Cambridge graduate Saskia Jones was second victim of London Bridge terror attack
The second victim of the London Bridge terror attack was a former Cambridge University student, it was confirmed today (Sunday).
Saskia Jones, 23, from Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, was fatally stabbed by Usman Khan on Friday along with Cambridge University graduate Jack Merritt.
A member of university staff has also been confirmed one of the three people injured during the attack.
A statement from Saskia's 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.”
The university’s vice chancellor, Stephen J Toope, said: "I am devastated to learn that among the victims of the London Bridge attack were staff and alumni of the University of Cambridge, taking part in an event to mark five years of the Learning Together programme.
"What should have been a joyous opportunity to celebrate the achievements of this unique and socially transformative programme, hosted by our Institute of Criminology, was instead disrupted by an unspeakable criminal act.
“I am sad beyond words to report that course coordinator Jack Merritt and former student Saskia Jones were killed. Both were Cambridge graduates. Among the three people injured, whose identities have not been publicly released, is a member of university staff.
"Our university condemns this abhorrent and senseless act of terror.
"Our condolences, our thoughts and our deepest sympathies are with the victims and their families. We will be providing all the support we can to our colleagues, including counselling for staff and students who are affected by the event.
"We are grateful to the Metropolitan Police, to local emergency services, and to those members of the public – including students, staff, alumni and other participants at the event – who selflessly intervened to contain the incident."
Yesterday (Saturday) Jack Merritt’s father revealed his son had been killed by Khan.
Jack, who was 25 and from Cottenham, was the course co-ordinator for Learning Together, the prison rehabilitation initiative run by the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Criminology. Saskia was a volunteer for the scheme.
Both were killed when convicted terrorist Khan, 28, launched his stabbing attack at Fishmongers' Hall, where he was a guest at a Learning Together conference.
Jack’s father, David, tweeted that his son “would not wish his death to be used as the pretext for more draconian sentences or for detaining people unnecessarily”.
He described him as “a beautiful spirit who always took the side of the underdog”.
Jack attended Hill Road Sixth Form in Cambridge before graduating in law from Manchester University. He completed an MPhil at the Institute of Criminology at the University of Cambridge, while attached to Hughes Hall, in 2017.
At Learning Together in Cambridge, he helped to co-ordinate a programme that brought together those in higher education and the criminal justice system. As part of the programme, students based at the University of Cambridge and students based in prison studied together on university-level courses.
The aim was to form connections that make society more inclusive and safer by reducing reoffending. But it was a former prisoner who was to take his life.
Of the three people injured during the stabbings, two are said to be in a stable condition and one has less serious injuries.
The attacker - Khan - had been released from prison on licence last year.
He took part in a Learning Together programme while at HMP Whitemoor in Cambridgeshire, and had attended some of Friday’s conference at Fishmongers’ Hall before he launched his attack.
He was tackled by members of the public - including former prisoners and a British Transport Police officer in plain clothes. Police then shot Khan dead on the bridge.
A vigil was held at Great St Mary’s Church on Saturday afternoon.
More by this authorAndy Veale