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Britain honours its dead with vigil after London Bridge attack

Britain honours its dead with vigil after London Bridge attack”

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has vowed to review Britain's sentencing system after a convicted terrorist released early from prison stabbed two people to death and wounded three in a London Bridge attack.

Jack Merritt, 25, of Cottenham, Cambridgeshire, and Saskia Jones, 23, of Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, were killed when 28-year-old Usman Khan went on a stabbing spree before being shot dead by police.

Merritt and Jones were taking part in an event at Fishmongers' Hall, close to London Bridge, to mark five years of the university's Learning Together program, which brings together people in criminal justice and higher education institutions.

Jones' family described her as having "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 program".

Friday's terrorist attack in London Bridge that killed two and injured many would have claimed more victims had the bystanders not interfered and fought the attacker and pinned him down before the police arrived.

Attacker Usman Khan, a convicted terrorist who had secured early release from prison, was shot dead by police after he was restrained by civilians.

The 28-year-old Khan had been arrested previously with other co-conspirators who had been plotting terrorist attacks on high-profile London targets including the stock exchange and U.S. embassy. Police said one of the three has returned home while the other two remained in stable condition at a hospital.

The girlfriend of London Bridge terror victim Jack Merritt broke down in tears as she attended a vigil in his memory in Cambridge.

Khan, a British national, had been handed an indeterminate sentence for the protection of the public in 2012 of at least eight years in prison.

The London Bridge terrorist wrote a poem and a thank-you note to the prisoner rehabilitation programme he later attacked, it has been reported.

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"There are enormous questions to be learned from this bad event that happened last week and that is: What happened in the prison with this particular individual, what assessment was made of his psychological condition before he was released, and also what supervision and monitoring he was under after coming out?" said Corbyn.

The proposals were not in the Conservatives' formal manifesto issued last Sunday.

He penned an article setting out the new stance in The Mail on Sunday newspaper, under the headline: "Give me a majority and I'll keep you safe from terror".

Critics have hit out fiercely at Johnson for appearing to politicise Friday's attack - including the father of Jack Merritt.

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

"We don't need knee-jerk reactions", he added in a series of messages responding to the political furor around the attack.

He portrayed his rival for prime minister, Jeremy Corbyn, as weak on crime, blaming the Labour Party for a law passed more than a decade ago that provided for some prisoners to be released early automatically.

Opposition parties blamed years of cuts to the prison and probation services by the Conservatives, who have been in power since 2010.

"It depends on the circumstances, it depends on the sentence, but crucially it depends on what they've done in the prison", he told Sky News.



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