LON­DON TERROR AT­TACK TRIB­UTES TO RIP JACK: BEAU­TI­FUL SPIRIT & CHAM­PION FOR THE UN­DER­DOGS

Daily Star Sunday - - FRONT PAGE - ISO­BEL DICK­IN­SON

‘WARM­EST HEART’: Jack was a cham­pion for ex-of­fend­ers

THE fa­ther of one of the vic­tims of the Lon­don Bridge terror at­tack has de­scribed his son as a “beau­ti­ful spirit”.

Jack Mer­ritt, 25, was lead­ing a re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion event for ex-cons when he was stabbed to death by con­victed ter­ror­ist Us­man Khan.

Khan then went on the ram­page through the heart of the cap­i­tal, killing a woman and wound­ing three other peo­ple.

He was armed with two kitchen knives, one of which was taped to his hand, and was also wear­ing a fake sui­cide vest.

The 28-year-old was tack­led and dis­armed by by­standers on Lon­don Bridge be­fore be­ing shot dead by po­lice.

Khan had stabbed Jack at the nearby Fish­mon­gers’ Hall af­ter at­tend­ing the Learn­ing To­gether con­fer­ence, called to show that ex-of­fend­ers could be ca­pa­ble of re­demp­tion.

It was be­ing led by Cam­bridge grad­u­ate and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion worker Jack, de­scribed as a “cham­pion” for for­mer crim­i­nals.

The vic­tim’s dev­as­tated fa­ther, David Mer­ritt, paid trib­ute to him on Twit­ter.

He wrote: “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.

“R.I.P. Jack: you were a beau­ti­ful spirit who al­ways took the side of the un­der­dog.”

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

“Thank you for your sup­port. I know his col­leagues are in shock – please look af­ter each other at this ter­ri­ble time.”

In re­ply, a friend wrote: “David, I knew your son through Learn­ing To­gether & I loved him to pieces.

“He was the sweet­est, most car­ing and self­less in­di­vid­ual I’ve ever met. The warm­est heart, al­ways with time for any­one. Com­pletely ir­re­place­able – I will mourn his loss greatly and hon­our his mem­ory xxxx.”

Jack grad­u­ated in law at the Univer­sity of Manch­ester be­fore go­ing on to study at Cam­bridge Univer­sity.

Be­fore uni he at­tended Hills Road Sixth Form Col­lege in Cam­bridge.

Jack’s In­sta­gram page was filled with pho­tos from re­cent trav­els with his girl­friend Leanne O’Brien and pals.

His Twit­ter feed con­tained tweets that were crit­i­cal of Con­ser­va­tive govern­ment poli­cies, in­clud­ing cuts to the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem.

Yes­ter­day, one of the three sur­vivors of the at­tack was up­graded to a sta­ble con­di­tion af­ter ini­tially be­ing rushed to hos­pi­tal with crit­i­cal in­juries.

A sec­ond per­son was sta­ble, while the third is be­lieved to have less se­ri­ous in­juries.

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