Full Article