Family of man killed by London Bridge terrorist to sue Government over his death

The family of Jack Merritt, who was killed by London Bridge terrorist Usman Khan, are suing the Government over his death.

Mr Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, were fatally stabbed by Khan during a prisoner rehabilitation event at Fishmongers’ Hall on November 29 last year.

Khan, 28, was out on licence when he attended the event, organised by Cambridge University’s Learning Together programme, armed with two kitchen knives and wearing a fake suicide vest.

He was tackled by members of the public armed with a narwhal tusk, a decorative pike and a fire extinguisher before he was shot dead by police on London Bridge.

Mr Merritt’s parents, Anne and David, his brother Joe and his girlfriend Leanne O’Brien are now taking legal action against the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and the Home Office at the High Court.

Their solicitor said on Thursday that the family had been left with “no alternative” but to issue proceedings on Wednesday, shortly before the one-year time limit for claims brought under the Human Rights Act.

Kate Maynard, a partner at Hickman and Rose, told the PA news agency that “all the relevant public bodies who are legally represented at the inquest” had reached a “standstill agreement” with the family – except for the MoJ and the Home Office, which she said “unfathomably” did not agree.

Mr Merritt was a course coordinator for Learning Together – a prisoner rehabilitation programme.

After his death Mr Merritt’s friends launched a fundraiser for ‘one hell of a celebration’ in his memory.

The GoFundMe appeal has so far raised £31,000.

The appeal says: “We are all devastated by Jack’s death but determined to celebrate him.

“Jack loved music, art, eating good food with his family, and having more than one pint with his mates.

“And on that point we, his friends and family, are going to throw one hell of a celebration for him.

“Because my god, did that boy know how to party.”

Earlier this week Mr Merritt’s dad said he now has a special bond wth Rosca Onya, who his son met on a course.

Rosca even calls him “dad”.

He said: “I first met Rosca at Jack’s funeral, and we just bonded straight away really.

“We have met him quite a few times since, he’s been to our house and I can see why him and Jack got on so well.

“You know, they just liked each other and they had things in common, they came from very different backgrounds but they bonded over a love of rap music.

“They just got on really well, and we love Rosca, and what he is doing now is absolutely fantastic.

“To achieve what he has achieved from where he has come from is just absolutely brilliant.”

Rosca is from the Democratic Republic of Congo and arrived in the UK as a refugee child having lost several family members and witnessing unimaginable horror.

During his incarceration for gang crime, Rosca met Jack on the Learning Together programme.

“Jack was an inspiring young man from the first moment,” said Rosca, talking about his time on the course.

“I didn’t speak for about a week and a half because I didn’t feel like I could contribute anything because I never finished school,” he said.

Rosca said Jack encouraged him to make his music, and Rosca has now released a charity single dedicated to Jack with all profits going to Learning Together.

“I want to carry on his legacy and carry on telling the world how amazing Jack was,” he said.