London Bridge terror attack victim Saskia Jones 'funny, kind and positive', say family

The second victim of the London Bridge terror attack has been named as Cambridge graduate Saskia Jones.

The 23-year-old from Stratford-upon-Avon was a former University of Cambridge student and was involved in the Learning Together scheme.

Her family described her as a "funny, kind, positive influence at the centre of many people's lives."

Police confirmed she and 25-year-old Jack Merritt were fatally stabbed by convicted terrorist Usman Khan on Friday afternoon.

Saskia Jones was a former University of Cambridge student. Credit: Met Police

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.”

Saskia was a volunteer for the Learning Together programme. Credit: Met Police

Khan had been attending a prisoner rehabilitation scheme hosted by Cambridge University scheme Learning Together at Fishmongers’ Hall near London Bridge before he launched the knife rampage.

Mr Merritt was a co-ordinator on the Learning Together programme, who was described as a "beautiful, talented boy" by his family.

His family released a statement through police on Sunday, saying he died "doing what he loved".

Jack Merritt was described by his family as a 'beautiful, talented boy.' Credit: Met Police

"He lit up our lives and the lives of his many friends and colleagues, and we will miss him terribly," the statement said.

“Jack lived his principles; he believed in redemption and rehabilitation, not revenge, and he always took the side of the underdog.

"Jack was an intelligent, thoughtful and empathetic person who was looking forward to building a future with his girlfriend, Leanne, and making a career helping people in the criminal justice system."

But they asked for his death not to be used to justify introducing "even more draconian sentences" on offenders or "for detaining people in prison for longer than necessary."

Jack Merritt's family said he looking forward to building a future with his girlfriend. Credit: Met Police/Family Handout

Three other people were injured in the attack, one of whom is a member of staff, the university's vice-chancellor Stephen Toope said.

The medical director for the NHS in London, Dr Vin Diwakar, said on Sunday that one of the three people injured in the attack had been allowed to return home while the other two remain in a stable condition in hospital.

Both victims were former students at the Institute of Criminology at Cambridge University. Credit: Met Police/Family Handout

The director of the Institute of Criminology, at the University of Cambridge, where both London Bridge attack victims had studied has paid tribute to them.

Professor Loraine R Gelsthorpe said in a statement: "Saskia's warm disposition and extraordinary intellectual creativity was combined with a strong belief that people who have committed criminal offences should have opportunities for rehabilitation."

The statement added she completed her studies in 2018 but her "determination to make an enduring and positive impact on society" meant she stayed in contact with the Learning Together programme.

And said everyone at the Institute "will miss Jack's quiet humour and rigorous intellect."

"His determined belief in rehabilitation inspired him to join the Institute as a staff member to work in the Learning Together research team after completing his MPhil in Criminology in 2017," Professor Gelsthorpe said.

"Jack's passion for social and criminal justice was infectious. He was deeply creatively and courageously engaged with the world, advocating for a politics of love. He worked tirelessly in dark places to pull towards the light."

Floral tributes left for the victims of the London Bridge terror attack. Credit: PA

Professor Gelsthorpe said members of the Learning Together community held off the attacker until police arrived and included several people who had spent time in prison.

"They worked together selflessly to bring an end to this tragedy and to save further lives," the statement added.

Khan, who was living in Stafford, was given permission to travel into the heart of London by police and the probation service. He had also been allowed to travel to Whitehall earlier in the year.

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