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Inquests to be opened for London Bridge terror victims

Cambridge University graduates Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones were stabbed to death during a prisoner rehabilitation event at Fishmongers’ Hall.

Tributes to Cambridge University graduates Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones on London Bridge (Rick Findler/PA)
Tributes to Cambridge University graduates Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones on London Bridge (Rick Findler/PA)

By Emily Pennink, PA Old Bailey Correspondent

Inquests into the deaths of London Bridge terror attack victims Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones will be opened at the Old Bailey.

Cambridge University graduates Mr Merritt, 25, and Ms Jones, 23, were stabbed to death during a prisoner rehabilitation event at Fishmongers’ Hall, by the bridge.

Their killer, convicted terrorist Usman Khan, 28, who was living in Stafford, had been given permission to travel into London before the event on Friday.

Armed with two knives and wearing a fake suicide vest, he was tackled by members of the public, including ex-offenders at the conference, before he was shot dead by police.

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Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones were killed in the terror attack on November 29 (Met Police/PA)

On Wednesday, City of London senior coroner Alison Hewitt is expected to open and adjourn inquests at the Old Bailey into the two victims’ deaths.

Afterwards, the coroner will also open and adjourn an inquest into the death of Khan.

Mr Merritt, from Cottenham, Cambridgeshire, was a co-ordinator for Learning Together.

It is a programme associated with Cambridge University’s Institute of Criminology which aims to bring offenders and people in higher education to study alongside each other.

Programme volunteer Ms Jones, from Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, was described as having “great passion” for providing support to victims of crime by her family.

In a statement, they said: “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.”

Mr Merritt’s father David has criticised politicians for using his son’s death “to perpetuate an agenda of hate”.

Three more people were injured in the attack, two of which are said to be in a stable condition in hospital while the third has returned home.

The fresh inquests come just months after the conclusion of the Old Bailey inquests into the deaths of eight innocent people during the 2017 London Bridge terror attack.

PA

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