London Bridge attack victim named as Jack Merritt

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Media captionListen to Jack Merritt on a BBC podcast about his work helping inmates at a prison to study law.

One of the people stabbed to death in Friday’s attack at London Bridge has been named as 25-year-old University of Cambridge graduate, Jack Merritt.

He was one of two people killed when 28-year-old Usman Khan launched the attack at a Cambridge University conference on prisoner rehabilitation.

Khan, who had been jailed over a terror plot, was shot dead by police after members of the public restrained him.

Mr Merritt was described by his father on Twitter as a “beautiful spirit”.

A woman who died in the attack – declared by officers as a terrorist incident – has not yet been named. Three others were injured.

Mr Merritt, from Cambridge, was a course coordinator for Learning Together, a prisoners’ rehabilitation programme which was hosting the conference at Fishmongers’ Hall, at the north end of London Bridge.

Khan had been one of dozens of people – including students and offenders – at the event.

Mr Merritt’s father, David, said on Twitter that he was a “a beautiful spirit who always took the side of the underdog”.

“Jack spoke so highly of all the people he worked with & he loved his job,” he added.

Mr Merritt studied for a bachelor’s degree in law at the University of Manchester, graduating in 2016.

He went on to study at the University of Cambridge, where he worked in the criminology department running Learning Together.

Audrey Ludwig, who knew Mr Merritt through work, said his “deep commitment to prisoner education and rehabilitation was deeply impressive”.

“I send condolences to his family, colleagues and the prisoners’ group,” she added.

Another friend said Mr Merrit was “incredibly witty and intelligent, with more lust for life than many our age and a determination to make his mark in the world”.

Rapper Dave also paid tribute to Mr Merritt, saying he had “dedicated his life to helping others”.

The Streatham-born rapper said it was “genuinely an honour to have met someone like you” and he would “never ever forget” everything the law graduate had “done for us”.

Dave’s Mercury Prize-winning album was inspired by rehabilitation therapy his brother Christopher Omoregie has received as he serves a life sentence for murder.

Media captionWhat happened at London Bridge stabbing incident?

The Metropolitan Police said the attack is believed to have started inside Fishmongers Hall at 13:58 GMT on Friday, before continuing onto London Bridge itself, where Khan was shot by armed officers.

Khan was known to the authorities, having been convicted of a terrorism offence in 2012. He was released from prison in December 2018 subject to an “extensive list of licence conditions”, Met Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said.

Mr Basu said, on Saturday, that “to the best of my knowledge, he was complying with those conditions”.

Media captionMet Police: London Bridge attacker was ‘complying’ with license conditions

One of the conditions was that Khan was obliged to take part in the government’s desistance and disengagement programme – the purpose of which is the rehabilitation of people who have been involved in terrorism.

Mr Basu said officers had been working “flat out” to try to establish the “full circumstances” of the stabbing.

He praised the “incredible acts of bravery” by members of the emergency services and the public who intervened – even after they realised Khan was wearing a “very convincing” fake explosive vest.

Mr Basu added officers had found no evidence to suggest anyone else was involved in the attack.

Media captionUsman Khan speaking to the BBC in 2008: ‘I ain’t no terrorist’

NHS chief executive Simon Stevens said three victims remained in hospital following the attack – two in a stable condition and one with less serious injuries.

Police carried out searches at two addresses in Stafford and Stoke-on-Trent as part of the investigation.

Staffordshire Police’s Deputy Ch Con, Nick Baker, said it was “vitally important everyone remains alert but not alarmed”.

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