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Cambridge graduates Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones died after single stab wounds to chest, inquest hears



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Cambridge graduates Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones died after single stab wounds to the chest in the London Bridge terror attack, an inquest heard.

Jack, 25, from Cottenham, and Saskia, 23, from Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, were fatally wounded by convicted terrorist Usman Khan last Friday (November 29) at Fishmongers’ Hall.

Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, who were killed in the London Bridge terror attack (23081057)
Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, who were killed in the London Bridge terror attack (23081057)

They were all attending a conference for Learning Together, the prison education and rehabilitation programme run by the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Criminology. Jack was course co-ordinator, Saskia was a volunteer and Khan, who was out of prison on licence, had received special permission to travel to London for the day to take part in workshops.

Inquests into their deaths were opened at the Old Bailey yesterday (December 4) by City of London senior coroner Alison Hewitt.

Desmond Hugh, a detective superintendent at the Met Police, told the inquest that officers were called at 1.58pm to reports of a man attacking delegates.

“Upon arrival a male had left the building and was being restrained on London Bridge by several members of the public. He was subsequently shot by police,” he said.

The inquest heard that Mr Merritt was stabbed just before 2pm. He was taken on a stretcher out of the building by police officers to King William Street as the building was evacuated and it was not clear if the public was still in danger.

Paramedics battled to save Jack, but he was pronounced dead at 3.14pm.

Usman Khan was one of nine members of an al Qa’ida-inspired terror group that plotted to bomb the London Stock Exchange and build a terrorist training camp. Picture: West Midlands Police
Usman Khan was one of nine members of an al Qa’ida-inspired terror group that plotted to bomb the London Stock Exchange and build a terrorist training camp. Picture: West Midlands Police

A post mortem recorded the cause of death as shock and haemorrhaging,and a stab wound to the chest.”

Saskia also died from a single stab wound to the chest. She was pronounced dead at 2.25pm inside the hall.

The inquest heard that Khan, 28, was a UK national living in the Stafford area. He was convicted on October 7, 2011 of an offence contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006 - engaging in conduct in preparation for terrorist acts. This followed a plot of 2010, in which Khan and his fellow conspirators planned to blow up the London Stock Exchange, the US Embassy in London and attack other targets.

Having spent time at HMP Whitemoor near March in Cambridgeshire, he was moved to Woodhill Prison, then released on December 24, 2018.

The inquest heard he took part in a Learning Together programme towards the end of his prison sentence.

Khan, who was subject to a counter terrorism notification order on release, was pronounced dead at 3.07pm.

His cause of death was shock and haemorrhage, and multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and abdomen.

Jack, who attended Cottenham Village College and Hills Road Sixth Form in Cambridge, completed a law degree at the University of Manchester before graduating from the University of Cambridge with a masters degree in criminology in 2017.

Jack Merritt, 25, was described by his family as an ‘intelligent, thoughtful and empathetic person’
Jack Merritt, 25, was described by his family as an ‘intelligent, thoughtful and empathetic person’

Saskia studied at Anglia Ruskin University, before graduating with a masters in criminology from the University of Cambridge in 2018.

Described as “passionate about victim support”, she had applied to join a graduate recruitment programme at West Midlands Police.

The inquest heard she had planned to use this role at the police to progress her PhD at Oxford University.

Saskia Jones graduated from Cambridge with a masters in criminology
Saskia Jones graduated from Cambridge with a masters in criminology

The inquest was adjourned to a date to be determined. It is due to be heard by the chief coroner, Judge Mark Lucraft QC.

Read more

Professor’s praise for graduate Saskia Jones: ‘There’s never been a student like her’

University of Cambridge pays tribute to Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones after their deaths in London Bridge terror attack

‘A beautiful, talented boy’ - family pay tribute to Jack Merritt, 25, after his death in London Bridge terror attack

Cambridge graduate Saskia Jones was second victim of London Bridge terror attack

London Bridge attacker Usman Khan was convicted terrorist attending University of Cambridge conference on prison rehabilitation

Met Police chief praises ‘incredible acts of bravery’ in confronting London Bridge attacker

London Bridge attack: Vigil in Cambridge, election campaign suspended and minute’s silence planned



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