Tuesday, 02 June, 2020

London Bridge attack: Victim's girlfriend breaks down at vigil in Cambridge

Dad Of London Terror Victim Slams UK Media For Using His Son’s Death As “Vile Propaganda” London Bridge attack: Victim's girlfriend breaks down at vigil in Cambridge
Deanna Wagner | 03 December, 2019, 21:58

Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones, both Cambridge University graduates, were participating in a conference organized by the university on prisoner rehabilitation at the Fishmongers' Hall in London, when the attack started.

The deadly London Bridge stabbing attack last weekhas shined a light on what some experts say is a criminal justice system in crisis as it struggles to cope with overcrowded prisons and overstretched rehabilitation programs after years of huge funding cuts.There was public outrage after it emerged that Friday's attacker, Usman Khan, had been released halfway through his 16-year sentencefor his part in an al Qaeda-inspired plot to blow up the London Stock Exchange and other sites.

The event on prisoner rehabilitation, attended by all three, was run by academics at the University of Cambridge's criminology institute.

Jack Merritt's father wrote on Twitter: "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".

A minute's silence was observed at Guildhall Yard in central London and Cambridge.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan attend a vigil for victims of a fatal attack on London Bridge in London, Britain December 2, 2019.

At the vigil, London's mayor, Sadiq Khan, said the British capital had gathered "in a spirit of defiance to say that London will never be cowed or intimidated by terrorism".

US citizen raised in San Diego faces new terrorism charges
The 2013 attack on a shopping mall in Kenya killed and injured dozens, including a graduate of a San Diego-area high school. He left in 2005, traveling first to Yemen, then Somalia, where he is now thought to be, authorities said.

The ceremony was led by Bishop of London Sarah Mullally, and Mustafa Fields, director of multi-faith organisation Faith Forums for London, also spoke. We remember those who died and those who were injured, all those who have been affected in any way. "Workers at Fishmongers' Hall and elsewhere offering hospitality, but discovering they needed to get protection". That passion, they said, had prompted her to apply to a police graduate recruitment program in which she hoped to specialize in victim support.

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

Khan was living in Strafford after being released from prison in December 2018.

His early release has triggered a political blame game in the lead-up to next week's general election. David tweeted last night: "Don't use my son's death, and his and his colleague's photos - to promote your vile propaganda. Jack stood against everything you stand for - hatred, division, ignorance", above an image right-wing newspaper headlines about Johnson's comments.

Earlier, the Merritt family issued a statement: "We know Jack would not want this bad, isolated incident to be used as a pretext by the government for introducing even more draconian sentences on prisoners, or for detaining people in prison for longer than necessary".

Three other people were taken to hospital - one has since returned home while the other two remain in a stable condition, according to Dr Vin Diwaker, medical director of the NHS in London.

The vice chancellor hinted that as well as a Polish chef who helped pacify Khan by using a 5ft whale's tusk, those hospitalised were also involved with Learning Together.