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London Bridge terror victims were each stabbed once in chest

Medics battled to save London Bridge victim Jack Merritt for an hour after he was stabbed by terrorist Usman Khan, an inquest heard today. 

Cambridge University graduates Mr Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, were attacked and killed by convicted terrorist Usman Khan, 28, at a prisoner rehabilitation event at Fishmongers' Hall, central London last Friday.

The inquest into their deaths were opened at the OId Bailey and Detective Superintendent Des McHugh, a police officer involved in the investigation, made a report to the coroner.

Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones were killed in the terror attack on London Bridge on Friday

Khan killed two and injured three others before he was shot dead by police on Friday. Pictured: The scene of the struggle when brave members of the public tackle Khan

Det Sup McHugh said police were first called at 1.58pm and armed officers arrived and shot Khan after finding him being restrained by members of the public. Ms Jones was pronounced dead at 2.25pm.

Mr Merritt was moved from the scene to nearby King William Street where he was pronounced dead at 3.14pm, despite efforts to save him.

Post-mortem examinations found Mr Merritt and Ms Jones died from 'shock and haemorrhaging' and a 'stab wound to the chest', the Metropolitan Police officer said.

Three more people were injured in the attack, two of whom are said to remain in a stable condition in hospital while the third has returned home. 

Usman Khan carried out the attack. He was last year released from a jail term he got for terrorism

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.

He died from 'multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and abdomen' and 'shock and haemorrhage', a separate inquest hearing was told.

City of London senior coroner Alison Hewitt opened and adjourned inquests into the victims' deaths at the Old Bailey.

The court heard Ms Jones had graduated from Cambridge University in the summer of 2018 with a master's in criminology and had applied to join West Midlands Police.

She was said to be 'passionate about victim support' and planned to use her role in the police to further her PhD at Oxford University.

Mr Merritt also had a master's degree in criminology at Cambridge having already completed a law degree at Manchester University. 

Mr Merritt, from Cottenham, near Cambridge, was a co-ordinator for Learning Together, a programme associated with Cambridge University's Institute of Criminology.

Miss Jones, from Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, was a volunteer for the programme which aims to bring offenders and people in higher education to study alongside each other.

Tributes on London Bridge in the aftermath of the horrendous terror attack 

In a separate hearing, Detective Superintendent McHugh confirmed Khan was a 28-year-old British National from the Stafford area.

He told the court Khan was convicted of an offence contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006 of engaging in conduct in preparation for terrorist acts on October 7 2011.

He was released from Woodhill Prison on December 24 2018 and subject to a counter-terrorism notification order.

Khan joined the Learning Together programme towards the end of his sentence and attended the event at Fishmonger's Hall to take part in group workshops, the court heard.

He was shot on London Bridge, having been restrained by members of the public, the officer said.

Khan was pronounced dead on the bridge at 3.07pm, the court heard.

Ms Hewitt confirmed Chief Coroner for England and Wales, Mark Lucraft QC, would hear the full inquests into the deaths of Ms Jones and Mr Merritt and Khan on dates to be fixed.

The fresh inquests come just months after the conclusion of the Old Bailey inquests into the deaths of eight innocent people during the 2017 London Bridge terror attack.

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